I like to read books. I read a wide variety of topics but the most I have read about is stock market trading and entrepreneurship. Having now got through thousands of pages, and probably tens of thousands of words I learnt yet another new interesting thing recently. It really struck me how true it is.

What I am talking about is the difference between motivation and inspiration. And you will see it everyday in life.

Inspiration poster

Why is inspiration so much more powerful then motivation?

Aren’t the 2 words the same thing?

I guess that is what some of you are thinking. And I, to an extent, thought the same at first breath. In the short-term spotting the difference is very tough. It is long-term you can tell them apart.

Motivation is defined as “providing with a reason to act in a certain way”. However inspiration can be defined as “stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc, to special or unusual activity or creativity”. You should be able to deduce the difference already. One is clearly more powerful then the other.

Here is the best way I can describe the difference.

Someone with motivation will take actions to get short term results. Someone with inspiration with persist and take actions non-stop to get long term results.

A great example is at the gym. On New Years day there is always a wedge of people who say they want to lose weight. If you went to the gym and saw them all on January 1st and remembered them. And then went back 3 months later and looked again you won’t see them all. The ones still there have kept going because they are inspired to lose weight. The ones who have stopped going have stopped because they were only motivated.

To get real results long-term you have be inspired. Being motivated will not be enough. If you are inspired you will keep pushing yourself, coming up with great ideas and persisting with them.

A nice example is in soccer. Look at David Beckham, the English soccer legend. His career has been a phenomenal success and is reflected in the clubs he has played for and the money he has earnt. The reason for that is because he is inspired to succeed at soccer. Other players, can get motivated short-term and go through a decent spell. But that is all, they will fall away.

Have a think about what challenges you are taking on at the moment. Your outcome will be heavily impacted on your mentality. So ask yourself, am I inspired or motivated to complete my challenge?