Motivation And Inspiration: What’s The Difference?

Motivational Monday

Another Monday and back to work for many after a nice or not-so nice weekend. Were you feeling motivated or inspired to get up and go this morning? What is the difference you ask?

That is my exploration in this morning post on what is popularly called “Motivational Monday,” or “Monday Motivation” on most social media platforms. Mondays even has its own hashtag and I too use it although I understand that there is a difference – subtle to some but not so much so to others – between motivation and inspiration.

News: Controlling Your Mind

Did you watch any newscast over the weekend or even earlier this morning? Was there a story that raised your blood pressure or made you think “I have to do something about that,” whatever that is?

The Science of Mind ControlThe news programmes have a way of doing that, getting us riled up or at least creating an opinion in our minds that stirs us to action or protest of some sort. It is part of the reason, actually a large part, that my television is rarely turned to a newscast. My preference is to seek out and find information about any subject that interests me and not being induced or told what to believe or think.

What news agencies do very well is to motivate you – into a belief, an opinion, a way of doing things or even an action. There is nothing wrong with what they do, generally speaking. What is a challenge for me is that we do not recognise that the opinion we often spout off as our own was sourced externally; we fail to see that our resulting behaviour was motivated by another person and not an original thought.

Motivation versus Inspiration

Never thought of motivation in that light, did you? Not many people do or do so very often. This business of motivation, one that I indulge and part take in a bit if truth be told, works for the so-called good, bad and very much in between. However, one thing is always clear – it is externally driven.

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Pumping you up!
Pumping you up!

Like the editors and owners of news agencies, coaches, pastors, counsellors and even school teachers, as examples, are in the business of motivation. Whether the cause is to bring about world peace, keep the school clean or enhancing your marriage – what these esteemed professionals and friends are doing is providing you with fuel to get you going towards whatever is the desired goal. It is very much like putting gas into an empty car to keep going on your road trip.

We all need to be motivated from time to time. The challenge becomes when you become dependent on this, relying solely on others to get your car moving. My experience has taught me that when this happens there is the risk of becoming an emotional zombie, an attention seeker or a sympathy addict. That is the topic of my post later today – how to spot and avoid persons addicted to attention and sympathy. Be sure to subscribe or bookmark this blog to be updated when that and all of our articles are published.

Inspiration – to put it simple – come from “in,” meaning it comes from within you, the core of your being. It is natural and always available to each and every one of us. Yes, there are times when another person, sometimes that maybe me through this blog or my Facebook page, might nudge you but not with a directive or command. If you’re struggling to keep open your business then you may find that quotes to inspire small business owners will give you the nudge you need. A friend, coach, teacher – anyone – can urge you to look within yourself to the real and only true source of inspiration.

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You Are Not My Doctor!

Being prescriptive is something that repels me. It is neither my desire to “tell” a person what to take nor do I wish anyone to do that to me. There are people in my life, thinking of one person in particular, who has a tendency to do this.

This person will join in a conversation simply to tell you what you should do or how you should be. Her attitude borders on judgmental at times but you would never get her to recognize much less admit her behaviour. She thinks she is being motivational – and in a sense she is as her intention is to get you to take action, be or do better but it is according to her remedy, in her way.

Look Within
Look Within

Do you know anyone who behaves like that? Do you dictate to your friends and family, worse yet to your children? There is a thin line between guiding children and trying to control their minds. Having crossed that line many times in the past, my relationship with my daughter has evolved to where I am just a one-directional compass now – pointing her within. In our conversations, while I might offer an opinion my closing line is most often “You know what to do, so think about it and follow your heart.”

Yes, I will continue to post Motivational Monday articles and videos but always bear in mind that they are just a band-aid. If you are seeking to change your life, even one aspect of your life, you have to look within for inspiration. That is where it’s at and the only source that will never wear off or be depleted.

Until later, have a great day and be inspired!



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