Inspiration or Motivation? Understanding the Difference Between the Two

Yes, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic that has brought much of the world’s production to a standstill. And as a result, many of us have more free time on our hands than we’re used to. Some personal development experts advocate using this time to refine our skillsets by motivating ourselves into taking “radical action.”

There is a huge difference, however, between acting from motivation and acting from inspiration. In fact, they are entirely different states of being which produce dramatically different results. When you understand these differences, you’ll appreciate the many benefits of acting only from a state of inspiration.

The Alignment Factor

Why is it so much easier to wake up early to go on vacation, than to wake up early for work? The action of getting up early is the same in both cases. So why does one action evoke eagerness while the other brings up resistance? The answer has everything to do with our internal state of alignment.

As human beings, we are made up of much more than flesh, blood and bone. Energy is the force that animates all that we perceive to be solid. The thoughts we think carry a certain frequency of energy. The beliefs and expectations we hold generate a particular frequency of energy. So do the moods and emotions we experience on a moment-to-moment basis.

When the energy of our thoughts, expectations and feelings are in resonance with one another, we experience alignment. And alignment draws us naturally and easily into action. But when one of those elements is at odds with any other, we experience resistance. And then we try to use motivation to overcome that resistance.

Trying to motivate ourselves to overcome an internal misalignment of energy is like paddling against a powerful river. Like the river’s current eventually overpowers a boat, the momentum of our energy will always win out. When this happens, we either give into procrastination or force ourselves into action, only to realize how unproductive that is.

When we jump into action before we’ve accomplished internal alignment with our intentions, we create exhaustion and frustration. We get depleted because we’re using internal energy that we don’t have in order to create an external result. This action-only approach is the culprit that drives our addictions to caffeine and other stimulants. These provide short-term motivation, but long-term burnout. Action alone is like using an electronic device that is relying on battery power alone. Action fueled by inspiration is like plugging in and being fully charged by a live electrical current.

Plugging In Ahead of Time

You will radically increase your effectiveness in all things if you make it a priority to align your internal energy before you take external action. For example, if you’re about to take a break from work to connect with your kids, prepare yourself energetically beforehand. Think about the experience you want to co-create with them, and feel that experience within you as if it’s happening now. Recall a time when you felt connected, when you laughed easily, or when you explained something with clarity. The more prepared you are internally for whatever interaction you’re about to engage in, the more joyfully it will unfold.

Devoting even one minute out of each hour to making sure our actions are aligned with our intent can produce staggering results. We are far more productive, because we’re tapping into a place of universal resourcefulness and resilience. You know those accounts about human beings doing extraordinary and “impossible” things? These reflect the power of internal alignment. A mother who can suddenly lift a car to save her child is 100% aligned with her intended outcome. And while times of great necessity draw this power to us spontaneously, we have the ability to generate this inspiration on purpose.

Generating inspiration involves nothing more than deliberately shifting yourself into a state of internal alignment before you act. Spend a little more time lining up every before you go about your day’s activities. Remember the outcome you’re seeking. Remember the essence of what you want. Yes, this preparation takes place in the realm of energy and is therefore invisible and unquantifiable. But if you take this on as a daily practice, you will give yourself an advantage that almost no one understands.

Christy Whitman is an energy healer, celebrity coach, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Having It All: A Woman’s Guide to Unlimited Abundance. If you’re ready to discover the limitlessness of your own wisdom and power, join Christy’s conscious community and begin to manifest greater abundance in your life with 7 days of free meditations. Connect with her at