Inspired? Or Motivated?

On my run last night I noticed there were more people than usual out getting their fitness on. Wonder if they were inspired by the unseasonably warm weather or maybe motivated by that New Year’s resolution?

Are inspiration and motivation the same thing - interchangeable? Are they just words? I think not. Words and their meanings have an undeniable effect on the way we feel, the way we behave and the way we think.

We can use our words to hurt or heal. We can learn to use words as positive forces in our life or negative ones - to work for us or against us. Words and how we use them can help us reach our goals or sabotage us before we get going good.

The plethora of information out there on motivation can be overwhelming and downright discouraging. And inspiration is bottled and sold these days like snake oil. How do you know what is real and what is hooey? Or who is authentic and who ain’t the real McCoy?

Inspiration is an ah-ha moment that may or may not motivate you into action. Inspiration happens when something or someone enlivens you emotionally to feel something extraordinary. That feeling often is as if life is being breathed into you.

Unfortunately, that in and of itself does not last - like a jolt of caffeine. So now what? If you decide you want to act on that inspiration, you need motivation to outlast - after the buzz wears off.

Deepak Chopra says, "Instead of motivation look for inspiration. Inspiration comes from the same word as spirit. When you are inspired, the spirit moves you."

And the first person you have to inspire everyday is yourself!

But, what about when you’re not feeling inspired? It’s 5:30 a.m., it’s 37 degrees and dark, I’m not inspired to get out of bed for that run. Can I motivate myself up and at ‘em? Fortunately, the answer is yes.

Motivation is not something we just have or don’t have. Motivation is specific behaviors - usually better if small - we build in to our day that, if we’ve planned accordingly, will lead to success. These usually are measurable, dynamic and action-oriented. Motivation can come from external sources or internal ones. So find help when you need it.

Think of inspiration as the 100-dash and motivation as the marathon. You need to prepare for the long-haul to create lasting, life-style change that is full of freedom and possibility.

What is motivating you?

What is inspiring you?

Follow it !