Inspired or Motivated?

In the exhibits industry this time of year we all tend to have a “game on” attitude, so to speak. It is one of the busiest times of the year for all of us. Travel, short fuses, (both of the electrical and human kind), late nights, early mornings, missing family and friends, less than adequate meals, if any at all, just so many things that can make us all feel like we need a little inspiration, or should I say motivation, to maintain a great attitude and rock our convention marketing program around the globe. So what inspires or motivates you?

Let me go back astep. Do you know that often people use those two words interchangeably and yet they mean vastly different things? One is not better than the other per se, they are just distinctively different.

Let’s start with the word, “inspire”. Translated that word means “in spirit.” Soessentially when you talk about inspiration it something from within you that pulls you towards something that creates a strong passion that is felt in your heart, mind or spirit. We can be inspired by a person, a circumstance or an event. For instance, we can be inspired by our mothers, or runners completing a marathon or someone valiantly going through an illness. All of these examples can elicit inspiration.

Motivation on theother hand is something that is external and causes us to take an action. Theroot of the word “motivate” is motive, so this all makes quite a lot of sense. Motivation propels us to accomplish something or to work through a difficult time, even if we would rather be doing something entirely different. So many of us are motivated to get a booth set up by deadlines or motivated to follow-up with HCPs attending the show so they will stop by the booth.

When we are filled with inspiration, often we don’t need to be motivated to move forward. Having a clear purpose and meaning is enough for us. However, when we are lacking inspiration, we have to find ways to keep us motivated to move in a forward direction. Those without a clear vision, mission, or purpose often require lots of external motivation to keep moving forward. For example, being inspired by a desire to live longer can motivate you to go for a run instead of stopping by the bar after work.

While there are a number of different thoughts about how to be creatively inspired, I think it is a combination of surrounding yourself in an environment you feel is conduciveto your efforts, but more importantly it is about having a routine. Requiring yourself to think “inspired-like” in a regular and controlled way. Putting rules in place that make you set aside a time and place to think creatively. Although I am sure it is different for each of us, if it becomes a routine, you don’t need a beautiful mountain view or a garden setting to be creatively inspired. Remember, inspiration comes from within. So just make it part of your regular routine to set some time aside. This is not to say you can’t be inspired while looking a majestic mountain or a deliciously fragrant and colorful landscape. It is to say that for many having daily rituals and a timeset aside to be creatively inspired can work just fine, even from a homeoffice.

An analogy about being creative inspired that I absolutely love, compared it to weightlifting. Yes, you read right. Every day you go to the gym, you have no idea whether you’ll achieve a personal record. Only that you are inspired to go to the gym to be healthy, feel good or fit in those jeans from 1979. And for the most part you KNOW you will have an average, everyday workout. But, it is so important to note that those average, everyday workouts are part of the process to becoming phenomenal. Building on those workouts with sustained efforts, you will lift more and heavier weights. So, they are vital.

It’s nice when they say I inspire them, it inspires me.

Lita Ford

Just like creative inspiration. You are going to have days when it seems less than your best work. But you can’t always have aday where the trumpets are blaring and fireworks go off. You need to put in thework. Exercise those creative chops and eventually a great idea will be born!

Another important aspect of inspiration is surrounding yourself with positive people. Even creative brilliance can be eroded bit by bit by those that are a negative influence. So try to find ways to hang with those that are positive. It doesn’t mean you won’t receive constructive criticism but when you trust those around you, you are open to their feedback because their criticism was delivered with positivity. And who doesn’t like to get better?

Creative inspiration is found in so many different ways. Keep a journal and note interesting conversations or dreams or things you see throughout the day. Ask people a lot of questions so you are learning, in other words, listening more and talking less. Read a lot and be daring. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. This opens yourself up to thinking differently which in turn can change your creative and inspirational thoughts.

So take a moment each day. Focus on having creative thoughts. Even if you fall short for a period of time, it is a necessary part of the process. Practice makes perfect…there’s a reason for that saying.

Remember those that are living a life that is driven by purpose are automatically inspired each day. What better industry than healthcare could provide inspiration? All around us we experience our company’s approvals for about life-saving, life-changing drugs and medical devices. We incorporate touching patient testimonials in our marketing pieces and we hear first-hand from healthcare professionals what a difference we make. While we can become tired or drained when we are driven by inspiration it is a higher purpose. So during this busy convention season, take a moment for yourself and remember that what we do is truly making a differencein the world.

So I ask you, are you inspired to be motivated or motivated to be inspired?

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