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Enjoyment at work and play comes from doing what comes naturally. The French call this “joie de vivre,” the joy of living. The ancient Greeks had a great word for it, “enthusiasm.” In English we call it “passion.” Many people have lost any sense of passion in their work and play and seek motivation. Perhaps they should be looking for inspiration instead.

What if motivation is the opposite of inspiration? After all, motivation is rooted in beliefs whereas inspiration is rooted in faith. But aren’t belief and faith the same thing? Or might they opposites too?

Beliefs are really just opinions. Opinions we cling to, fight over and defend. “I believe my system is better than your system,” “I believe my Blackberry is better than your iPhone.” Beliefs are external and generally temporary.

Faith is quite the opposite – it just is. No one needs to convince you what will happen if you throw a ball in the air – it’s coming back down. We have faith in gravity – we don’t even need to talk about it. We don’t need to convince anyone that night will turn into day. We know it will. We have faith. Faith is internal and permanent.

So maybe “inspired” and “motivated” are opposites too. Motivation comes from the outside in the form of beliefs. Beliefs that sticks, carrots and accolades (we’ll scare you more, pay you more, or keep telling you how amazing you are) will “motivate” people to give/do/be more. Of course, it doesn’t work – not for long – that’s why there’s so much of it about. Motivation is external and temporary.

Inspiration is the opposite. It is faith – on the inside. Inspiration is a certainty that runs though you and gives you energy, creativity, focus and unstopability. Inspiration is internal and permanent.

Perhaps when we stop clinging to the opinions of others we can start doing what comes naturally and clear a path back to “joie de vivre” enthusiasm, passion – and the success we deserve.

Perhaps “success” is the key. Perhaps success is simply living the lifestyle of your choice. Maybe all you need to do is look within and honestly answer two questions. “What is the lifestyle of my choice?” and “How, specifically, will I know when I have it? At a specific moment in the future what will I see, hear and feel.”

Just a thought! Please feel free to share it.