Why motivation never lasts but inspiration does?

Each one of us want to perform their best in their respective professions. However, many are not able to, as lethargy sets in or performing the task seems like work. Monday blues are very common and each one of us has felt the same. Each hour seems like burden. ‘Thank God it’s Friday‘ is the last cheer at the end of the week :D

Warren Buffet on the contrary famously tap dances to work. This is true for many others who even after working Sunday’s look forward to the next day. These people often mention that they love their work and it feels like fun. They loose track of time, when performing work activities. They will also mention that they are immensely productive at work and don’t feel like stopping. They feel the passion in their vocation.

Now, what is unique with the second set of people? What makes them tick? They are simply happy and passionate when performing work activities. How can we achieve this state of enjoyment? Can work feel like fun?

1. The right action

Action is the most underrated quality to achieve any goal. A famous saying also endorses this line of thought. It suggests one to spend more time sharpening the AXE. However, action is what gets things done. Don’t overdo the sharpening AXE part. Action is dependent on the reason or motivation to act. There may be many factors which fuel action. They can be intrinsic or extrinsic. For Warren Buffet action is reading, thinking and reflecting. This is what is best for his profession and he correctly recognizes the same. Hence, the right idea of action is very important. Thinking and writing may be the most desired action worth taking for a writer. The below quote rightly emphasizes that action is the genesis to achieving anything great.

2. Motivation is shortlived

I have always felt that motivation is short lived. Why do I say so? Engaging into an activity after only seeing others do well, often leads to dwindling interest over time. It happened with me when I was motivated to learn music after seeing other kids do well in the activity. My parents got me a small ‘Harmonium’ ( it felt like a portable piano to me ). My practice started. However, after a few days I did not feel like continuing. I recognized the signs of loosing interest, when I started missing practice days. The same thing happened later on, when I wanted to obtain a professional certification by studying at home. I purchased books and made a routine. Followed the study routine for a few days. Thereafter started disliking the routine itself and failed to be consistent. The feeling was common in both cases. I had to push myself to practice music and study.

On the contrary, I love to read and write topics related to non-fiction, cryptos, trading, digital marketing, personal finance and technology. I have been reading the above mentioned areas since many years now. Have been investing and trading for more than a decade and it never felt boring. I would come back again and again. I always seemed to find time for the activities I like. Consistency came in automatically, without much efforts. I no longer had to push myself.

3. Intrinsic or extrinsic

Being happy is intrinsic for each one of us. One looses track of time when engaged happily in any activity. It may be as simple as binge watching. Many remain happy and content by pursuing their passions. These may be as diverse as traveling to collecting coins to running a business. Once we approach any task with intrinsic happiness and motivation, creativity blossoms. It is long lasting. Thinking is not cluttered and the path is clearly visible.

On the other hand extrinsic motivation can be achieved by simply observing someone succeed immensely in a field. However, one tends to forget that it may not be the same case for self. Many a times, parents or friends suggest a vocation. These influences are easier to adopt as it is coming from the person you trust. But mind you, the suggestions may not always lead you to a dream future.

It is best to try out many things and then choose something which resonates deeply with you. These make you happy and you can stay engaged hours at end, without getting bored.

4. Inspiration lasts

Being happy creates an environment for inspiration. It truly lasts as it does not feel like work. Everyone must have experienced this feeling once in a lifetime. Many would term it as getting into a flow, wherein one tends to loose track of time. Most of the times, starting is the most difficult part to conquer. With flow, the feeling of satisfaction sets in, which becomes a habitual craving, if experienced consistently. Stacking habits one after the other can be a life changing experience. Few may also mention that they get a kick out of doing something they love.

True inspiration will unleash your creativity. This is what happened with Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Vijay Shekhar Sharma and many others.

5. Getting inspired

One may get inspired in the first instance and find a calling for life. However, this is far from the truth. Most of us would dabble in a lot of professions or activities before we know what is right for us. Hence, the most logical way is to fail often and eliminate the options faster. Make a bucket list of things you want to do and start eliminating them after trying once or twice. Give yourself a reasonable time limit. What remains after these tries should be the one that you can do everyday consistently and with passion.

Getting inspired is like falling in love. You would know it for sure. You would be attracted to it frequently and find yourself engaged with it for long durations. Other activities will be perceived as dry and lacking zest. Close friends would wonder and question your dedication. That is when you know that it is the right path. But refrain from doing anything illegal, as such activities are short-lived and only deliver momentary pleasure.

6. Just start and keep moving forward

Often, taking the first step is the biggest resistance one faces. First 5 minutes are the toughest. Resistance may also occur, if you don’t know where to start or lack the necessary skills/capital. The best way to overcome all of the inertia is to simply start and get in the flow. Start and learn, but keep moving forward. Step by step.

If you are yet to find your passion, don’t stop exploring. Fail faster, so as to eliminate stuff you don’t like. Soon you will find something, which does not feel like work and you can stay at it for hours together, without denting the drive. You will recognize your calling, as it will make you happy and you will look forward to it every day. It feels like falling in love. Trust the process.


Q. What are the types of motivation?

Ans. There are 4 common types of motivation. They are Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, Introjected motivation or negative reinforcement/negative self-talk and Identified motivation or the feeling to execute a task but it is implemented only after the desire is achieved.

Q. What are motivation skills?

Ans. Motivation skills are the ability of someone to trigger a desired behavior of self/other towards pre-determined goals.

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