Inspiration and Motivation
I’ve thought a lot about inspiration in the last few days. To be perfectly honest, I’d have to say that I’ve been searching for inspiration: inspiration to keep doing the hard work to grow a new business, inspiration to come up with a thought-provoking, pithy blog article, inspiration to clean up my house before the holidays. I keep thinking that it shouldn’t be this hard. And then I realized – I have been confusing inspiration with motivation.
Being inspired is about being “in spirit”, or being connected to your true self, your passions and your desires. It is effortless. Being motivated is about getting yourself fired up to achieve or do something. Being motivated may come from inspiration, but it may also come from feeling an obligation to do something, and may feel, to some degree, like “work”. For example, I do not have a passion for cleaning up my house, but I know it needs to be done before I have family and friends here for the holidays. I need to be motivated to accomplish this task. On the other hand, I love to write blog articles. When I write, it comes from my connection to my own passions and to what inspires me. However, when I start feeling that I need to write a blog article, then I know that I’m not coming from inspiration, but rather from a feeling of obligation, and what I’m really trying to do is get myself motivated to do something that I feel I should do.
Feelings as Clues
My clues that I am not coming from inspiration come from my feelings and emotions: feeling that I need to get motivated, feeling that I am struggling with a task, feeling overwhelmed, feeling obligated. On the other hand, if I am feeling joy, fluid expression, and effortlessness, then I know I’m on the inspiration train! My feelings are great indicators if where I am along this spectrum. So I try to remain aware of how I am experiencing my life – when I am feeling joy, when I am feeling struggle – and then make my conscious choice.
Here’s something to try – if you are having trouble becoming motivated to accomplish a task, find something that inspires you – it can become your assistant. For me, this is music. I can do pretty much anything when I incorporate music into the task!
Mindfulness and Inspiration
Ideally, it would be great if we could be inspired in every moment of our lives, even during those “should” tasks that we think of as monotonous and boring. This is what I think of with regard to mindfulness – being fully present and engaged in each moment, as a reflection of my true self. Experiencing the intrinsic joy of each moment is the true reflection of living an inspired life.
What inspires you?