Motivation or Inspiration. Can you Tell the Difference?
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” ~ Maya Angelou
I’m so tired! I’m uninspired. Nothing excites me! Oh those are the sounds I hear everyday from women who are spinning their wheels. Simply going through the day-to-day motions but calling it in when it comes to living a life they love. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed but if you feel like you might be calling it in from the sidelines that's a sure fire sign that you might be unmotivated.
Or are you just uninspired?
Motivation and inspiration are often used interchangeably in sentences, as if they might mean the same thing but be careful, as they don’t. Motivation comes from the Latin word motive and indicates that without having a motive or reason, motivation in itself would be hard to come by. However, inspiration indicates that in order to be inspired something must inspire us. Whether it be a book, a specific author, a mentor, a speaker, a piece of music or even the musician that created the music these objects/ people excite and inspire us in such way that we become driven to create as well.
Motivation comes from within and inspiration comes from without. So when you say you are lacking motivation then your why must not be enough. Set it to be higher. Find inspiration that inspires you to be more and then maybe your reason will begin to match the inspiration that inspired you.
But we must be careful when we allow motivation to guide us towards change. Often we set superficial goals without clearly identifying the proper motive for the goal. Here’s an example I hear from women every day “I’d love to lose ten pounds.” One would think the motive is to lose ten pounds to help fit into a new pair of pants or to get that summer body back but low and behold they lose the ten pounds and they are still not happy. The REASON was something bigger then the weight and losing weight wasn’t going to make a difference in their life, as they were still unhappy. The reason was greater and the objective to lose weight left their soul unfulfilled.
As a society on a whole, we frequently look for ways to cover up the bigger problem of what is hiding underneath, as it’s easier and less painful. But we must look at the entire picture and not only work from the ego but also seek to inspire and nurture the soul. Motivation has a tricky way of asking us to set goals that allow us to keep up with the Jones’s but ultimately have nothing to do with our own desires. Seek within and listen to your heart. Allow it to guide the way.
Be mindful when determining your goals so that you're assured that they are your goals and not those of someone else. If your intentions are inauthentic then you will continue to have to set more goals and find continued motivation. Motivation continues to keep you running in circles and in the end it depletes you of all of your energy.
The only way to break the cycle and move forward mindfully is to step back before stepping forward. Be assured that before you make any “big decisions” or “go all in” that what you are chasing is truly something that you desire. Look at the bigger picture as every life goal and objective brings with it tremendous responsibility. More often then not we find ourselves overwhelmed as we only envisioned one small piece of what life would be like after achieving the goal. But just as with everything in life there is always more and it’s best to be safe with what we wish for.
In the end, make sure that the life you lead leaves you happy.
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