I gave a talk last week about moving beyond motivation and finding inspiration. Over the last six years I’ve worked with hundreds of people, each trying to find a strong enough reason to change up their life and get healthy.  Change is hard work so the payoff better be worth it, right?

Motivation is an inside job.  The root of the word is motive and everyone has their own.  Add emotion to your motive and incredible things can happen.  Weight is lost. Shapes changed. Races run. Careers launched. Medications eliminated. Relationships enriched. Friendships cultivated. Goals achieved. Success enjoyed.

I’ve given lots of talks about motivation. Finding it, making it meaningful, and the hardest part: maintaining it.

Then I started talking about the journey and not just the destination.  The process, not only the result.  The desire, rather than the need.  The intrinsic value of acting, not the perceived value of outcome.

An example: a 1/2 marathon.

MOTIVATION:  It’s on a list of things to do someday. Beats running errands. You’re supposed to push yourself, right?  New sticker for the bumper.  Make the kids proud.  Raise money for a worthy cause.  Sense of accomplishment.

All good reasons to get it done.

INSPIRATION:  Being outside on a beautiful fall day, challenging myself physically, sharing the experience with a loved one, soaking up (and contributing to) the energy of a crowd of thousands of athletes.  All speak to who I am and how I love to live my life.  This makes me feel alive.

We need motivation to get stuff done. For sure, we’re more likely to clean when company is coming.

Inspiration has a different energy to it.  It’s never about what you “should” do.  This is about being aligned with your core values, beliefs, and your passion in life.  Inspiration is magnetic. It pulls you.

Are you being pushed?

Or pulled?