What’s the Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration?

Think about the last time you accomplished something great. Did you do it because you were motivated, or because you were inspired? Even though both seem very similar, they’re quite different.

In this post, we’ll go over the difference between motivation and inspiration and how to use both to achieve your goals.

What Is Motivation?

Motivation comes from the Latin word “motivus,” which means “to move.” Motivation is the reason or reasons that cause a person to act in a certain way. It’s the driving force that helps us achieve our goals. It’s the reason we do what we do and the reason we keep going when things get tough. Each of us is motivated by different things, but in general, motivation can be categorized into four types.

Internal motivation: this is when you’re driven by your internal desire or feeling to accomplish something. For example, if someone asks you to go running with them, and you want to go because you know how great it will feel afterward.

External motivation: this is when someone else encourages or drives you to do something. For example, if a friend tells you about a new running club that meets every Saturday morning and asks if you want to join.

Natural motivation: this is when your environment naturally encourages or discourages you to do certain behaviors. For example, if there’s a fitness area in your office building where everyone goes during their lunch break, then it becomes a common place for employees to work out during that time, either because of peer pressure or natural encouragement from others who are also working out at that time.

Cognitive motivation: this is a conscious decision to do something based on your thoughts and beliefs. For example, you decide to exercise during your lunch break because you want to get healthier and feel better.

It’s best to think of motivation as an internal drive that comes from within yourself – the desire to achieve something or be better than you are now.

What Is Inspiration?

The word “inspire” comes from the Latin word “inspirare,” which means “to breathe.” Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative. It can come in many forms, such as words, pictures, music, and even feelings. Inspiration is also a mental state in which a person is excited about an idea, cause, or goal; it gives the person energy and vitality.

Inspiration can be described as a feeling that motivates creativity and intellectual pursuit. Being inspired means that you have been given new life, energy, and ideas from someone or something else. Inspiration can come from all sorts of places – your friends, family members, or even strangers. It can also come from yourself.

Some people think inspiration is something that just hits you out of nowhere – you’re walking down the street and suddenly hear a song on the radio that inspires you to write a poem, develop an app, or try a new recipe. But it doesn’t always work that way. Often, inspiration is about having enough exposure to ideas and information so that when one finally has an idea, your brain can make sense of it and put those concepts together into something amazing.

But where does this exposure come from? There are many ways to get inspired:

  • Books and magazines about different industries or topics
  • TED talks
  • social media accounts with inspirational messages

The more we’re exposed to new ideas and information, the more likely we are to come up with something original.

What’s the Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration?

Motivation is what drives us to do something. We may be motivated by our desires or by the expectations of others. Inspiration, on the other hand, comes from within. It’s the force that tells us we can do something we never thought possible.

Motivation is often externally driven. We may be motivated to lose weight because we want to look better or because we want to get promoted at work. These are external reasons for wanting to change our behavior. Inspiration, on the other hand, comes from our internal desire to improve. Maybe we want to run a marathon because we want to set a personal best or raise money for a charity. These are internal reasons for wanting to change our behavior.

The other major difference between motivation and inspiration is their effects on behavior. Motivation usually leads to short-term changes in behavior, while inspiration leads to long-term changes. This is because motivation is based on a desire to achieve a specific goal, while inspiration comes from a desire to become a better person. When we’re motivated, we focus on the result, whereas when we’re inspired, we focus on the journey.

Motivation is also about overcoming obstacles, while inspiration isn’t. When you’re motivated, you’re working toward a goal and may be willing to overcome any obstacle that comes your way. When you’re inspired, on the other hand, you aren’t working toward a specific goal and may not be willing to overcome obstacles. Here are a few other differences between these two terms.

Motivation Is Often Driven by a Need or Desire to Achieve a Goal, While Inspiration Is Not Always Goal-Oriented

One of the main reasons why motivation is often driven by a need or desire to achieve a goal is that goals give direction and meaning to life. A person who doesn’t have goals can easily get lost and confused in life. Goals give a person something to strive for and work towards, which can help them stay focused and motivated.

In contrast, inspiration does not always have to be goal-oriented. A person can also simply be inspired by something without having a specific goal in mind. For example, a person can be inspired by nature, art, music, or the accomplishments of another person. This doesn’t mean that they are automatically driven to achieve specific goals, but simply that they’re excited and motivated by the inspiration.

Motivation Is Often Based on the Feeling of Dissatisfaction With the Current Situation, While Inspiration Isn’t Always Associated With Negative Feelings

Dissatisfaction can be a powerful motivator because it pushes people to find ways to improve their situation. In motivation, people feel that they need to change something to improve their current situation. This can be a powerful motivator, but it can also lead to dissatisfaction and frustration if people don’t achieve their goals.

Inspiration, on the other hand, can come from many different sources and doesn’t necessarily require negative feelings. Rather, inspiration is often the result of seeing something beautiful or hearing something inspiring that changes our view of things and makes us want to change our lives for the better.

Many people are motivated by the desire to achieve something that they see as challenging or impossible. This sense of challenge can give them the push they need to work harder and achieve their goals. Other people may be driven by their passion for a particular activity or cause. When people are passionate about a cause, they are more likely to take action and make a difference.

Motivation Usually Requires Effort and Hard Work, While Inspiration Does Not

For motivation to be effective, usually requires effort and hard work. This is because motivation is something that must be actively pursued and maintained to succeed. Inspiration, on the other hand, doesn’t require as much effort because it’s something that comes naturally. Therefore, many people can achieve great things when they are inspired, but they may find it difficult to stay motivated throughout their journey.

Another reason why motivation usually requires effort is that it can be easy to lose focus or give up. This is especially true when things get tough and the going gets tough. However, when someone is inspired, they’re more likely to keep going even when times get tough because they are driven by their inspiration.

Another reason why motivation usually requires effort and hard work are that it can be fleeting. Our motivation level can fluctuate from day to day or moment to moment. It can also be easy to get distracted or discouraged when our motivation drops. Inspiration, on the other hand, is more consistent. It doesn’t fluctuate as much as motivation and is less susceptible to distraction or discouragement.

Inspiration Is an Emotional Process, While Motivation Is a Cognitive Process

Motivation is a cognitive process based on the expectation that a particular behavior will lead to the desired outcome. This outcome can be a tangible reward, such as money or food, or an intangible reward, such as praise or the feeling of having accomplished something. Intangible rewards are particularly important because they can influence behavior in the long term, even when immediate rewards are no longer available.

Inspiration, on the other hand, is an emotional process. It’s driven by a desire to achieve something important to the person. Inspiration may be based on personal values or a sense of duty or responsibility. Whatever the source, inspiration creates a strong emotional connection with the goal or outcome.

Inspiration Leads to Creative Ideas, While Motivation Leads to Productive Action

Inspiration is a mental process that leads to creative ideas. It’s a sudden insight or revelation that provides the answer to a problem or question. Inspiration can be triggered by something external, such as nature, music, or art, or by something internal, such as a memory or feeling.

Motivation is a psychological force that causes us to act. It’s the desire to achieve a goal or fulfill a need. Motivation can be triggered by external factors, such as a desire for money or fame, or by internal factors, such as a desire to be healthy or happy.

Inspiration is like a bolt of creativity that strikes us out of the blue. It comes unexpectedly and without warning. Motivation, on the other hand, is like a fire that we build ourselves. We start with a small flame and then add fuel until it becomes a roaring inferno.

Inspiration is like a dream, while motivation is like reality.

Inspiration gives us new ideas, while motivation helps us turn those ideas into actionable plans. Inspiration makes us more creative, while motivation makes us more productive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the characteristics of motivation?

Motivation has three key characteristics: intensity, direction, and persistence.

Intensity is the amount of energy or effort a person expends to achieve a goal. A highly motivated person has a lot of energy and is willing to work hard to achieve their goal. A person with low motivation has little energy and is less willing to work hard to achieve their goal.

Direction is the focus of a person’s motivation. A motivated person has a clear idea of what they want to accomplish and focuses on achieving their goal. A person who’s not motivated may not have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish, or they may focus on things other than their goals.

Persistence is the ability to keep working toward a goal even when it becomes difficult.

These three are all important characteristics of motivation.

