Difference Between Motivation And Inspiration

Difference Between Motivation And Inspiration

All people need some motivation and inspiration at some point in time in life. Many people might think that these two disciplines are more or less the same thing, but they are entirely different concepts. While motivation is usually from an external source in an external environment, inspiration comes from within. There is a saying that goes “Motivation is of the ego, and inspiration is of the soul.”

Definition of Motivation –

In simple terms, Motivation is a few things that come from an external source, it may be our results of hard work, recognition, or some quiet respect, appreciation, etc whereas Inspiration is internal, a deep desire which emerged inside us, call from deep within us.

The incentive theory distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the thing that attracts us to new challenges, the thing that makes us feel the need to gain new knowledge and realize just how capable we are, as well as research our boundaries.

Motivation compels us to set our goals on the idea of the things we feel we should always be doing. It involves diverse forces like psychological, biological, social, etc. that intensifies one’s emotions like needs, desires, and hopes to stimulate them to require action which is able to lead to the achievement of a short-term goal. Motivation is simply a short-lived concept. It is due to several reasons, obligations or expectations and peer pressure that pushes us forward for some time.

Definition of Inspiration –

Inspiration is the emotion or feeling which is based on some experience, aspirations that make us feel better if we do or achieve it, and we make time for it and make it our priority. It is more a person reaching a point of wanting to act, whereas, motivation is more of giving people reasons to act.

Actually, the term ‘inspiration’ simply refers to an influencing or arousing process that stimulates people mentally and emotionally, to try and do something creative or extraordinary. When someone really wants to try to do something different, the need of doing it comes from within. The urge is based on the worth system, beliefs, life experiences, preferences imaginations, aspirations, and similar other sense that produces us feel better if we do or achieve it. Inspiration technically means something which inspires one to act, think, or take some action.

Inspiration is the sudden burst of creativity and productivity triggered by either our own personality or something that resonated well with our personality, evoking inspiration. In different areas, inspiration can carry different meanings, so there are artistic, psychological, biblical, creative, etc. It is like self-realization of benefits (which give self-satisfaction for a long time) of some work maybe by watching other stories, by listening to others’ predictions and by self prediction.

Key Differences between Motivation and Inspiration –

The difference between motivation and inspiration can be clearly understood by referring to the following points:


  • Motivation is the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something.
  • Motivation comes from external sources whereas inspiration is born from inside.
  • Motivation refers to a process of stimulating someone to act in a definite way to achieve a goal.
  • Motivation also originated from the Latin word ‘movere’ which means to move. It describes an external agent that moves a body or makes a person to act in some way.
  • Motivation is something that impels or persuades people to take action, and there is a sense of resistance and competitiveness.
  • Motivation generally comes from the outside external forces that cause us to feel like doing something, or not feel like doing something.
  • Motivation makes us ‘feel’ good when it’s there; it makes us ‘feel’ bad when it’s missing.
  • Motivation is a deliberate or planned instinct to take a step.


  • Inspiration means in spirit. It is a powerful state in these people can do anything.
  • Inspiration is an inside aspect that compels one to act in a certain manner.
  • Inspiration is defined as an act of influencing people mentally and emotionally to do something creative.
  • Inspiration is what pulls people towards something, and it has a sense of excitement and effortlessness.
  • Inspiration comes from the inside. It gets to the core of what drives you.
  • Inspiration doesn’t alternate between making us feel one way or another; it’s consistent.
  • Inspiration which involves a natural and organic call from deep within us.

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. Motivation has been extensively researched and is a very active scientific area, whereas inspiration hasn’t been researched much further since Carl Gustav Jung tried to define it.

Along with motivation, it’s also important to chase inspiration. See, our motivation is already out there. Regardless of what it’s in our life that we simply are trying to find, it’s already out there. It can be a job, a house, or the thought of being the simplest athlete. The opportunities are there, it just comes all the way down to what we are willing to try to do so as to achieve them.


Information Sources: