“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Motivated or inspired. Are they the same thing? Are we correct in using them interchangeably?

Motivated – committed to do something or achieve something, especially because you find it interesting, exciting or rewarding.

Inspired – in simplest term is to be at the cause of something. The Aramaic meaning of inspired is: “to breathe life into.

I have chosen to share this insight because I believe that words and their meanings can have a profound effect on the way we think and act. The way we think affects the way we act and the way we feel. It’s important for us, then, to ensure that we use words as tools that work for us, rather than against us. And today I believe we can all agree that we need more and greater inspiration.

“Instead of motivation. Look for inspiration. Inspiration comes from the same word as spirit. When you are inspired, the spirit moves you.”

Deepak Chopra

On some levels being motivated and inspired may appear to be the same. Imagine you’re in the African bush and you unexpectedly come across and threaten an adult lion. How motivated would you have to be to start running? However, you don’t necessarily need to feel inspired to be motivated to start running. Our motivation would be instantaneous.

I tend to think of motivation as more short-lived and that becoming motivated has to be regularly revisited. For example, we become motivated to complete projects or mundane daily tasks. We use motivation to give our all and an all out performance. We use motivation to get going in the morning when we don’t feel like it, and even to take out the garbage. When I am motivated, the majority of the time I am pushing, causing myself to do something that I need to get done, which frequently I don’t really care about.

Motivation usually has a lot to do with extrinsic factors. When we are young we talk ourselves into getting motivated to please others and meet their expectations. It’s what we think we are supposed to do. There’s no burning desire that emanates from the core of our being.

Earlier on I mentioned using words as tools that work for us, instead of against us. I’m suggesting that you use that idea and clarify and redefine for yourself what it means to be inspired, versus motivated.

For almost everyone today there is a requirement to enroll others and to get them engaged – family, relationships, business, career, volunteer activities, etc. Most people are extrinsically motivated. They do things for their personal reasons.

Another way to look at this is that motivation is an outside-in approach.

Inspiration on the other hand is in inside-out approach and increasingly today people need inspiration.

Nancy Alder, PhD, in her article entitled; Art and Leadership said:

“Whereas the 21st century managerial framework is focused primarily on motivation, often attempting to identify sets of rewards and punishment that would motivate workers to produce more, 21st century leaders know that such motivation is not enough. The leadership challenge today is to inspire people, not simply to motivate.

Inspiration is bigger and lasts longer than motivation.

Inspiration comes from within while motivation comes from outside.

Inspiration is often the cause of motivation.

Inspiration is the feeling you get when you have a greater sense of self and purpose.

Here in summary is what Wayne Dyer has said about motivation and inspiration. Motivation means we have an idea and we are going to carry through on that idea. We work hard at it, and we are disciplined. A highly motivated person thinks of an idea or project and goes out there and won’t let anybody or anything interfere with them.

Inspiration is exactly the opposite. If motivation is when you get hold of an idea and carry it through to its conclusion, inspiration is the reverse. An idea/cause gets hold of you and carries you where you are intended to go.

Wise masters have said that when you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, a compelling vision, or cause, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations. Your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, wonderful world. New forces, resources, and, – things you thought were inaccessible and unavailable to you – come alive when you are inspired.

You discover yourself to be a far greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

And when you are inspired you shift into an understanding that who you are is a piece of the Divine – who you are is a piece of the Source – and when you stay connected to your inspire self, in your thoughts and being, others tend to do the same.

It’s about demonstrating and letting people know that you are an inspired person, a person who is in the spirit, and then the force that Carl Jung called “synchronicity” begins to show up. Then the universe provides for you and you enter expanded levels of health, success, prosperity, well-being, harmony, etc.

And when you are in this inspired state you will know it because;

Life feels effortless. You are in the flow.

You have to hold yourself back from starting right now and will stay with it.

Passion burns steady, it doesn’t fluctuate, decrease, or flat line.

Time passes quickly and you lose yourself in the activity.

You feel called to do this and the feeling comes from your core.

You feel and know it in your heart center, at the very core of your being.

You shake off setbacks, criticisms and conflicts and move ahead.

With this insight, are you becoming increasingly aware of which mode you are in: Motivated or Inspired.

What is spirit breathing into your life?

Notice that as you show up at the level of being as “inspired” your life shifts, and people around you also become inspired.

To your Inspired Living – Now.

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