Intensity is necessary to achieve anything significant. If a person isn’t putting in enough effort, they won’t get far.
Direction is also important because it keeps a person focused on their goals. It’s easy to lose sight of what you’re working toward, but if you have a clear direction, you’re more likely to stay on track. Persistence is the key to achieving a goal. It’s not easy to persevere when things get tough, but if you’re persistent, you’ll eventually reach your destination.

What are the characteristics of inspiration?

Inspiration is a feeling of excitement or enthusiasm that comes with a sense of purpose and creativity. When you’re inspired, you have the energy to put all your effort into what you’re doing. You’re excited about what you’re doing, and you know why you’re doing it and what you want to accomplish. Inspiration is always associated with creativity because you can’t be inspired without being creative, and vice versa.

Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas or solutions. When you’re inspired, you’re able to come up with new ideas and solutions that are creative and useful. When you’re creative, you can think outside the box and come up with new ways of doing things.

Purpose is the reason why you do things. When you’re inspired, you have a sense of purpose that drives you to achieve your goals. When you know why you’re doing something, you have a clear goal to work toward, and that helps you stay motivated when things get tough.

All of these characteristics together make inspiration one of the most powerful forces in the world. When you’re inspired, anything is possible.

What is the difference between a motivational speaker and an inspirational speaker?

The main difference is that motivational speakers focus on the practical steps that must be taken to achieve a goal, whereas inspirational speakers emphasize the power of positive thinking and motivation to achieve success.

Motivational speakers often use stories and examples from their own lives to show how they succeeded despite difficulties. They talk about the strategies they used and advise on how others can apply these techniques in their own lives. Inspirational speakers, on the other hand, may not have as much practical advice to offer, but they can still motivate their audiences by sharing personal anecdotes and lessons from their experiences.

Both motivational and inspirational speakers can be effective in helping people achieve their goals, but ultimately it depends on what each individual is looking for. If someone is looking for concrete steps they can take to improve their life, then a motivational speaker is a better choice. If someone is looking to be inspired and motivated to take action, then an inspirational speaker is probably more effective.

Is motivation better than inspiration?

Some people believe that motivation is better than inspiration, while others believe that inspiration is better than motivation. Both sides have their advantages and disadvantages, and it ultimately depends on the person which is better.

On the one hand, motivation is about willpower and determination. It’s about setting a goal and working towards it until you achieve it. Motivation is about persevering through difficult times and never giving up. This can be very important in life because it can help you achieve great things even when you feel like you can’t.

For example, if you are motivated to lose weight, you will be more likely to stick to your diet and exercise plan even when you feel like giving up. This can lead to great weight loss success over time.

Inspiration, on the other hand, is about having a vision or dream that you want to achieve. It’s about being driven by something bigger than yourself and letting that drive you forward. This can also be very important in life because it can help you achieve great things that you never thought possible.
For example, if you are inspired to become a doctor, you’ll work harder in school and get good grades so that you can eventually become a doctor. Over time, this can lead to great professional success.

Ultimately, it depends on each individual which is better – motivation or inspiration. Some people feel more motivated by willpower and determination, while others are more inspired by a bigger vision or dream they want to achieve. But both are important in life, and both are important to be successful.

How do you motivate and inspire others?

Motivating and inspiring others is a key component to success in any field. Leaders must be able to inspire their followers to achieve great things and accomplish challenging goals. There are many ways to motivate and inspire others, but the most important factor is to understand what makes each tick. Some people are motivated by money, others by recognition and still others by the opportunity to make a difference.

Once a leader understands what motivates someone, they can put a plan in place to inspire them. For example, if a person is motivated by money, the leader might offer them a raise or a promotion. If someone is motivated by recognition, the leader could give him or her an award or publicly praise his or her work.

Regardless of the method, the leader must remain authentic and genuine in his or her efforts. People see through false motivation or inspiration immediately, and this only undermines their confidence and trust in the leader.

Motivating and inspiring others is about providing a sense of purpose and making people feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. When people feel connected to a larger goal, they are more motivated to achieve it. Leaders who tap into this sense of purpose and create an environment where people feel supported and inspired can achieve great things.


In short, motivation and inspiration are two important concepts to understand when it comes to being successful. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the difference between these two concepts and how you can use them to improve your life.

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