As a writer of two books in the self-improvement genre, I’ve heard numerous questions from my audiences about how one can improve themselves. But no one had ever asked something so peculiar. I’ll transcribe the submitted question verbatim.
“There is so much talk about motivation everywhere. There are motivational speakers a dime-a-dozen and they all want to inspire us. My question is, what is the difference between being motivated and being inspired, or are they the same?”

Before I present my views on a question like this, I would first like to point out how the modern day motivation has transformed over decades and then I would like to address the key distinction between being motivated and being inspired.

In my quest of motivational videos and lectures on Youtube® I devoured lectures from speakers of the 30’s—when the wave of the motivation industry was starting to emerge—to the most recent posted lectures by motivational speakers. The time when renowned speakers like Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar to name a few, had an astronomical emphasis on one thing—creating wealth. They wrote and spoke primarily about how to become a successful in making money, practices to triple your income, strategies for wealth and happiness. Juxtapose the motivational teaching of the generation from 1930’s with today’s motivational speakers, and I find a stark difference. The focus of the modern day gurus like Tony Robbins, Robin Sharma, and the iconic Oprah is motivating people to find meaning, to find purpose of their life. The notion of just creating wealth in one’s life has taken a back seat. This is not to say that we don’t want to learn how to triple our income or become wealthy. Wealth is still important for many of us, it just fell a few rungs down the ladder when it came to what is more important to many of us. The evidence of this is in the millennial generation not falling in the footsteps of the baby-boomers and giving their entire life to one company to make a paycheck and enjoying the perks of retirement. Today’s millennials hop from one job to another because they quickly experience discontentment in their profession. The plethora of apps, products, and services using modern technology is evidence of how millennials are keen on doing something other than work an eight-to-five. There is no doubt that today we have motivational speakers a dime-a-dozen but it’s also important to note the difference on what they’re focus on teaching us.

Coming on to the question about the difference between motivation and inspiration? Or are they both same? The root of the word motivation is in the latin word “movere.” It literally means to move. To take action is to be motivated. However, inspiration the origin of which is also latin word “inspirato” meaning in-spirit. I believe we can look at these two as a cause-and-effect. When you feel something from within, when you feel it in your spirit, you’re inspired. Inspiration is the driver that causes you to take action and act upon whatever it is that you feel inspired to do. For most of us, we use the two words “motivation” and “inspiration” interchangeably. But truly they’re very distinct. So next time when you’re reading the success story of an entrepreneur ask you’re self: Am I motivated or inspired? Watch video question and answers series on this topic.

Author's Bio: 

Kit Gupta is an author, speaker in the self-development genre. He writes and speaks to audience from various backgrounds around the world. He hosts changemakers, influencers, and entrepreneurs on his talk program

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