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April 28, 2021

Inspiration and Desperation

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There are two incredible motivating forces in life - Inspiration and desperation. They both have the ability to grab hold of you and get you to do whatever it is you need to get done. While the end result may be similar, which is pursuit of a better life, the means by which you pursue the end result are very different.

With inspiration, you’re connected to your future through purpose. You experience positive qualities like enthusiasm, ambition, and creative imagination. You are called to act because it’s in service of yourself and the world as you see it, giving you a way to improve your skills or actualize your potential around something that you’ve deemed worthy. That’s what inspiration is to me. You see a future that you’re attracted to because you and others would be better off because of it.

Desperation comes from the other side of the spectrum. You get it done because you need to, because there’s no other acceptable alternative. It often arises at times when you’re struggling. For your own safety or sanity, you're motivated to act in order to find your way out. It is exhausting to live desperately, and it causes you to be more willing to look past the ways you usually do things, sometimes even compromising your own ethics and integrity in order to do so.

While I haven’t truly experienced it for myself, I think desperation is a stronger motivator. Inspiration is more affirmational, and nice to have. Desperation is stressful and anxiety provoking, rooted in reality and a must have.

I bring up this topic because I think there’s a lot to be learned from knowing the sources of our motivation, and if you need to get something done, now you’re more prepared to tap into these motivational energies.

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