Inspiration is more than motivation.
Inspiration is greater and more powerful than motivation. A person can be motivated by a number of factors. Fear is a common motivator, and so is money or other rewards. Guilt, or a sense of duty or obligation can also be a motivator.
Inspiration, however, is birthed from passion. True inspiration only comes from real desire and sincere commitment. A person who is inspired really cares about and believes in something. A person who is inspired demonstrates excitement, dedication and loyalty.
Countless people show up to work everyday merely because they are motivated by a paycheck and the possibility of a raise or promotion. Some people choose to take care of their health primarily because they are motivated by the fear of having a second heart attack or worsening symptoms of diabetes. Many people contribute to a charitable cause because they are motivated by a sense of guilt or obligation.
These people don’t often make much of a difference. Nothing significant comes out of their pursuits as a result of these kinds of motivators. And this kind of motivation doesn’t usually last.
Inspiration, unlike motivation, is real and enduring. True inspiration is invaluable – if you can truly inspire those whom you lead, everyone will win!
Let me ask you a question: how can you expect to inspire someone – to plant a seed in them that grows into passion – if you lack passion and inspiration yourself? Just like a religious adherent won’t meet much success in converting someone to their religion if they don’t really believe in it themselves, if you lack inspiration, you cannot inspire someone else.
Another point: “You only inspire people if you value people.” Those aren’t my words, they are from the renowned speaker and bestselling author John Maxwell. He goes on to explain,
“You see, it’s the value that brings value to inspiration. When I devalue a person, I won’t inspire them – I’ll talk down to them, I’ll be cynical. When I devalue a situation or experience, I won’t be excited about it – I’ll be bored with it. Inspiring people is very simple… it’s the essence of valuing the people that you lead.”
Wow. Let me repeat that: “Inspiring people is very simple… it’s the essence of valuing the people that you lead.”
Back to the proselytizing example – even if that religious adherent is a true believer in his or her religion, if they don’t actually care about other people and whether or not they are converted, then they almost certainly will not succeed.
So, what are the keys to inspiring someone?
- First, be inspired yourself – care about it!
- Second, be inspired to inspire other people – care about them!
With these two foundational elements, I can guarantee you will meet with greater success in your quest to inspire those around you!
Discussion: Can you give an example of a time when you were inspired by someone – or when you were able to inspire someone else?