Motivation Vs Inspiration: Why We Need Both To Have Success

By Lachlan Haynes

Most people already know how important it is to take action if you want to achieve something - it's a major key to success. But what rarely gets enough attention is the concept of sustained action, or in particular how important your mindset is when it comes to sustaining action long term.

So how do we achieve long term action? Two qualities rank high on the list, consistency and persistence. Not everyone is born with these traits but you do have the ability to learn them. A key tip that can help you learn persistence is to set aside your emotion. We are all very emotional creatures at our core. We experience our ups and downs, sometimes more downs than ups, and it is important to try to set the negative emotions aside to learn persistence. Some other key tips that are worth including are becoming accustomed to succeeding which can be done by setting small goals and meeting them, make small changes which means changing one bad habit at a time, and remember to reward yourself for every accomplishment.

We all know what it's like to feel a burst of motivation and then take that energy and translate it into work. But the problem that arises is we don't always feel motivated. Motivation ebbs and flows, often decreasing when we don't feel happy, or when we face setbacks. Our physiological state also impacts our motivation, as do our results.

When we are feeling our best by eating right, exercising, staying healthy and not getting stressed out, getting enough sleep, and having a healthy social and family life, our emotional health will be positive. These good feelings spill over into the rest of our life. When you get a good grade due to your hard work and motivation, you will feel accomplished and this will carry you through to keep up the good work.

Unfortunately, during times when the opposite is true: we can't get a good night's rest, we have negative relationships that drain us, and we're feeling sluggish - well, these are the moments in our lives when this negativity will express itself in our results as well. Sometimes it may feel like, "what's the point?" or, "this is a waste of time". It's very hard to push through when everything around us seems so bleak.

The good news is that this ability to push through until the negativity subsides is a completely learn-able trait. The most important thing to learn is how to transform those short bursts of activity and motivation into prolonged, repeated action. It's pretty obvious that to accomplish lofty goals, we must compartmentalize our action into smaller steps. So, if you know where you want to be in the big picture, creating a step-by-step directional map will help you devote each day to getting one step closer to that larger goal. If you wanted to climb Mt. Everest, we'd have to begin at the bottom, one sometimes grueling step at a time, wouldn't we? Small, measured movements over an extended period of time would eventually get you to the top. Unless you have super-human powers, no one is going to just speed up to the top in one impressive leap! Prolonged action, repeating the appropriate movements toward smart and strategic goals will find you achieving your goals in no time! Don't let yourself get in your way - because you're the only thing that can stop you.

Enter inspiration, your spiritual guide. While motivation can come in bursts, be harnessed, and become sustained, inspiration comes from some place deeper inside of you. It is something greater and more powerful than you; and it lives inside of each one of us. You can find your inspiration with your desire for change. While motivation is a very powerful tool, it is often tied to a time frame or certain circumstances. It is more of a physical presence rather than an internal entity.

Motivation is a battle; inspiration is the war. It is the difference between taking a quick job at a fast food joint to get a pay check, and taking an internship that will earn us favor in a career that we want to enter into in order to change the world. Both of these goals require ambition to a certain degree, yet it is clear which of the two goals would both require more prolonged action, and end in a bigger, more satisfying payoff. Inspiration will carry you through the tough times - it would carry the student through the internship during moments when the lack of a bigger pay check could really invite some tough times.

Now is your time. You can create the dreams that you desire for yourself and make them into a reality. You can do things you have never considered or thought possible before. You can get into the college of your choice and get the job you have always wanted. You can create something that could help thousands or even millions of people around the world. These dreams require you, your motivation, and your inspiration. They require your sustained long term action with just one step at a time. No matter your current circumstance, you can change it! Only you have that power. Your potential is limitless. What you want and what you believe in is all that truly matters. The only thing you have left to do is ask yourself, what do you believe is possible?

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