Saturday, June 11, 2005

"Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Harold Thurman Whitman

Recently I was talking to some clients about the difference between motivation and inspiration. It’s a subtle difference in one way but dramatic and powerful in another. Let me explain….

To be motivated means to be pushed by something. What I mean by that is a thing..... tangible, such as money, a promotion, praise, deadlines, bonus, plaque…something specific. Usually it motivates one to do their best (conditionally) because they will be externally rewarded.

On the other hand, inspiration is from within, or an intangible. The best way to describe that is being inspired by another person who never ceases to amaze you, your core values and integrity; the knowledge that through the process you won’t only grow but evolve through your life. Because it’s not conditional on a 'thing', it energizes you. It leaves you in complete control of your forward motion, thereby pulling you forward; much easier than being pushed. Pushing yourself on a regular basis…always trying to meet deadlines, make someone else happy or ‘please the boss’ is a recipe for burnout.

Inspiration creates superconductivity or absence of resistance. There is a flow, an energy and invites you to live by your core values and personal ethics. A great place to be.

The power is simple. Either let some external influence control how you work or live your life, or maintain total control over your choices and ways of being, evolving through a life you invent. Day by day, moment by moment you create your future in the present. Doing this via being inspired, will help you create the life you love and want, rather than living a life based on someone else’s expectations and conditions.

Think about it. Which is you right now. And when is the best time to take stock of what it is you’re doing? If you would change one thing right now, become inspired rather than motivated, what would that change be and what would the effects of that change look like?

All the best....or definitely better : )

Donna Karlin

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