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Episode 54– Why I Don’t Believe In Inspiration Or Motivation

I don’t believe in inspiration. At least not in the way most people think about it. Nor do I believe in ‘getting motivated’.

I realize those are pretty strong statements. Especially given all the motivational speaking that goes on out there.

So why am I not a believer?

Let’s look at how most people use ‘inspiration’ or think about ‘motivation’.

Almost everyone likes to fantasize about how their lives could be different or better.

Every now and then I think I want to start training and have a really hot body and I look at some fitness hashtags on Instagram and I start thinking – yes I can do that! Imagine how amazing that would be!

But then what happens after maybe 24 hours?

Nothing. Nothing happens at all.

Why is this?

Because inspiration or motivation is about changing your state

It’s about changing your feelings about something in the moment.

It’s temporary.

The only way it’s actually going to work is if I genuinely wanted that outcome enough to DO something about it.

Which, if I’m honest with myself, at least right now, for that example, I don’t.

I just like to imagine that I want to do that.

But really, I’m just playing mental games with myself.

I want the outcome, but not the process of getting there.

And a lot of people do that when they think about areas of life that come with a bit of juice.

Like entrepreneurship (which is connected to ego and success), relationships, having a sexy bod etc.

The truth is we can only truly motivate or inspire ourselves when we already want something enough to do the work

I believe there are three overarching success factors in entrepreneurship.

1. Following the right strategy
2. Having a growth mindset
3. Having the drive

By drive I mean that you have to know deep inside yourself that you want to be an entrepreneur and do meaningful work.

That already has to be true.

You have to want to do the work.

You have to want the process, as well as the result.

Yes, you can get yourself into a ‘motivated’ state, but it’s temporary

With motivation and inspiration you can only tap into what’s already there.

That’s what many morning rituals do; they enable you to tap into ‘your why’.

That deep-seated, value or belief inside of you that gives you ‘drive’ in the first place.

What that means is whether or not you choose to act is internal, not external

So with my morning ritual I am tapping into something that is already important to me for me to act on it.

If I tried this for something that I only imagine I want I’m still unlikely to do something about it over the long term.

What I am saying here is if you are looking for something outside of yourself to push you into action, you’re looking in the wrong place.

You can’t wait to ‘feel motivated’ or ‘get inspired’

Because either you want it enough to act or you don’t.

Yes, if you’re needing a pick-me-up some Instagram inspiration or YouTube motivational videos can help, but it’s not a permanent thing.

Drive for real change comes from within; you have to be driven to do this because it aligns with your values.

You have to be willing to take action even when you don’t feel inspired.

Action is bigger than motivation and inspiration

Action always wins.

And you have to take action even when you don’t feel ready and when you’re not in the mood.

Yes, I have duvet days or mental health days just like anyone else.

I am not saying push through no matter what, definitely not. I wrote on managing your energy rather than your time which talks more about that, but what you can’t do is wait to feel inspired to start your business or take the next steps.

Even people making inspirational videos don’t feel like editing their own videos at times.

A note on waiting for business idea inspiration

One place where people have the strongest urge to wait for inspiration is when it comes to business ideas.

At this point, can I please just say – for the love of whatever you believe in – PLEASE DON’T DO THIS.

The right business idea for you is very unlikely to hit you like lightning one day.

There is a process you can go through to work out which business model will suit you best and how you can best use your skills and talents to make money in a way that suits your personality.

One place to start is episode #21 6 Simple Steps If You Can’t Decide On your Business Idea.

It’s a process; it’s not a lightening bolt from the sky.

Have a think about how you are using inspiration or motivation

Are you using it as a pick-me-up, like shooting an energy drink, which is the way it actually works, or are you waiting for it to strike like lightning to catapult you into action?

If it’s the first option, it’s your energy drink or ritual to get into state, wonderful.

If you’re waiting for that external lightning strike to get you moving, take some time to consider if you really want business success or if it’s is just a nice idea that you’re not actually committed to taking action on.

If it is for you take action now, rather than waiting to feel like it.

An excellent place to get you moving in the right direction is my Zero to Paying Clients Masterclass.