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Inspiration & Motivation

inspiration-motivation_smI do a lot of speaking, and people often assume I’m a “motivational” speaker.

Not me. In fact, I’m not all that keen on trying to motivate people. First of all, I think motivation comes from within. And second, I have no interest in exhorting anyone to get moving and try harder … to do more … to perform better.

Winners never quit and quitters never win … and all that jazz. That’s not my style.

I’m in the possibility business.

I’m an inspirational speaker.

My job is to help people see what’s possible for them and get them excited about what they’re capable of being … and doing … and having. My job is to inspire.

Now, some may call that motivational speaking and that’s fine. Different people assign different meanings to words. But to me, there’s a distinction between motivation and inspiration that’s worth examining.

We’re motivated to take action by two primary drivers, wanting or fearingreaching for something good or trying to avoid something bad. But whichever it is … and everybody is driven by some of each … there’s conscious thought and strategizing involved in trying to get what we want. “What do I need to do in order to get this or avoid that?”

What do I need to do? The key word is need. Motivation is about needing to do something you “know” you should do. How much you enjoy doing it is up to you, of course. You may really like it, but it’s still about what you should be doing and that can often be burdensome.

Inspiration isn’t about need at all and doesn’t involve the brain as much as it does the gut and the heart. It’s the feeling that comes from being directly connected to Source energy. Something washes over you and you experience what’s possible in a different and primal kind of way. Inspiration is transformative.

Most action is pre-meditated. But not all. Some actions spring from pure inspiration. I’m talking about those times you were so uplifted and energized about a possibility, you didn’t even have to think about it. You just acted. Like the little girl from the story I told you two weeks ago, who saved her pennies to help build the church, or the Trustees who took on a task that looked impossible to them at the time.

And when you acted, you did so with a feeling of lightness and excitement. Contrast that with the feeling of burden and responsibility that comes from needing to something. You know what I’m talking about. It’s revealed in our self-talk. “I need to.” … “ I should.“I ought to.” “I must. There’s precious little lightness and excitement in the language of necessity. More like a load to be moved.

So, where do you want to spend your time … tapped into the energy of possibility and inspiration or strapped into the harness of responsibility and obligation?

The answer is obvious, and yet, most of us spend most of our time pulling the plow. At what cost? If your heart isn’t light and you aren’t excited, life becomes one long, frustrating slog. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Look, we all do that “ought to” thing. We all have a million shoulds. It’s a human thing. And, ironically, many of them have devolved from what started out as inspired actions only to become obligations along the way. But you know what? You can always choose to give yourself a break and lighten the load. You have the power to make a shift.

My advice? Go easy on the shoulds and don’t let them stop you from connecting with that universal energy … that spark that makes life worth living … as much as you can as often as you can.

Allow yourself to be inspired and stay inspired … and take action because it feels right and makes you happy, not because you’re supposed to.

And always remember … with sufficient inspiration, all things are possible.



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Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!