More often, when challenges persist or the habitual rhythm of day-to-day work sets in, we become apathetic to our work. When we lose basic interest in our work, it leads to disengagement, lower productivity, and hindered creativity. It can be difficult to maintain a consistent flow of enthusiasm during busy seasons with long hours or laborious projects. A great way to overcome this can be to work from a place of inspiration rather than motivation.
When speaking of inspiration, we often confuse it with the word motivation. While the expression of both words usually brings about forward momentum, they’re unique to themselves as explained below:
Motivation is usually something that derives from an external source to push you forward. Whereas inspiration begins with connecting internally to pull you towards progress.
|BASICS FOR COMPARISON||MOTIVATION||INSPIRATION|
|MEANING||Motivation refers to a process of stimulating someone to act in a definite way to achieve a goal||Inspiration is defined as an act of influencing people mentally and emotionally to do something creative.|
|FORCE||Driving force||Pulling force|
|SENSE OF||Resistance||Excitement and effortlessness|
|REASON||Self-imposed or societal expectations, obligations and peer pressure that pushes us to do something.||Natural calling, which comes from deep inside us.|
The Importance of Inspiration
In an article from Harvard Business Review, Scott Barry Kaufman writes, “Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities.” Inspiration is about adding value and purpose back to the workplace. You can work towards creating a space you enjoy that is more than just a 9-5 operation by connecting and reconnecting with your why.
Good professional coaches will not only ask where you want to go, but how that will play into who you want to become. They are looking for you to draw out motivation from a place of significance. Coaches are keenly aware of the power that attaching meaning to our goals or aspirations can affect the hurdles we face.
When I’m faced with an obstacle I feel apathetic towards, I ask myself, “How is this connecting with the larger purpose I am after? How does this help propel me to who I want to evolve into and where I want to be?” This significance could be tied to the clients your work is impacting, your personal development, the advancement of your organization, or perhaps something outside the work you are doing.
As an example, when I was younger, I experienced various learning difficulties. Since working at WinShape Teams, I have discovered the fascination of experiential learning and the breakthroughs it can provide. My interest in shedding light on effective learning in movement grew into something I wanted to pursue. I am currently attending school to receive my bachelor’s degree in the realm of psychology. However, essays, tests, projects, are not always glamorous. Still, I am motivated to press forward because I am inspired by what I am after to accomplish. Starting with inspiration not only increased effortless motivation but also my drive for growth, curiosity, and innovation.
How to Cultivate Inspiration
Discovering what inspires you can be a slow process. It takes dedication of time and energy but doesn’t have to be complicated. You may experience setbacks such as exhaustion, disengagement, and procrastination. Don’t be discouraged. Instead, prioritize taking time to re-inspire yourself. Your inspiration muscle needs exercise and nourishment to flourish, which takes time. This can look like:
|Read a new book||Spend a day hiking||Collaborate with someone|
|Take time to journal||Visit somewhere new||Connect with a Coach|
|Watch a Ted Talk||Go for a run/to the gym||Learn about someone who inspires you|
|Journal a day in your life
5 years from now
|Rearrange your space||Volunteer somewhere|
|Practice mindfulness||Take time to rest||Ask someone about their greatest life lesson|
1. What currently matters most to you and why?
2. What strengths/skills do you currently have?
3. How can you/are you applying them to what you’re doing?
4. What strengths/skills would you like to develop and why?
5. What’s a movement/cause that excites you?
6. What do you want your legacy to be when you’re gone?