You often hear people in competitions say “I’m doing this for my family” meaning that he or she is trying to achieve more to put his or her family in a better position somehow. And while we may be motivated by the desire to help others, particularly those we love, we are primed to achieve for ourselves and it’s ok to admit that. If you are on television in a singing or talent competition, for example, you are competing to achieve a new level of your dream. Your family may benefit but you are competing for you.
Dreams and goals are important to everyone’s well-being and inspiration, motivation and action are the ingredients you need to create your new reality.
1. Sense the Inspiration
So where do you find inspiration and how do you know it when you see, hear, smell or taste it? Inspiration can be found everywhere. You might be inspired to solve a problem because you happen on to a problem that needs your help and it invokes a strong emotion within you. Inspiration may begin as a longing, a hope or a wish for something that makes you smile when you think of it. You may see something beautiful or thought provoking. You may hear someone speak and feel inspired based on her words or wisdom. Inspiration is found in our dreams of how we want our lives to be. You may see images in your mind of the life that would make you happy and fulfilled and you are then inspired to achieve it.
Inspiration is an emotional catalyst that activates the motivation system in our brains to want to do something.
2. Feel the Motivation
Motivation is based on a myriad of factors such as personality traits, prior successes and failures and learning, among other things. Some personality traits, such as openness to experience and extroversion, may cause us to feel more motivation while other traits such as higher levels of neuroticism and agreeableness may hinder motivation. Motivation is also based on role modeling. When we are around other motivated people, we feel more motivated – a motivation contagion. When we are around people who are unmotivated we may feel less motivated and perhaps like we need to hang out with different people! There is also a component of motivation that is developed out of our perception of past experiences. A series of perceived failures may cause motivation to decrease while perceived successes may lead to feeling even more motivated. Motivation is based both on intrinsic drive and the potential for intrinsic and extrinsic reward. Inspiration comes to us independently of motivation but without motivation inspiration stays in our mind for a brief moment and then is gone.
Like a chemical reaction, inspiration triggers motivation. But there’s one more step.
3. Spring into Action
Inspiration + Motivation+ Action=Creation
You have to take action in order for inspiration and motivation to lead to creation. You must take action quickly, even if it’s just one small step. Inspiration and the emotion it invokes are short-lived. You will need more inspiration and more motivation if you do not act on it when you feel it. Without action, creation is not possible and you get stuck at the stage of hoping, wishing and longing. Creation is obtaining a desired feeling of fulfillment based on meeting your needs, achieving your dreams and feeling inspiration. Creation is achieving your goals. Creation is building the life you dream of one step at a time.
There is power in honoring your inspiration and being thankful that you have motivation with which to act on your inspiration. Be thankful that you are alive and well and can feel inspired. Honor this vitality with action. Don’t over think it, and don’t worry about failing. Just go with it. Inspiration is a gift. Motivation is its divine accomplice. Honor them with action.
4. Savor Your Creation
Take time to reflect on what you have built. Revel in your accomplishment. Savor the sense of fulfillment and active contribution you feel. Express gratitude that you have all that you need to accomplish things that are important to you. We all already have everything we need. We are whole. And we are good enough. Fulfilling your dreams and goals is important work. Many people never take the steps to pursue their dreams or they don’t do it until they get to a point later in life where they are more afraid of feeling regret as they look back on their life than they are of taking the necessary action knowing they might fail. At that point, there are many years wasted that you could have been happier with a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment. We all want to have some sort of legacy whether its grand- such as becoming the next Oprah, or smaller such as raising children who are good, responsible, kind adults. We all want to feel like it mattered that we were on the planet. It does matter. You matter. Every single day matters. You never know how many days you are going to get, so make each one count. Sense the inspiration. Feel the motivation. Don’t allow it to pass by. Spring into action and savor each step in your creation as though it were a delicious sweet treat that you waited a long time to have.
Take one small step today and feel the energy within it.