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Motivation vs Inspiration

(or vice versa)

I had written an entire article about this yesterday, hit publish, and then the post vanished.

I do not know where it went, but let’s just say that I don’t believe in accidents, so this will be similar but not the same (I couldn’t do it the same way twice if I tried).

So here’s the gist of this – I feel strongly that inspiration can come from anywhere, but motivation can only come from within.

Of course, I can MOVE you to do something.

Say, for instance, using physical force or threat of physical force.

If you work for me, I can threaten you with your job.

And these might inspire you into action, but the motivation is still coming from within – that is, your desire to keep your job or not be physically damaged moves you in a direction.

I didn’t do that, but I gave you good reason to move in that direction.

Get what I am laying down?

I can inspire you, I cannot really motivate you.

Which is interesting – because for hundreds if not thousands of people, I have been asked to “motivate them” – and people’s motivation comes from interesting places.

Sometimes it is money.

Sometimes it is love.

Generally, however, it is total discomfort or disgust.

I was listening to Larry Winget’s program from Nightingale Conant today called “Success Is Your Own Damn Fault” and he got on about a few things in this department.  He said something along the lines of “motivation without action is just plain stupid” and I agree… though I feel that he was talking more about inspiration than motivation.

This is a question that I often ask a coaching client – what will move you across the finish line?  What motivates you?

Someone might think that’s what I do, but it isn’t.

And cheerleading is not motivation either.

What moves YOU?

Comment below.

One Comment

  1. Pocahontas Pocahontas

    My children, my family, and what is best for them…

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