Is Inspiration More Important Than Motivation?

Motivation or inspiration, what gets the job done? We often hear many leaders say we need to get motivated or we need to find what motivates our workers. Although it can be true, we sometimes need the motivation to start or finish a task or project; we don’t talk about what motivation is and how different it is from inspiration. So, when asked what gets the job done, motivation or inspiration, motivation does.

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

Unlike inspiration, motivation is a driven reason or reasons we are willing to act upon in a particular way. Usually, it is short lived and caused by an incentive which pushes us to accomplish a project since there’s no longer a state of passion or driven force to fulfill a task. Motivation can propel us to move forward, but it is short lived and fades once it’s done. We also have to acknowledge that what motivates you will not motivate others. Motivation can be driven from fear, instant gratification, or reward, whatever it may be, it is subjective.

In the same way, inspiration is subjective; however, it has more longevity than motivation. Inspiration is someone or something that evokes an idea, a thought, or desire to create. This is where the longevity comes from. Inspiration is an influence that drives us to achieve and fulfill the idea, the thought, or desire we have. Unlike motivation, inspiration is a given moment we remember with clarity and is the starting point of something bigger which we strive to gain. Inspiration does more than inspire us, it is  

  • A foundation for motivation where we find ourselves driven by what inspires us and redefining our motives correlating to our inspired idea.
  • Looking at the bigger picture while working on the finer details to get to the final idea of what we aspire to create, change, or be.
  • A passion that moves us to create, to change, or be someone, something, based on what inspired us.

Inspiration is a stimulation to the mind, and often feelings, driving us to a passion for fulfilling our desire to create something. It is very distinct from what motivation does on its own, an incentive to fulfill what needs to get us on track to complete a task. They are both subjective, but motivation can be easily found whereas inspiration is more eventful in creating a desire and yearning in a person.

There is an article on Linkedin written by Darcy Hayer, Why Inspiration Is More Powerful Than Motivation, which goes into more detail on distinguishing these two terms, but also gives you examples of individuals who have been inspired and how its affected them in their life. It’s an interesting article if you want to see how they both differ, but you can also ask others around you to see what they think and if there is something that inspires them.

What do you think, is an inspiration more critical than motivation? Tell us in the comments below.


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