Motivation: a lousy fuel for success

Have you ever enjoyed the feeling of being told what to do?

If you are aware of your bodily sensations, you will have noticed the revolt that arises inside you when you are told you should be this way or must do this or that.

No human enjoys being bossed around. It makes us feel powerless and pushed into a corner.

Whereas when we say: I want this or that, or I will become such or such, it feels completely different to our emotional state and to our minds. We feel empowered because we are moving through -INSPIRED ACTION rather than motivation. We feel that we are acting out of free will rather than out of fear, guilt, obligation, and lack of choice or autonomy.


What is motivation?


Motivation, according to the oxford dictionary, means: “reason for motion or action, overcoming inertia through an external force applied”. Much like being pulled forward.

Motivation is purely transactional. You do this and then you get that. This on its own is not necessarily a negative thing. However, relying on motivation as a primary driving force is devastating to our self-identity and LOCUS OF CONTROL, which lay at the core of our self-esteem.

As children we are trained to respond to this transactional reward system called motivation, and it works because we don’t have fully developed brains that have a rational thinking capacity, and the power of reason. We are taught consequences through this method of reinforcement which is important. It only causes damage to our self-identity when it is not balanced off with engagement which is only possible through INSPIRATION.

Your actions and behaviors are reinforced in forms of: if you do that then you are a good girl or boy, you get good grades, that means you are smart, you cleaned your room so you will get a reward, you were a good girl all year long so now you get exactly what you want for your birthday, you were a bad girl or boy so now you will be getting silent treatment, you disobeyed me so now you get punished and won’t be going to grandma’s with the rest of your cousins.

I am certain you will identify with 1 or more of these treatments, and you still feel the sting of them in the form of sadness, pain or anger.

That is exactly what transactional reinforcement does: make us feel disgruntled and disempowered.



Inspiration, according to the oxford dictionary, is “the process of being mentally and emotionally stimulated to do something”.

Being inspired to take an action or a stand can be compared to being pushed forward rather than pulled forward.

When we are in a state of INSPIRATION, we feel a general sense of excitement and curiosity that fuels our willingness to step forward in anticipation of a satisfying experience even if it is something seemingly difficult or energy consuming.

The reward is felt-in the moment of-making the decision to step forward and excludes focus on some distant results that may or may not come.

Being Inspired is a sense of feeling free will.

Feeling inspired doesn’t necessarily exclude feeling motivation. You may feel inspired and still think of the transactional benefit of your actions overtime.

For consistent engagement and performance, it is paramount that we primarily feel inspired to act and secondarily, motivated to do so. Otherwise, sooner or later we become fed up and no reward of any kind can satiate and sustain us. That makes us HUMAN beings instead of Human-Doings.

To learn more about:

  1. The 3 Prerequisites to Inspiration
  2. The mirage of intrinsic motivation and why it fails to sustain success?
  3. How to leverage inspiration?
  4. How to Ignite Inspiration in yourself?
  5. How to Ingnite Inspiration in the people and teams you lead?

Use the Contact page to let us know and we will provide you with an easy-to-use tool-sheet for leading yourself and others.

Happy Reading and Implementing on your Journey to High-Performance.

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