Motivation and Inspiration

April 28, 2011


What inspires you?

Motivation is the driving force by which we achieve our goals. Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something. When these two factors come together wonderful things can happen. When either or both are lacking, we suffer.

I haven’t been writing a lot this week. I have felt waves of inspiration and spurts of motivation, but there hasn’t been a steady stream of “mojo.” Inspiration and motivation are funny things. It would be great if we could turn them on with a flick of a switch, like a lightbulb, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. There are definitely people who have a greater inner-drive than others. That’s called ambition.

What I am talking about is, what fuels ambition?

As I am working on my own success and working with clients on helping them to achieve their own personal goals, I find that it is important to identify what motivates you to do certain things and what inspires you to make things happen.

For example, other than my friend Vicki, I don’t know anyone who enjoys proposal writing.  It’s tedious and time consuming. However, in order to win new business, proposals are often a necessary evil.  The motivating factor is the sale. What is inspiring is the chance to make a difference. For my business, the inspiration comes from the opportunity to create a unique event or to help an individual achieve a personal goal. Motivation and inspiration is unique to every person and every business.

Here’s the thing, we might not always be inspired, but in order to be successful in our professional lives we must stay motivated. We must be able to set goals and identify things to keep us motivated.  We then must surround ourselves with people and experiences that will provide inspiration. As a bonus thought, we need to rid our life of things and people that are toxic and which inhibit inspiration.

I know that there isn’t a formula for motivation or inspiration, but I think that there can be methods for achieving these things. Here are some ideas on how I think we can improve both motivation and inspiration on any given day to keep a steady and strong level of both.

Seven Ways to Find Motivation

1. Write down your goals.

2. Track progress.

3. Share accomplishments.

4. Find people to hold you accountable.

5. Define what success means to you.

6. Make plans.

7. Ask others what tips they use for motivation.

Seven Ways to Find Inspiration

1. Listen to music.

2. Take a walk.

3. Read books, blogs and magazines.

4. Talk to new people. Talk to people smarter than you, older than you and younger than you.

5. People watch.

6. Observe how children behave.

7. Day dream.

What do you think about these lists? Am I on the right track? What keeps you motivated? Where do you get inspired?