Motivation vs. Inspiration

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Motivation vs. Inspiration An important topic of discussion within many organizations is the difference between motivation and inspiration. For some, the two are synonymous. For others there are significant differences. The difference between inspiration and motivation is that inspiration comes from within, whereas motivation comes from without. Motivation relies on external factors, such as the promise of rewards and the incentive of personal gain, and as such, it is short-lived and unsustainable. Once fulfilled, the employees will replace their motivation with another form of dissatisfaction, and so on, in a never-ending cycle of want. The company ends up with a bunch of employees that are almost always unhappy and certainly rarely give a hundred percent. “Inspiration on the other hand comes from within – the desire to put one’s heart and soul into the company, not because of greed or what one could get out of it while still employed there, but because one has a sense of belonging to the place and a sense of achievement when the company succeeds. Inspiration therefore, is key to the company’s lasting success” (Anwar, 2008). Motivation is like using a push mower. To motivate the lawnmower, you must get behind it and push. If you stop pushing, the lawnmower stops going. To get it to go again, you must push again. At the end, the lawn is mown and looks great, but you are tired, sweating and putting off mowing again as long as you can. Inspiration is like using a self propelled lawnmower. The lawnmower knows its job and self propelled to finish it. At the end, the lawn is mowed, looks great and you aren’t tired. You’re ready for something else and you don’t dread the next time you have to cut your grass (“Motivation vs. Inspiration”, 2007). Relating this to employees is simple: motivating them will achieve a great result, but you have to get

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