Motivation vs Inspiration: Difference and Comparison

There are many motivational and inspirational quotes we hear all the time. In our daily lives, we use the words motivation and inspiration frequently. They are often lumped together.

It seems that many people believe motivation and inspiration are indistinguishable. In reality, they are two entirely different words with different meanings.

Key Takeaways

  1. Motivation drives goal-directed behavior, while inspiration is a sudden creative idea or emotional influence.
  2. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic, depending on the source, whereas inspiration often comes from external sources like people, events, or art.
  3. Motivation helps sustain effort and persistence, while inspiration ignites creativity and novel thinking.

Inspiration vs Motivation 

Motivation is the driving force that drives us to act. It motivates us to start doing in a certain way and offers us a cause for our activities. Inspiration is more of a condition of being that provides us with a means of influencing others. It is founded on our ideals, imagination, and experiences.

Inspiration vs Motivation

Human behavior is influenced by motivation. It promotes competitive behavior and fosters social connections. A lack of it can lead to mental illnesses such as depression.


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A person’s motivation comes from their desire to live a meaningful and purposeful life.

Being inspired is a mental process that stimulates us to think or feel something, particularly something creative.

An individual who calls someone or something good an inspiration means that they make them want to accomplish something. Inspiration is the driving force.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMotivationInspiration
DefinitionMotivating someone refers to getting them to act in a specific way to achieve a goal.Inspiration occurs when we are moved to become creative by influencing our minds and emotions.
Factors that affectExternal factorsInternal factors
ForcePushing forcePulling force
PeriodShort termLong term
NatureCompelling in naturePropelling in nature
DriveDeliberate drive to do work.Spontaneous drive to do work.
ReasonsPeer pressure, deadlines, expectations.Comes from within.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is a process of inspiring and maintaining behavior that is intended to achieve a goal. Motivated individuals strive to achieve their goals. To achieve one’s goals, motivation is crucial.

Behavior is activated by a combination of biological, emotional, social, and cognitive factors. People frequently use the term “motivation” to describe why they do something in everyday life.

Human actions are driven by this force. The concept of motivation encompasses more than just the factors that motivate one to act. Indirect motivations are also involved in goal-directed behavior, although they are not directly visible.

Thus, we are often forced to infer the reasons behind the actions of people by observing their behaviors.

Motivation is an instrumental part of an organization’s success. For a company to achieve its goals requires physical and financial resources. By motivating your employees, you can make better use of their resources.

Increasing the willingness of employees to work is one way to achieve this. As a result, enterprises will be able to make the most of their resources.

Their qualifications and abilities do not solely influence the status of subordinates and employees. Subordinates can perform at their best by filling the gap between capability and willingness. Motivating an employee can help fill this gap.


What is Inspiration?

Inspiration occurs when one is inspired to do or feel something, especially when one is inspired to create something. We use it when we are working towards our goals. Inspiration comes from the fact that our work has meaning.

By transcending our ordinary experiences and limitations, inspiration allows us to see new possibilities.

The power of inspiration can inspire a person to step outside of apathy and into possibility, changing their mindset and perception of their capabilities. The elusive nature of inspiration may sometimes give it away to those seeking it.

As a result of its history of being treated as supernatural or divine, the situation has not improved. Research has shown that inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, thus having a huge impact on the quality of life.

You are inspired to want something deeply, and you create time and priority for it. It is a spontaneous impulse. You truly want something you have a deep desire to achieve, and you are continually committed to having it.

The loss of inspiration is one of the most common phenomena of our modern age. People sometimes lose their inspiration because they forget why they are working on a particular task or project.

Looking at the goals can resolve this problem. As soon as someone sees how the task they are working on will assist them in achieving their goals, it is easier for them to regain the lost inspiration.

Other ways to regain inspiration include taking a break, taking deep breaths, and taking a long walk.


Main Differences Between Motivation and Inspiration

  1. A person’s motivation is the external force that drives them to achieve their goals, while inspiration is the impulse within that drives them to achieve something creative.
  2. Motivation comes from external factors, such as peer pressure and deadlines, while inspiration comes from internal factors.
  3. Motivating forces push one to accomplish a task, while inspiring forces pull one to do something.
  4. A motivated person will be compelled to complete their work, whereas an inspired person will be driven to work towards his goals.
  5. Motivation occurs on a short-term basis, while inspiration occurs over a long period.
Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration

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