Difference Between Aspiration and Inspiration

Aspiration vs Inspiration

Aspiration and inspiration are two different words and there is some difference between them in meaning, even though they sound quite similar. Aspiration refers to hope and ambition. We all have dreams about the future. These are our aspirations. Inspiration, on the other hand, refers to the urge to feel or do something. As human beings, we are inspired by people and different things that surround us. It can be books, movies, songs, and even pictures. These motivate us and shape our aspirations.

What does Aspiration mean?

First when examining the concept of aspiration, it can be interpreted as a hope or ambition for the future. A person who aspires to be someone in the future, dreams of fulfilling this aspiration. This allows the person to imagine what his or her future would be like. It is this image of the future that the individual strives to achieve. For example, when a person says ‘I aspire to be a ballerina one day’, this highlights that the person is motivated towards acquiring a particular role in the future. It is this image that forms the aspiration and also fuels it. When people aspire to achieve certain careers or statuses, it is often followed by a process of activities and plans. It is through the fulfillment of these activities that the person gets the opportunity to make his aspiration a reality. Overall, an aspiration can also be understood as a strong urge to achieve something.

Difference Between Aspiration and Inspiration

I aspire to be a ballerina one day

What does Inspiration mean?

Inspiration, however, cannot be interpreted as an ambition. On the contrary, inspiration can lead to an ambition or hope. In this sense, it can be defined as an urge to do something. It is something that comes from within the individual and triggers aspiration. Many things can inspire people. Nature, people, music are some of the sources of inspiration. For example, take the case of a poet who enjoys the true beauty of nature that he writes a poem about the scenic beauty. In this example, it is the nature that operates as the inspiration for his literary work. It has the potential to trigger something within the individual, making him engage in a work of creativity. People can also become inspirations to others. Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi are some examples for people who have been able to inspire a thousand lives. However, it does not have to be famous characters always. Sometimes our parents, friends, teachers, peers can also inspire us. This inspiration is triggered due to a specific characteristic, course of action, personality of the individual. In some cases, inspiration can lead to aspiration. For example, a child, who watches a News programme on the television, can become inspired by a journalist that he also aspires to be one in the future.

Aspiration vs Inspiration

Mother Theresa is an inspiration.

What is the difference between Aspiration and Inspiration?

• Aspiration refers to an ambition whereas inspiration refers to the urge to do something.

• Aspiration motivates an individual to achieve it in the future, whereas inspiration works as the trigger for aspirations.

• Inspiration comes from within the individual and aspiration focuses this energy towards goals in the future.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Ballerina by Scillystuff (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. Mother Theresa by Túrelio (CC BY-SA 2.0 de)