Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration

Motivation vs Inspiration

We often hear about motivational speakers and inspirational captains and leaders. Motivational speakers try to motivate us to think positively and rid negativity. On the other hand, there are characters that show greatness in adversity and prove to be an inspiration for their followers. There are lots of people who think that motivation and inspiration are synonyms and that there is no difference between the two. It is true that motivation is close to inspiration in meaning, in certain contexts, but it is also true that there are subtle differences that will be talked about in this article.


They say motivation is what makes you work hard to get to the top. You work hard in your class to get top grades and thus get the praise of your teachers, peers and parents. Their praise works as an incentive for you to work hard. A man works hard to earn the bread for his family so as to make ends meet, and happiness and comfort of the family members is what keeps him motivated. What do you say abut a man who is at the helm of his career, in his chosen profession, and keeps on doing what he has been doing for years? What keeps him motivated? This is a question hard to answer, but one thing is certain, and that is the necessity of motivation to succeed in life. A man having no motivation in life is doomed to fail. Motivation often comes from outside though the motivation to excel in a hobby or profession is inherent or comes from within. At the most basic level, a man is motivated to do something to satisfy his basic needs like hunger, shelter, and clothes. A man’s behavior and endeavors are directed by his motivation.


A child is inspired by his hard working father who is working to fulfill the needs of his family; also, his mother’s honesty and love for the family. He too decides to become a caring and loving parent. When a child gets to learn about great men from the past and their deeds, he gets inspired to follow the footsteps of such men. These great men inspire him to work hard. He learns many attributes and values form these men and women. However, no matter how much a child is told about the greatness of people from the past, inspiration is a feeling that comes from within, and for different people, inspirational characters are different. Some have great political leaders from the past as their inspiration; some find great players inspirational, and some are inspired by actors. Inspiration is only a feeling, and it gives direction to an individual in difficult times to keep him motivated.


What is the difference between Motivation and Inspiration?

• Inspiration is bigger and lasts longer than motivation.

• Inspiration comes from within while motivation comes from outside.

• Inspiration is often the cause of motivation.

• When a man is inspired, a force works from within and drives him to be better at what he is doing, win games, and to earn more to fulfill the needs of his family, and so on.