Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inspiration and Motivation

We live in a time of inspiration
but without motivation our dreams will never be made real


I used to use the words inspiration and motivation interchangably. After some pondering I realized that they are related to one another— but are quite different from one another.

So often we are inspired to do something either by something we hear or witness. This is the spark that makes us realize that something is a possibility and that we could actually do it. I am inspired many times by the posts that I read to write a post myself.
No matter what others may say— you cannot truly motivate someone. You can teach them to be responsible and self reliant— but motivation comes from within. We are all self-motivated in that we choose to do what we intend to do when we choose to do it.

All of us can be inspirational to others— but we never know if we inspired anyone. Being an educator we were told that you may be an inspiration to your students, but you may never know who you inspired or to what degree. Perhaps a student may come back and tell you that you inspired them to become what they are— but that is usually rare.

What may be even more rare is that your inspiration actually motivated someone to do something. I know that many people indicated in my recent post about Warm Milk that they would try making it. I am now curious as to if they were motivated enough to go through with their inspired intentions and made it.

Yesterday many were inspired by the speech made by our now 44th president at his inauguration. We now have to motivate ourselves to follow through with our inspirations and make those inspirations real.


Debbie said...

Laziness and fear cause many people to not act on their inspiration. I hope we all can get motivated and inspired and truly act to get our country back on track.

Llama Wanderings said...

I really enjoyed this post. I agree most defiantly with your definitions of inspiration and motivation; very well put.

I will say that I do not lack inspiration, but I do lack motivation in many areas of my life. Your post has caused me some reflection, which is still continuing. Thank you.

Barbaloot said...

I have plenty of inspiration. It's the motivation I lack:)

Blog is my Co-Pilot said...

excellent post! Truer words were never spoken.

Matt Pfingsten said...

I was inspired to comment on this earlier. I finally motivated myself to do it now :).

You are 100% right. It is easy to find inspiration, per your definitions, much much harder to find motivation.

Nice job!

Deb said...

VERY interesting... i am inspired almost constantly. i don't know if it because i am so emotional, but i am always having a-ha moments. now motivation... that's another matter entirely, as you point out. and i fall short on the self-motivation. i usually need a couple of nudges. take your milk story... yes, i was inspired, but lacked the motivation. but now that you called us all out on it, i am very motivated to actually try it. but i am not inspired any more than i was before by the actual recipe... now it's more a matter of feeling like i should do what i said i would. so does that mean i am more motivated by what others might think of me? had you not brought up that blasted milk recipe again, would i have ever made it?

darn you! makin' me think again! you have a bad habit of doing that!

Mama Wheaton said...

No I haven't made the warm milk, yet. Don't give up on me yet.

Melanie Jacobson said...

Interesting. I never really thought about the difference between inspiring and motivating someone, and as a former teacher, I thought a lot about both. But I guess if I had to explain the difference, I'd say tha inspiration lasts a whole lot longer.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting take! In other words, it could be said that inspiration is a realization of the steps on a path one needs to take to go from point A, to point B - whatever those points might be.

To reach each of those steps one will be required to commit some resources. Motivation could then be described as a realization that one has available, or promptly obtainable, all the resources needed to reach all the steps along the path from A to B, time also being a resource of course.

Lastly, the path from A to B must be sound, so that the commitment of resources is not wasteful.

I think that properly conveyed inspiration, from any mentor, should make clear to the apprentice the path they could take to reach their goals.

Aracely said...

I think Debbie is referring to me.

Well said CJ

Anonymous said...

Good post. I am inspired by so many things and people, but ultimately, that lack of motivation persists. I'm guessing many of us relate to this.

in time out said...

i really loved this post. thanks for sharing. i came to say thank you for the kind comment you posted a long time back when i was really falling apart. i have three awards that i am giving, i want you to have all three. thanks for being so supportive. me.

Anonymous said...

Inspiration and motivation; what an interesting bit of self-reflection!

The Wife O Riley said...

My inspiration is constant, my motivation comes in spurts.

PreciseDisarray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PreciseDisarray said...

There are entire graduate classes trying to differentiate between these two often misapplied words. You nailed it at a considerable discount!
Motivated by self awareness, I'm inspired to reflect further upon the contents of this post. ;)

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