The Key Differences Between Inspiration and Motivation

Inspiration is more a person reaching a point of wanting to act, whereas, motivation is more of giving people reasons to act. That’s the difference between babysitting and empowerment, incentives or influence, fire-starters and fire extinguishers. There is a need for both inspiration and motivation.

Good managers frequently take on the role of a coach when it comes to encouraging employees to produce their best work. They understand that in order to get the best performance out of their team members, they need a leader who sets a good example and provides the tools they need to succeed. As a result, a lot of managers concentrate on motivating and inspiring their staff. Just one issue: Far too many people mistakenly believe that inspiration and motivation are essentially the same thing. Well, they arent. And by understanding how to capitalize on what makes them unique, your team will have a greater chance of achieving long-term success.

Inspiration vs. Motivation | Chris Baca

Tips for inspiring others

By inspiring those around you, you can have a positive impact in the workplace. You can use the following advice as a guide to motivate others:

What is inspiration?

The process of motivating someone to feel a certain way or want to do something is known as inspiration. Although it can happen in a variety of circumstances, this idea is frequently connected with creative endeavors. For instance, inspiration at work can motivate people to adopt new habits or come up with new ideas. While individuals can motivate others, motivation usually comes from within. Someone may be moved to action by something they see or hear if it resonates with their values, emotions, or desires.

What is motivation?

Giving someone a reason to do something is known as motivating them. Because the person is forced to act by outside forces, this idea functions as a more deliberate process than inspiration. However, internal elements, like individual objectives or values, can also act as motivators. People may require motivation in the workplace to complete a task. They might feel like a valuable team member after completing that task, which is an example of internal or intrinsic motivation. Additionally, they may be inspired by extrinsic or external factors, such as the praise or affirmation of their managers.

Tips for motivating others

When you employ motivation at work, you compel those around you to act a certain way or take action. You can use the following advice as a guide to inspire others:

Key differences between inspiration and motivation

People sometimes think inspiration and motivation have the same meaning. While both ideas encourage people to act or accomplish goals, there are a few small differences between them. These differences include:


On a basic level, inspiration and motivation have different definitions. Inspiration is a force that motivates people to act, frequently by connecting with their emotions or values. Additionally, it might give them ideas for things they should do or create. Giving someone a reason to act is known as motivating them, and it is frequently used as a form of persuasion.


Motivation represents a pushing force. As previously stated, something is pressuring the person to take or carry out a particular action. These forces may include internal or external expectations or rewards. Meanwhile, inspiration represents a pulling force. Inspiration connects with something inside the person that makes them want to take a specific action or move in a certain direction, rather than pushing them. They are pursuing their own rewards rather than conforming to others’ expectations.


Motivation can come from internal or external sources. In intrinsic motivation, something internal pushes you to act. For instance, you might agree to volunteer for a task because you find it enjoyable. In extrinsic motivation, external factors persuade your actions. In this case, you might volunteer to take on a task at work in order to win your boss’s respect or recognition. Both types of motivation give us reasons to act, but they come from different sources.

Meanwhile, inspiration comes from internal sources. While inspiration from the outside can be helpful, the urge to act usually results from feelings or desires inside. One might watch a documentary about how litter harms animal populations, for instance. As a result, they might be motivated to come up with ideas for improving their company’s sustainability and lowering its environmental impact. Although no one is pressuring them, they should carry out this mission because it is in line with their values and would make them feel good.


Motivation is sometimes associated with the feeling of resistance. For some reason, a person finds it difficult to carry out or commit to an action and requires additional encouragement. Once more, motivation provides that push and a specific reason for them to take action. For instance, a person might struggle to finish a difficult task at work. They might promise themselves a reward if they finish it in an hour to spur them on. They give themselves this encouragement so they have a reason to keep working and persevere through the hardship.

Inspiration frequently occurs naturally or without much thought, as was previously stated. Therefore, since excitement prompts ideas or actions in people, this idea may be connected to the emotion of excitement. They can draw inspiration from a variety of sources, and they can never predict when inspiration will strike, which can be thrilling. For instance, talking to a friend about their new job may motivate someone to make their own attempt at a career change. They did not anticipate this outcome, but now they have fresh opportunities or objectives to pursue.


Motivation is often tied to deliberate actions. For instance, pursuing a promotion might inspire someone to enroll in a particular training program or take on additional duties at work. External forces are purposefully pushing the person in a certain direction or toward a certain action. Meanwhile, inspiration often occurs spontaneously. For instance, while out walking, a fashion designer might see a flower that serves as the inspiration for their upcoming line. Although the person who planted that flower had no intention of inspiring anyone, something about it somehow managed to appeal to the designer’s creative aspirations.

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