Inspiration v. Motivation


    Motivation is often the first characteristic that comes to mind when discussing leadership, yet inspiration is hugely important. Each carries its own distinct energy, which can be understood, by examining their meanings.

    Inspiration is defined as ‘ecstasy’, which means to ‘stand outside the ordinary self’. The list of synonyms includes blessedness, delight, bliss, joy, elation and rapture.

    Motivation is defined as ‘excitement’ and its synonyms include action, drama, enthusiasm, fever, stimulation and turmoil.

    Both words describe quite different emotional states. Inspiration implies that we can be still and yet be in an inspired state. Motivation, on the other hand, is aligned with action and it synonyms suggest it is a state that requires huge energy and motion.

    We have all experienced an event where motivation is the key role in assisting others towards transformational change. The pumping music, clapping and chanting incite us to achieve our goals. Within sport teams’ dressing rooms, motivating speeches are the tool that spurs the team on to win.

    There are advantages in this motivating energy. It propels us out of our comfort zone and into positive action. Motivation charges our adrenaline and thrusts us forward with a renewed sense of vitality and purpose. Our thoughts become more concentrated, our focus is on our goals. Motivation is what drives us to win the game.

    Inspiration is what we draw on during the quieter times, when we are alone, our innate energy that dwells deep within us, the divine breath of life. It is a never ending well, which keeps us going through life, dealing with the positive and challenging encounters.

    We find it possible to be motivated without inspiration but it is impossible to be inspired without it being followed by motivation. Action always follows true inspiration.

    Inspirational Presence is found in those who are inspired by this divine breath of life, who are connected to a force greater than one’s self and to a purpose higher than one’s self. This is the type of leading change we need, individuals that will touch our hearts and awaken our minds.

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