Being an author, rather being into writing, speaking and coaching, one striking thing that I have always come across is that people are just as fine as they should be and each one is good at a few things and great at few others and a genius at one thing! More often than not majority of us, end up wandering away from that unique “one thing” that holds the key for us to realize that zenith of who we can be from who we are. Somewhere around all this hectic and urgent business of trying to know oneself, people begin to get flooded with a sea of books, talks, podcasts, workshops and what not all promising to bring about radical change, promise that they will feel inspired and will gain a new sense of motivation and so on and so forth, but the fact remains that only a tiny fraction ends up being where they ever wanted to be- without any of these tools and techniques- some trained some not-so-trained and few inspired, few motivated but all of them driven by purpose and an objective! So the question here is does inspiration/ motivation really work? If yes, why do they weave the magic only on a few? Why isn’t every person in that workshop proportionally successful, if all of them got the same tools, wisdom and opportunity? What makes motivation click for a few and why do some people succeed even if they are uninspired? Join me here as we try to unravel, how and why this whole business of inspiration, motivation works and doesn’t!
Since time in memorial, people have always looked up to someone- either it was their Gods’, their spiritual leaders, their protectors ( Rulers, Kings, Queens, Emperors), as the new age arrived, people of eminence too started to be looked upon, studied & admired for they seemed to have answers for questions that plagued humanity in the contexts of those times! The more recent modern times have seen people seek stories from the field of sports, arts, theater, music, films and many other diverse areas- choose an area that you can think about and you will find this space of people wanting to be inspired and who are either in the process or already aligned to that one source! In all this pursuit of looking up to people, there’s only one real mission, that of seeking a common ground with regards to something related to either skills, competencies, abilities, aspirations or craft which provide that ray of hope to drive through the challenging times that an individual must overcome to surge ahead and make their mark!
The whole process of Inspiration is a fallacy of the prevailing social biases and social compulsions, sure enough there would be genuine contenders, I am not denying that any bit, but if you see what drives or what majority of humanity uses the word “inspiration” for is to either relate to someone, feel a sense of belonging for someone or thing or just try to align their social acceptability by falling in line with what the majority of social behaviour seems to be! In the context of the recent times, people all over the world, say they feel inspired by healthcare workers, well that’s fine only to that extent, because half of this inspired world, doesn’t give a damn to the guidelines issued by their inspirational health care workers and end up jeopardize everyone in the game that is being played out now!
The other immediate cousin of inspiration, called motivation too faces the same challenge, you see, people are always (as they claim) motivated and self-driven about themselves ( that is a good part) , the real problematic area is, “motivated about what or by whom and for what?” A lot of human tragedies are nothing else but a result of these misplaced motivations and uninspiring inspirational stuff! So you may, now want to ask me, so what’s the point? Well, the point is really simple, Inspiration and Motivation, stall, become ineffective , not because they have a problem or the beholders who personify it have a problem, the problem lies within each one of us, who end up getting inspired and motivated by the right things at the wrong times or the wrong things at the even more wrong times! Let me explain!
Let me take you back to your early childhood! Remember, “Twinkle Twinkle little stars..” that wonderful nursery rhyme! Believe it or not, that perhaps has been the very nascent seed that has propelled many careers of people in the areas of aerospace! This is what pure and unadulterated Inspiration is like! It connects with you at the level of your soul and nudges your mind to follow that essence and undertake that journey, no matter how easy or difficult to achieve what it must to live that moment of being among the stars either seeing them out of an airline cockpit window or seeing them through the space modules high above the earth’s atmosphere!
Likewise if you think about that school sports competition that you won for the first time, someone or something nudged you and your team mates that day, and for that reason you played the game of your life (until that moment) and ensured each one of your team mates did and thereby translating those moments into a memorable victory! That is what puritan motivation looks like, no prejudice, no information overload, just a nudge, perhaps that motivation was a treat by a group of friends or the name of your team mates being called out during the school assembly, or perhaps receiving that shiny medal- whatever that it could have been, it was just a nudge- at the right time, at the right place for the right thing!
So you, see whether it is that inspiration that you seek or that urge to be motivated that you have- as long as you try to seek that by looking at others, the chances are you will end up complicating your matters more, then solving them- especially when you tend to start focusing on the person, and not on the content!
In a lot of cases when people go to workshops, seminars, events buying those valuable tickets and tables at the show, waiting anxiously to be drenched in the seeming elixir of truth that the presenter is about to share, what they end up actually doing is that, they end up buying some hope and optimism instead of inspiration or motivation!
The reason why inspiration/motivation stalls and fails to work its magic is not because it doesn’t work, but rather because that piece is simply not aligned to the contextual reality of who you are! Let me explain! You may sure enough get lucky to witness some “A” grade speaker, who is renowned to motivate speak, but the fact is unless the speech, the examples and the proportionality of the challenges that you face are not aligned, neither that talk will motivate you nor will you know something that you weren’t aware of! It will all end up being the first row ticket to a one act play! It is vital that you find a common ground, a connect which is based on proportionality of contexts for inspiration/motivation to work its magic upon you, else you will either be left indifferent, ignorant or confused more than ever before!
Another factor is the construct of who you are and what the contextual realities of your world are! You may get lucky and you may really get that vital inspiration or motivation, perhaps that great speech, or that great book, or that sudden incident, something right may just cross your path and also the timing could be as great as you ever desired, but unless and until, you aren’t constructed to embrace all that coming your way and unless your contextual settings – the kind of society, the social norms, social viability aren’t in place, even the greatest of opportunity will slip away from your grasp and in many cases, you may actually end up passing that idea to someone less inspired and less motivated, perhaps less deserving, simply because there was a framework available to deploy and act upon once that seed was made available! Say you always had a vision to provide education for the economically challenged kids- but if your local laws don’t allow you to raise the funds and run the show the way you want to run and manage it, chances are your idea will eventually get picked upon and played upon in some other society where there is a favorable climate to implement and execute! Needless to say the execution may not be that impactful or effective as you would have planned simply because the other person may not be even as half inspired or motivated to do! This is a classic case where the right motivation/inspiration comes at the right time but in the wrong frame and you have perhaps no other choice but to let it pass!
Finally you have those instances where these very rare and gifted individuals who never give a damn to anything that’s unfolding around them! The reasons could vary, at one end of the spectrum you may have that eccentric artist, who likes to lock away and keep doing what pleases irrespective of who says what, or that politician who likes to ruin a nation under the garb of running it! This space is the pinnacle of human behaviour and intent, above and beyond all inspiration and motivation, simply because this is the impregnable fortress of the self and this is the area where only one maxim works- “My way or the Highway”! It is in these by-lanes of self serving, self-centered personalities and human attributes that a lot of inspiration and motivation is wasted and what’s more damaging is that this time around the people who come forward to share and care end up going back with bruises and small patched of self-doubt no matter how inspirational of motivational they are!
My final words, well, inspiration and motivation like everything else will work only when there is a human connect to it, nothing that has progressed humanity has ever worked in isolation! As long as there is a conformity of alignment between the inspired, the being inspired and the contextual settings around both of them, things will work and work remarkably well, nudge one element in that equation and you may end up the Motivators and the Internationalists of today needing a master class on their craft!
I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to nudge yourself and know whether you Inspire, get inspired or are you indifferent?
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then stay safe and stay wise!