What is the Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration

The main difference between motivation and inspiration is that motivation usually involves an outside force, whereas inspiration comes from within.

Both motivation and inspiration can drive our actions. They have the ability to completely change our lives. Furthermore, these are two closely related words. Although most of us use these two nouns interchangeably, there is a slight difference between motivation and inspiration.

What is Motivation

The noun motivation comes from the noun motive – something like need or desire that causes a person to act. Motivation can be defined as “the stimulation of any emotion or desire operating upon one’s will and promoting or driving it to action.” It initiates, guides, and maintains behaviour that is goal-oriented. It causes people to act – whether switching off the television or changing your career path. In fact, motivation is the driving force behind our actions. In other words, it can energize a person and compels him/her to act in a certain way.

There are different types of motivation. Positive motivation is based on rewards. For example, in a workplace, employees may work hard if they are offered incentives. We also call this type of motivation incentive motivation. The other type of motivation is negative motivation. Negative motivation is based on fear or force. Fear of something causes people to act in a certain way. For example, in an office, employees may achieve their target because they are afraid of being fired or getting a demotion. It’s also important to know that motivation is often short-term.

What is Inspiration

Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something artistic and creative. Inspiration usually comes within you. It stimulates the mind and stirs the body into action. When you are inspired, you will do what needs to be done willingly and naturally. There’s no need for an outside force to compel you to do something.

Unlike motivation, which often tends to be short term, inspiration is a deep and lengthy process. For artists and creative people, inspiration can originate from various sources like nature, music, books, etc.

Relationship Between Motivation and Inspiration

  • Both motivation and inspiration are two closely related words.
  • Furthermore, they have the ability to completely change lives as they drive us to actions.
  • Most people tend to use these two words interchangeably.

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