when looking at these two words you might think, whats the difference both of these words mean the same thing : Motivation | Inspiration.

The answer is NO, they both are not the same thing and definitely do not mean the same thing either. In essence they both work from a very different energy and feel very different as well.


Motivation is what we get, or buy from the outside world, it is more like a desire, we have to give ourselves reasons or reminders to stay motivated, we have to keep remembering what motivated us, the story we chose to believe, it is filled with effort.

The path of motivation is filled with struggle, stress, effort, in one way or the other, you need to put a lot of energy in order to stay motivated, so that you do not feel the brunt of it, and at every mistake you make there is a lot of despair, many a times accompanied by a lot of guilt and shame on our part, or the feeling of… not being good enough because you are not able to do it as someone else.

Because motivation is basically being a copycat, you look at some Idea, something someone is doing and is very successful at doing it, so you think to yourself, if I do it, I will be successful too, and then you start doing it, every time you are faced with a road block, you turn to books, or to observe that person what did he do in a situation like this, why is this ? because the Origin of a motivation is from the mind, it will have all the characteristics of mind only, it can do no better. Mind always seeks answers outside of you.

Because mind basically functions from fear, and the focus point of fear is always outside, the moment the focus point of mind turns inside that is when it converts into Love, and Love is what Inspiration is because the focus of energy in Love is Inside.

In motivation the end goal is the most important thing, the means to reach it does not really matter, which means the journey does not matter, only the end goal does, this is the reason there is so much stress in the world, parents are not worried what their kid is going though on a daily basis, all they are interested in is the report card, that comes at the end of the year, how many marks did you get? this fills the life of a kid with stress, we kill their inspiration, they were born with.


And those children who get used to this mindset, grow up and get into jobs, jobs that pay you high, whether its something that interests you or not, so in childhood you studied for marks and now you are working for the paycheck at the end of the month.

There are a few lucky ones in here as well, those who studied because they loved it, and those who are working in the job they Love to do, if you look at them, they are not stressed, but they are not motivated either, they work from a different energy, that’s ‘Inspiration’.


Inspiration, is what I like to call as in-spirit-action, it comes from your heart, there is no learning required in inspiration, all that is required is the courage to follow the instructions that come to you as and when they do. Learning happens on the way, it is the path.

Normally inspired people never doubt them selves, because they have learned the art of trusting themselves and their ideas, where as people who need motivation, need it (motivation) in the first place because they do not trust themselves.


The beauty of inspiration is, when you act from inspiration it is effortless, not that you do not put any effort, but while you are putting in the effort, you are feeling joy, where as when you act from motivation, you have to push yourself by reminding yourself, what you will get at the end of the journey, where as in inspiration, you enjoy the journey so much you just want to keep going, which ultimately not only makes you reach your goal, it takes you above and beyond your goal, even without you knowing the effort.

Inspired people are usually very calm, and they have a similar effect on the people around them, they experience more of what is called as serotonin (also known as the well being hormone) in their body, on the other hand motivated people are usually in a hurry, stressed and people around them can sense it too, they also experience the rush of adrenaline (stress hormone) in their body.


what do the release of these chemicals define for your body, it defines, that people who are motivated probably do not get a good sleep in the night, where as inspired people sleep like a baby.

Do not think that Motivation does not get you ‘success’ (as defined by the gathering or possession of material gains or name and fame) , you will find a lot of people who live life of motivation are successful, meaning a lot of money, big house, popular etc,.

What I am talking about here is not whether you can become successful with motivation or not, the Idea is both of these energies, motivation and inspiration get you to where you want to go, but one is based on fear and the other is based on love, so the person going through his/her life feeling motivated, will experience all sorts of emotions related to fear like stress, anxiety, worry etc. On the other hand a person living their life through inspiration will experience all kinds of emotions related to love like joy, contentment, peace etc.,

It is like going from India to Australia on a flight, a person traveling in fear energy will experience delays, frustration, fights for their own seat, stress etc,. on the journey. On the other hand a person traveling in love energy will experience joy of flying, flight on time, special upgrade to first class etc,. on their journey… at the end of the day if you look at them from outside, both of them reached their destination, but one is refreshed at the end of it, while the other is… you get the picture.

