Inspiration versus Motivation

Looking back on my days doing direct sales, I learned a lot about things that had nothing to do with selling products specifically. One of the biggest lessons I learned was about inspiration versus motivation.

Inspiration is defined in a variety of ways.

To me inspiration is something that prods our creativity, makes us yearn for something, stirs in us a longing for something beyond what he have right at this moment. It gives us a cause, or a reason, to want to have or do something.

Other people can inspire us. Nature can inspire us. Our hopes and dreams can inspire us.

Inspiration comes from an endless array of people, places and things.

Motivation, however, comes from within us. No one else has the power or ability to motivate us.

People often confuse motivation with inspiration. While others can rally us to be inspired, only we can motivate ourselves to take action.

If you look at the two things like a car on a trip – inspiration is the car, the fuel in the tank, and the desire to get from Point A to Point B. Motivation is what turns the switch, backs the car out of the garage, navigates the journey and drives the car down the road. Motivation  needs constant fueling from inspiration. Without it, we’re sitting on empty by the side of the road. Inspiration alone can’t get us from Point A to Point B. It needs motivation to be the mover and shaker.

Here’s a fun little thought to help cement the idea:

Inspiration stirs our thoughts from sleepy whispers to vivid dreams.
Motivation drives those dreams toward reality, as long as we keep inspired.

I’m inspired to be a writer for a variety of reasons.

I read books by talented authors and their stories, their beautifully written words, inspire me to fine-tune my craft.

Every time someone tells me they read one of my books and love it, I feel inspired to continue, to dream bigger, to write better.

Seeing my book sales climb each month is definitely a source of inspiration.

But all that inspiration does nothing unless I am motivated to do something with that inspiration. Motivation drives me to take action, to write that next chapter, to send out another press release, to spend time working on my writing technique. I am motivated by one singular purpose and goal.

I see inspiration and motivation not as one versus the other, but as two forces working together to help me become a better writer and a better person. One who is driven to achieve my dreams.

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