Inspiration Versus Motivation

I thought I’d start the new year with a couple of inspirational and motivational quotes.

This led me to the question of are these two words interchangeable.

A lot of us throw the words inspirational and motivational around a lot, so I decided to do a bit of research on their meanings.

The keyword search for the difference between the two is such a common one that HuffPost has an article on it.

If you weren’t aware, there’s quite a big difference between the two terms. They’re definitely not interchangeable.

Inspiration means to be inspired from within.

The catalyst for inspiration may be an innate feeling from youth or it can be from something external.

If you are inspired to write, you will be naturally motivated to write and you will willingly take the necessary steps to achieve your goal.

An example of an external catalyst is from when I was a young teenager. I would go to Storm King Mountain in Cornwall, New York (in the Hudson Valley area) with my aunt and uncle. On one hiking trip in the fall, the colors were breathtaking. It inspired me to write one of my first poems, Trees.

According to the site DifferenceBetween, the word ‘inspiration’ comes from a Latin word (inspirare) which means “to breathe into.” The article goes on to say that ‘inspire’ is kind of an “‘inner awakening,’ a sudden burst of creativity and productivity that was triggered by something.”

The catalyst could be anything, a song, a book, a piece of art. For me it was the trees in Upstate New York.

Inspiration has nothing to do with seeking rewards or avoiding something. There are no positives or negatives involved. It’s a strong feeling from within that motivates you to take action, that forces you to take action.

Motivation on the other hand comes from a Latin word (motivus) that means “moving.”

Motivation propels us forward to reach our goals.

There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. (1)

Intrinsic motivation is when you’re willing do something without the expectation of an external reward.

Examples of intrinsic motivation:

  • Eating healthy because you want to live healthy
  • Dieting because you want to lose weight
  • Writing because you love to write
  • Volunteering or helping others because it makes you feel good

Extrinsic motivation is when you’re willing to do something for an anticipated external reward or to avoid a punishment or judgement.

Examples of extrinsic motivation:

  • Going to work because you want to make money
  • Helping others because you want recognition or praise
  • Buying expensive jewelry to impress others
  • Doing something or acting a certain way to avoid judgement

Okay, I got a little carried away here, but at least you should now know the difference between inspirational and motivational.

On to 20 inspirational and motivational New Year quotes for 2020:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“The most successful people in the world have an
insatiable hunger to do more, be more, give more, and create more.”
~ Tony Robbins

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes if permanent.”
~ Marilyn VosSavant

“Optimists are the most skillful manipulators of reality.”
Robert Arnot, M.D., The Biology of Success

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
~ Mark Twain

“Some people have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.”
~ Willis R. Whitney

“I have NOT failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
~ Thomas A. Edision

“Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer.”
~ Louise Hay

“Life is too short for shoes that hurt your feet, friends that make you feel bad about yourself, and jobs that crush your soul.
Take a chance. Make a change. The time is now.”
~ Lisa Lewtan

“There are only two days in the year on which nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.”
~ Dalai Lama

“The harder I work, the luckier I get”
~ Samuel Goldwyn

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
~ Alan Kay

“I would rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
~ Lucille Ball

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ― Anne Frank

“It’s always too soon to quit!”
~ Norman Vincent Peale

“Thankfully, perseverance is a good substitute for talent.”
~ Steve Martin

“Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts.”
~ Coleman Cox

Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off. — Ellen DeGeneres

“Laughter is timeless,
imagination has no age,
and dreams are forever.”
Walt Disney

“Four things you can’t recover:
The stone … after the throw.
The word … after it’s said.
The occasion … after it’s missed.
The time … after it’s gone.”
The trust … after it’s gone. (I added the fifth)
~ Unknown Author

Come on back next week – I have another 80 inspirational, motivational, and writing quotes to keep you on the right track!

Additional Sources:

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