It was pointed out to me the other day that there is a major difference between being motivated and being inspired. Motivation is an intellectual process. I am motivated to do something because I can see the sense in doing it, it is logical and I acknowledge the necessity of taking this or that course of action. What about inspiration? Is it not solely for artists? I can imagine the poet begging the muses for inspiration for instance.
Now that I come to think about it I have experienced inspiration in endeavors that were not necessarily artistic. I can recall several instances when I have been inspired. I guess inspiration speaks to the heart or maybe even soul when motivation speaks to the mind. I find that inspiration is somehow more powerful and sustainable. I can talk myself out of my motivation when it is impossible to take away inspiration. Inspiration may happen to be overshadowed by other strong experiences but it resurfaces as soon as it is given a chance to do so.
The reason why I am spending a little bit of time on the theme of inspiration is that it is only recently that I came to see it as yet another tool to access a more meaningful and thrilling life. I have for many years been an adept of “to do” lists. Not that I particularly like them but they happen to be most useful to me. Lately, I have come to see how weaving inspiration into my daily life has made a world of a difference. It is a most powerful driving force and activities that appeared dull or even irritating get to be ticked off my list almost effortlessly when I am inspired.
From now on I make a conscious effort to cultivate my inspiration and I devote a portion of my time to occupations that I find inspiring. It can be reading, listening to music, viewing Ted Talks or meditating. Also, I came to see that it comes far more easily when I am relaxed and my mind is opened. Cultivating a sense of awe is key to succeed in developing some level of sensitivity and receptivity.
It is my hope that these few words have inspired you to seek what speaks to you on a deeper level. So, what inspires you? Let us end with this quote by Joseph Campbell: “Just as anyone who listens to the muse will hear, you can write out of your own intention or out of inspiration. There is such a thing. It comes up and talks. And those who have heard deeply the rhythms and hymns of the gods, can recite those hymns in such a way that the gods will be attracted.” (The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work)