David arrived at the seminar ready to be ‘Inspired’ by the speaker. Whereas, Alice, arrived all excited at the prospect of being ‘Motivated’ by him.
Surprisingly enough, a disproportionate number of people are not quite sure of the difference between “Inspiration” and “Motivation.” Yet what both David and Alice were looking for, was the illusive magical power of words that would transform their lives from mediocrity to some extraordinary mental energy state. A state which would ward off the negatives that lurked in their minds and which were, they felt, holding them back.
Spoiler Alert! There is no magical potion of words, no secret formula that will transform your life.
What is required is a better understanding of how the mind works, and what governs its operation. Also to know how to create in your brain, networks of positive-meaning words. Words which will drive you forward and not hold you back.
For example, when you hear the words: “Good for you,” your brain carries out a search at the speed of sound to find out all the correlations of those words (the network) and comes back to you as a feeling. So, by storing positive meaning words such as: “Good for you,” you feel better and consequently perform better.
It’s in the understanding of the words and the programming that the results are affected.
In the case of Inspiration and Motivation both have two distinctive functions. The function of Inspiration is to get you to THINK in the right way.
Here is a quote from poet Veronica Hay: “Have a blessed and very prosperous day, May there be a miracle in your life today, And may you have the eyes to see it.”
Now those words are not meant to motivate you (although they may very well do so) what the author is trying to achieve is, for you to THINK right about your life, to inspire you to hope for what will change your life.
Whereas, the function of Motivation, is to get you to act in the right way. For example, many years ago, studies were conducted by psychologist Elton Mayo at the Hawthorne Plant in the USA. The researchers studied the effect of different working environments on productivity.
They used lighting as an experimental variable. Initially, they noticed that employees were working harder but it was not because of the lighting. They concluded that productivity increased due to the attention that the workers got from the research team and not because of changes to the experimental variable.
The studies found, that employees are not motivated solely by money but by motivation linked to employee behaviour and attitudes. It was this experimental research that opened the door to a human relations approach to management. So the needs and motivation of employees became the primary focus of managers.
What is Motivation? Motivation is an internal process.
Whether we define it as a drive or a need, motivation is a condition inside us that demands a change, either in the self or the environment. When we tap into this well of energy, motivation endows the person with the drive and direction needed to engage with the environment in an adaptive, open-ended, and problem-solving sort of way.
The essence of motivation is energised and persistent goal-directed behaviour. When we are motivated, we take action!
So, to kick arse in this world you need both motivation and inspiration. If you can work out how to motivate and inspire yourself you will be unstoppable!