One more thing: it is not that the person experiencing life in love energy (inspiration) will never get flight delays, but it will only be a blessing in disguise for them and not frustrate them.

Now you might be thinking… how do I figure out do I live from Motivation or Inspiration here are a few ways to find out…

for those who figured it out already congratulations!!! you can directly scroll down to the end of this page and please share this article with your friends.

While those of you who like to understand a bit more below are a few guidelines…


  1. On the energy level there is one way a very clear way to find out the difference between Motivation and Inspiration, and that is using your feelings: Motivation will feel ‘heavy‘, where as Inspiration will feel ‘light‘. think of it like a red light or green light, when ever you are thinking of something or planning to do something, and it feels ‘heavy’, its a red light meaning you need to do some thinking still. where as if it feels ‘light’, its a green signal, drive away.
  2. if its motivation, You ‘HAVE TO’ give a lot of reasons for yourself to do it, but if its Inspiration, you will look forward to it, like Steve Jobs said: Your dreams need to pull you out of your bed not push you. Let Inspiration pull you towards living your life and not push you to experience your life.
  3. Motivation is mostly copied, its somebody else’s idea you stole, and you are simply copy pasting it in your life, no creativity there. Whereas Inspiration is always original. You might have got this idea by looking at someone else’s work, but it becomes original when you get pulled towards it and you make it better.
  4. Motivation seems like a lot of effort, Inspiration is Effortless.
  5. You need reminders (motivation), You do not need reminders (inspiration) because you never forget it.
  6. It feels like work (motivation), it is playful (Inspiration).
  7. You always follow a plan, no room for change(motivation), You follow the plan but surprises are welcomed too.
  8. I have to win at all costs (motivation), win-win is the key (Inspiration)
  9. You try to motivate others by showing them the end of the road (motivation), You inspire others by asking questions to be honest with them selves so they become more clear in knowing why they are doing, what they are doing (inspiration)
  10. You tell yourself what to do, You ask yourself what to do.


Quick Cheat Sheet: Motivation VS Inspiration

Motivation Inspiration
Will feel ‘heavy‘. Will feel ‘light‘.
I have to do this, I have to Win, at all costs. I love doing this, so should others, win-win.
Copy Paste the Idea. How do I better this Idea.
Lot of effort goes into, I work very hard. It’s effortless, I enjoy my work.
I always forget, its frustrating. I always remember, its easy.
I need a plan to succeed, no room for errors. I plan and flow, mistakes help me grow, I am successful.
I have to do this. What should I do now?

Now if you are thinking what can you do to increase Inspiration in your life, here is what I recommend:

  1. Learn the art of inquiry, at any crucial decision making time ask your self, how does this feel? Heavy or Light?. For example: what Ice cream should I eat now? Vanilla or chocolate? which one feels light?
  2. Develop the practice of Meditation, helps you experience the feeling of ‘light’ and the feeling of ‘effortlessness’ with your eyes closed, so you can differentiate it when you are living your life with open eyes.
  3. Read books or watch videos that help you understand your true nature which is ‘light’. books by authors like: Louise hay, Abraham Hicks, Bruce Lipton, Wayne Dyer, Richard Bach, OSHO, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Parmahamsa Yogananda, Monish Dhawan, and many many more.

May you find your Inspiration in Life.

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and those who need help in finding Inspiration for yourself or your organization get in touch with me.

Be G(o)od,

Monish Dhawan.


P.s: For those of you who are in Delhi do look at this Page I am coming to Delhi this June 17th 2017 for my Workshop : Click Here

6 thoughts on “Motivation VS Inspiration

  1. ADITI mishra says:

    Very well explained Monish… We really need to realise the importance of mental peace…how important it is to have balanced energy…I feel sometimes I am inspired and sometimes motivated..will try to practice your advices 🙂 🙂

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  4. It’s rare to find come across a post like this, that shows the author thinks outside the box! You definitely made me think! Thank You-I wouldn’t have considered things this way otherwise. I have to share this…

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