Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration


Main Difference

The main difference between Motivation and Inspiration is that Motivation is something from the outside that compels you to take action, and Inspiration is something that you feel on the inside that encourages to do something.

Motivation vs. Inspiration

The term motivation comes from the word ‘motive,’ which means the demands or drives within a person. On the other side, inspiration is the process in which a person is mentally encouraged to do something. Motivation is something “outward,” a goal to which we strive, and the force that pushes us towards that goal, whereas inspiration is something “inward,” a sudden burst of creativity and productivity that is triggered by something on the outside that connected with our personality and resonated well with it. Motivation connected to external stimuli, the things that will evoke it are exactly those external stimuli, whereas Motivation has been extensively researched and is a very active scientific area, on the other hand, inspiration hasn’t been researched much further since Carl Gustav Jung tried to define it. A motivated mind highly energized; it is taken into any direction. The direction it seizes you is your inspiration.


Comparison Chart

Motivation relates to the process of stimulating someone to act in a definite way to achieve a goal.Inspiration defined as an act of influencing people mentally and emotionally to do something creative.
Sense of
ResistanceExcitement and effortlessness.
Impulse to Take Action
Driving forcePulling force
Self-imposed or societal expectations, duties, and fellow pressure that pushes us to do something.Natural calling, which derives from deep inside us.

What is Motivation?

Motivation drives people’s willingness and desire to do something. When there is motivation, there is passion. Motivation is an interior phenomenon; i.e., it is inside us. It pushes us to behave and act in definite ways. The term ‘motivation’ may also relate to a set of arguments or facts we use when supporting a proposal. Around the world of business and management, motivation has a particular meaning. It is all about the factors that promote individuals to be continually committed and concerned in their jobs. Motivational factors help people push themselves to reach a target or objective. Some people are easy to motivate if one offers them a financial incentive. Financial incentives include monetary rewards, bonuses, commissions, or tax deductions.


Types of Motivation

  • Intrinsic Motivation: The act of being motivated by internal factors to perform certain actions and behavior is called Intrinsic Motivation. There is neither pressure nor any reward for the actions you perform due to intrinsic motivation.
  • Extrinsic Motivation: Whenever an individual performs an action or behavior because the individual is affected by external factors such as rewards or punishments, such form of motivation is called Extrinsic Motivation. You get rewarded as promised for the actions you perform due to extrinsic motivation.

What is Inspiration?

The term inspiration carries a lot of ambiguity. It can have different meanings dependent on the context; it can be artistic, biblical, creative, psychological, etc. Therefore, I will focus on the most common and well-known kind of inspiration, artistic inspiration. The concept of the muse can be used to describe what artistic inspiration is. Something that we perceive in a certain way (read, see, hear, smell, etc.) can evoke a feeling of ecstatic creativity and will to create something new. These triggers are unique for each person, and can practically be anything, as long as it somehow carries a deeper meaning that resonates well with the person’s mentality.

Types of Inspiration

  • Passive inspiration: whenever you watch a video, read an article or listen to an interview, you’re practicing passive inspiration. You might learn something, but you don’t have to do anything. Hearing regarding other people’s success isn’t the same thing as making your own.
  • Active inspiration: The act of creating things, applying new ideas to our goals, and making mistakes that we find who we are and whatever is important to us. Also, active inspiration is what results in long term passion and enthusiasm.

Key Differences

  1. Motivation relates to a process of stimulating someone to act in a definite way to achieve a target. Inspiration defined as an act of influencing people mentally and emotionally to do something creative.
  2. There is a feeling of resistance and competitiveness in motivation, while inspiration has a sense of excitement and effortlessness.
  3. Motivation is something that drives or persuades you to take action, whereas inspiration is what pulls you towards something.
  4. Motivation originates from an external source, which can be your reward, recognition, appreciation, etc. even though the source of inspiration is internal, a keen desire which emerges inside us.
  5. Motivation is due to many reasons like self-imposed or societal expectations, obligations, and peer pressure that pushes us to do something. Unlike inspiration, which includes a natural and organic call from deep within us.
  6. Motivation is short-lived, i.e., suppose you attend a seminar of a great personality, after which you feel enthusiastic about doing something, but after a specific period of a couple of weeks or days then the force will start declining. On the other side, inspiration is enduring in nature, that resides in us and makes us committed until we attain the goal.
  7. Motivation is a consider or planned instinct to take a step. On the contrary, in the case of inspiration, that impulse is spontaneous.


In conclusion, Motivation used when you want people to deed in a particular manner and act instantly, as long as Inspiration is when people want to attain something great, which will make them improved than they are at present.