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07 Apr
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Motivation vs Inspiration - Which One Should You Choose?

It takes time to identify the line between motivation and inspiration. It is not in the job description of the English teacher. It is not a casual dinner table conversation. It is not pub talk.

Identifying the difference between being motivated and being inspired happens in your mind, in your choices, and in your everyday life.

A lot of individuals use the words interchangeably. I promise you, the difference is miles apart.

By the end of this article, you would be able to identify the difference. Maybe then you can understand which one works the best for you.

Motivation, for me, is the kick to achieve.

You watch a movie about a child growing up as an orphan, you feel motivated to call your parents every day.

You watch your friend lose three pounds in a week and you feel motivated enough to start an Insanity workout that lies in your recycle bin. You have final examinations approaching in a week, you feel motivated to study all the chapters in one night.

Motivation is the kick to achieve quick and immediate results. Also, when I try to motivate myself, nine times out of ten, I’m pushing myself to do something I don’t really care about (sadly!).

I should be studying, working out or calling my parents. It is what ought to be done. I understand the causes, effects, and requirements for it. Yet, I need an external wave of motivation to complete the task at hand. That is what motivation is. It is a kick to achieve tasks you should do but are unable to.

It is about psyching yourself up. It is espresso shots to stay up one night before an exam. It is to-do lists at the starting of the week. It is your New Year’s Eve resolutions. It is your first day at the gym. It is creating targets for work.

Motivation is great. It is a kick which we need every once in a while. Everybody needs a wake-up call. Read our about us if you don't believe me. It is great when it is well-intentioned with a proper plan in place.

Why I do not particularly love motivation is very simple. Although useful, it is dependent on short term goals. It is based on feel-good moments to keep its pace. Short term motivation is not based on what your needs and wants are - it is dependent on outside factors.

You need to lose weight because someone commented on your belly fat. You need to study because of exams. You need to be grateful to your parents because a video on Buzzfeed said so.

And once that goal is achieved, you don’t need the kick anymore.

Now, let’s move on to inspiration.

Inspiration, for me, is envisioning a long-term goal, and walking towards that. You don’t feel motivated to work on your charcoal skills on a Sunday, you feel inspired to do so.

You feel inspired to take up mixed martial arts in order to protect yourself better. You feel inspired to learn a new instrument or start a fitness blog or become a more grateful person.

All these goals do not have set end results. They are a process of learning.

Inspiration is simply, a vision for what you want the end goal to look like. You become inspired to take care of your body, to learn something new, make people around you smile and stay open to career opportunities.

It is a process. It draws its strength on what is true to you. It is pure. It is what you need, want and envision. It concerns itself with becoming better.

I love how very subtly inspiration guides our lives. It is not just a weapon of the artists, the vagabonds, and the politicians. It is a subtle force that helps you mark out your ambition, your ideal self, and the company around you.

A person who loves their job is not motivated to work because of the bonuses, or perks. A person, who loves their job, is inspired to provide the best service to his/her clients, their co-workers, and the organization that provides for him/her.

I love being inspired but I know motivation has its own place too. You need it when you need to get a job done. Not every activity you undertake would be to your liking or connected to your end goal. It helps to stay focused, push yourself and power up. However, you cannot rely purely on motivation to achieve your ambition.

This is the reality.

They both are perfect in their own way.

You need motivation to push yourself. You need inspiration to pull you towards your long-term goal.

They are two sides of the yin and yang and cannot exist without each other. They may be first cousins but definitely not doppelgangers.

Your choice depends on the circumstance, and what the circumstance requires out of you.

Am I biased towards inspiration? Yes, I am. But I know I will need motivation to push myself to do the mundane and pass the next exam.

Motivation or Inspiration - Which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.

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