Hello, everybody. I’m Steven Nathenson, CEO and founder of Strive for More. And I want to talk about inspiration today. We just recently talked about motivation, but let’s talk about inspiration as well, because they are different. And motivation is actually an inherent part of inspiration. One of the best ways that I’ve heard the difference between the two described is motivation is more mental and inspiration is more heartfelt. And there’s a lot of truth there to that. Motivation is something that drives us towards actions, towards goals, as we’ve discussed. But what is inspiration?
Inspiration is something that essentially lifts us up, causes us to take action, but drives us beyond our normal way of being. It causes us to do something we normally would not do. That’s one of the key differences between inspiration and motivation. And there’s actually three parts of inspiration. And as I said, motivation is one of them. What’s the other two?
Well, the first of which is inspiration is purely external. It has to be evoked within us. It comes from something that’s outside of us. While motivation can be intrinsic, meaning internal to us, inspiration is purely from external sources. It is evoked within us.
And then the third component is transcendence. It gets to that point I was making about inspiration’s going to take us above and beyond what we normally would have done. Those are the three components, evocation, motivation and transcendence. Where do we find it? How do we get inspired? Those are great questions. And the answer can be from all around us, whether it’s people, whether it’s events, whether it’s something that I see. Something from outside of us has to bring up the sense within us of, there’s something more and I want to take action towards it. It’s not just wishing something new or something different would happen, it is this innate feeling within inside of us to rise up, to move, to take action, to go beyond where I am today and reach tomorrow.
And the question for us to answer as I’ve asked is what inspires us? Only each of us are going to know that answer. But one way to find that answer is to look back into our pasts and say, “What causes me to maybe go above and beyond? When have I done that in my life? When have I done something that I perhaps would not have done if it wasn’t for this person?” Maybe John ran a marathon and if John never ran that marathon, I never would have done it. Maybe they were entered with me and without them, I wouldn’t have done it. I was inspired by them perhaps to run and without seeing that, I never would have embarked upon that journey.
It’s very much like me for working the Ironman World Championships in 2014, I had no desire to do that. In fact, I thought people who did that were crazy before I saw that and I felt such an amazing amount of energy that was there in the support and what that sport is truly all about is supporting each other from everywhere, no matter who you are, what you look like, where you’ve come from, anything else about us that makes us different. It doesn’t matter. That race is a great equalizer. And without that experience, I never would be where I am today and competing in the way that I am today. It inspired me to go above and beyond my normal way of being and to take action. It was an external experience. I didn’t come up with it on my own. I saw it. I felt it when I was there at that championships.
It was evoked within me and then it drove me to take action. It motivated me and it took me to do things that I never would’ve done before that I normally and was not at that time doing. It caused me to transcend where I was. That’s what inspiration is all about. Who in your life has done that for you? What events have you seen or witnessed that have done that for you as well?
When we start exploring what we’ve done in our lives that goes beyond where we were, that we would not have done say unless it was for other people, we can start tapping into what does truly inspire us because the beauty of this and the beauty of knowing what motivates us and why they’re so critical in terms of the implement part of GRIT is because when you know what motivates you, you know what inspires you, you can set yourself up for success in taking the right action and being driven continually to do, especially when we come across challenges and hurdles, which are a natural thing to come across and overcome.
But when we know what inspires us and motivates us, we can surround ourselves with that. That will make it easier for us to overcome those challenges that we face. That’s why they’re such a critical part of this implement step in GRIT, give, recognize, implement, time, because it helps us take it one small step at a time. It helps us overcome the challenges. It helps us get rid of that negative non-serving self-talk and it lifts us up to get to where we want to go. Knowing what inspires us is huge because I can create environments that inspire me if I know what that is that are going to keep me on point when I naturally start to perhaps wane in face of challenges and adversity. But it’s much easier to overcome, like we’ve talked about and recognize that non-serving and embrace what does serve us and help us when we know what inspires us, what motivates us, what drives us to get better.
What inspires you? That awareness can help create a better environment for success for you and for all of us. My office, which you see part of, has a ton of athletic jerseys from people that I truly believe in, teams that I believe in, Olympic athletes that I think are truly incredible and inspirational. In fact, you see a little bit of a corner here, up here and over here, I’ve got stuff from the 1980 US Olympic ice hockey team. To me, that is incredibly inspirational and magical because they literally did the impossible. They beat a team that 13 days prior to playing them in that semi-final round had beaten them 10 to one in the Olympics, pre Olympics, excuse me. They beat a team that had literally dominated the sport for 20 years and they did it amidst the Cold War. They did it amidst an economic downturn in the United States and they gave people hope. They did something that still to this day inspires an incredible amount of people.
Al Michael’s famous call of, do you believe in miracles? At the end of that game, it’s chilling because of what it means, what they did. It’s this kind of thing that if you find in your life and you know what inspires you and you surround yourself with it, I guarantee it’s going to help you create a much stronger, driven and motivational environment to achieve those goals. And you’re going to have greater success because as I was starting to describe this and before I got distracted on my little tangent about the ice hockey team in 1980 Olympics, was that I purposely set my office up in this way so that I everyday literally stare at the things that inspire me and keep me driven towards my goals and to transcend, to get to that next level.
I will leave you with those questions. What can you look back upon in your life that inspires you? Whether it’s people, it’s events, what inspires you? And how can you interject that into your life right now to help you get to that next level that you’re seeking to get to? I usually sign off with, be the movement in your life, but let’s open that up just a slight bit, because this is a critical point and why I say that is we have that choice. We can undergo that thoughtful exercise of what inspires me? And set up my environment in a way that speaks to that and inspires me on a daily basis to help me get better and stronger. We can truly be the movement in our lives by setting ourselves up for success. That’s why I love to sign off with that and that’s what that truly means. Until the next time, be the movement in your life.
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