“Inspiration comes forth from within. It’s what the light burning within you is about, as opposed to motivation, which is doing it because if you don’t do it, there will be negative repercussions. Motivation is making me do something that I don’t really want to do. Inspiration is having the clear picture of what I am wanting and letting universal forces come into play to get the outcome.” – Abraham-Hicks
Funny how sometimes we received unexpected gifts in the strangest way. Ten years ago I lived in downtown Denver and had the greatest hairstylist in the city. She was the most expensive, took the longest time (3 hours) and it was a bear to get in with her…but when I left I felt like a million bucks. She was more than a “stylist”. Fabulous hair was just a strategic by-product of what I received when I made it to the chair every six weeks. But that ended once I hit my 30’s, along came babies and “the burbs”. Like most working mommies of two kids in the burbs, I found a new stylist in a very strategic way, the most convenient one I can find that will make my life 1/10th easier.
Fast forward 10 years and welcome to social media. I recently re-connected with “Kimmy” on Facebook and remembered why I paid double the price, spent double the time and had to book months in advance…and didn’t ever think of cancelling that appointment. Kimmy’s “wall” on Facebook was captivating with beautiful photos of her work, positive quotes and inspirational YouTube videos from the work of Abraham and Hicks, The Law of Attraction.
Needless to say, I am a returning client of Kimmy’s and am reminded, daily, of why I am now travelling 40 minutes for a cut and color. No, we’re not going to get started on a diatribe about social media…that will be another blog. What we want to discuss on this blog is The Law of Attraction.
Every day I wake to a different “Law of Attraction” YouTube video link from Kimmy in my text messages. All of them no more than 12 minutes. This week while chauffeuring my kids to sporting events I opened up one of the texts from Kimmy on “Motivation vs. Inspiration”. I almost fell over as I heard the most amazing way to articulate what Laney and I have been trying to communicate with our “Keys to an Empowering Conversation.”
The essence of the message was the startling difference between motivation and inspiration.
Motivation typically has a soul of “because I think I should”. O.M.G….Laney and I have been saying this for years! You can’t motivate people, you can only inspire them. Pep talks only last for so long. The teachings go on to say, motivation is PAST tense. “You don’t want to motivate your employees to work hard for you. You want to shine the light on the purpose and the intent.” At that moment I had an “ah ha moment”. Motivation is really fear based. Motivation, if you really think about it, typically has underlying tone of manipulation. If you don’t do X then you won’t ever get Y. You’re trying to convince the other person of why they should want “it”, how to “get it”. It is like constantly having to reignite a flame. Then the “motivator” begins to get frustrated, starts reading every book they can get their hands on to see how they can get better at their motivation tactics. They start signing up for every webinar and workshop offered on “motivating your employees (or husband or children) to do ___.” It doesn’t matter what’s filled in the blank just please teach me how to motivate them to care. And that is the crux of why motivation is a failed paradigm. When you find yourself having to reignite the fire, retool your toolbox with different, better tools to “help them along” you know your swimming upstream and stuck in the motivation trap.
Inspiration on the other hand they talk about is “because I WANT it”. Inspiration is ease and flow. And when you spend two minutes on ease and flow because the engine is already in place and can reignite on its own, that is inspiration. Inspiration is present tense. There is nothing anybody “has” to do but a lot of what you “want to do”. When you are talking with an inspired person about an idea, a project or something future based that you can’t even fully articulate, they chime in with “and then what about if we…” Or they say “I love the idea! Right now let’s finish the project we’ve already committed too and let me start poking around on Google about this new idea. I think I have some ideas but for now, let’s out it next on our project list. But I see where you’re headed and I’m excited. We just need to finish up our current project then I’m all yours to get this rolling.”
Think about it. Think about the past few conversations, interactions that you have had. Were they motivation or inspiration? It has become so crystal clear to us. And WOW, what a freeing feeling that there is actually a definition for the difference between the two. If you can stay awake to when you are motivating or inspiring someone, including yourself, you may realize that you just aren’t that committed to something you’ve been trying to motivate yourself about. It’s not the right fit. Move on and find what inspires you. Imagine a life of flow and ease when you only accept inspiration in yourself and others. It really is that easy.
If you would like to learn more about motivation vs. inspiration and the work that we’ve done around “The 8 Keys to an Empowering Conversation” join us for our free webinar, “What Your Support Team Needs to Know to Help You Succeed” on September 28th at 11am-noon EST. To register email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Champions of your continued success,
Molly and Laney