Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inspiration, Aspiration, Motivation, & Realization

Came across these 4 words before? Do you know that these 4 words are interrelated? In fact, you'll actually find them to be interchangeable at some time. In order to complete a milestone, accomplish a goal, achieve the desired results, stand at the peak of success and etc., one would require to understand these 4 terms. They are what defines one's journey or path from one end to the other. Without either or any of them, one would either be stuck halfway or one would have never gone far beyond the few steps taken.

What do you aspire to be?
What inspires you?
What motivates you?
What made you realize it? / How do you realize it?

Between Inspiration and Aspiration, some find it hard to tell apart from one another. While others are just not bothered about what they are. One day, you'd be asked "What are your aspirations in life?" or "What are your life's inspiration?", or both. What and how would you answer?

Between Inspiration and Motivation, many wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two due to they both share in common. "Aren't they the same thing?" The answer is Yes and No. Logically looking at how it has been used interchangeably, they simply mean the desire/force to do something. But are they really the same?

Between Aspiration and Realization, it's pretty easy to determine eh? Simply because one is To-Be/To-Do and the other is Been or Be-ing/Done or Do-ing. Sounds easy? So have you realized your aspiration? If you're reading this, most likely it's a "Hahaha, I'm on the way!" or "Errr, still looking around". If your answer's the former or somewhat similar, then "Congratulations! I'll see ya at the finishing line! We'll cheers to that!" But if your answer's the latter, I'd suggest you to wake up from your fantasy / dreamy world to reality that you've got bills to pay, people to take of care, and that you better start picking up the pace! So, which answer have you?

Alright, enough of the trivial questions (I'd be glad if it wasn't) and let's go into the real deal here. We'll be going through a series of definition (No it's not going to be from the Oxford dictionary. Rather it'll be from experience.) based on situations that we're mostly familiar with.

Ever feel the need to rush / run to the toilet just because your stomach had a pinch in the inside? No, that's not inspiration. Inspiration's something (usually a solid reason) that one going on doing something that's different from usual. For example, a young lad who wants to be a fire fighter, after seeing a heroic fireman saving an old lady from a burning building. That heroic fireman, or that heroic action is the inspiration for the lad's journey on being a fire fighter. It's the kick-start factor, that usually leads to a long-term path towards that the specific something (goal).

Same definition as Inspiration? No. As compared to Inspiration, Motivation would mostly be the reason as to why one would continue doing something (after a period of time). Motivation may get one started in working up something, but unlike Inspiration, it requires one to "re-visit" (or "repeat") it, otherwise, it'll just "burn out" or (fade-away). In other words, Motivation is what keeps one's Inspiration "alive", and without Inspiration, Motivation doesn't have much affect on the things you do. A good scenario is which I'd come across before. When back in junior school, music captured my attention and I was inspired to take up music and make it a career path. Appearance of celebrities like Wang Lee Hom (a big fan of his), Christina Aguilera (love her voice), and etc, motivated me to practice the pieces and score sheets. Then, I found friends who are great in guitars, keyboards, and drums, and it pull me more into spending time on practicing music. In time, I was transferred to another school, and had lesser and lesser time to meet up with the gang. And so I practice lesser and lesser. Before I knew it, I'd let go of the acoustic guitar (it's kept away) and celebrities on TV just became people on TV. So what I'm trying to say is that good friends (motivating factor) or the lack of enthusiasm in music (another motivating factor), the inspiration of going into the music industry just "dies" off.

Now, some of you might be asking, "So, a motivation can also be an inspiration?". Not really, it's not like smoking where your friends tell you to smoke, you tried and you get addicted to it. No, motivation and addiction is on two separate pages. If your friend ask you to do voluntary work, and you obliged to it (well, I'll be damn sure that you'll agree to it if you're a guy and the person who ask you is a HOT girl, or the other opposite gender around), that's the Motivation there, the charms. But hey, if the voluntary work is cleaning up after elderlies at the old folk's home, would you continue on? Some say 'Yes', some say 'No'. I bet the 'Yes' is due to the Motivation there. But if I take away the motivating factor there, would you still continue? If your answer is 'No', then you should know what's the difference between Motivation and Inspiration. If your answer is 'Yes', well then, I believe you've found your inspiration that made you continue on. Another scenario is Studying with "Benefits" (Motivation factor) at the end. Unless you want to be the next Einstein or Plato, I believe there's nobody who'd like to do academic studies, BUT you'd do it if you were paid for it, or if you were promised an XBOX, iPhone, Alienware or a Burberry accessory. Take the Motivation factor away and voila, you stop studying like a machine without electrical power.

In short, without Motivation, Inspiration can still get you going on, but perhaps at a slower rate to reach where you're targeting. But if there was no Inspiration to begin with, and you lost your Motivation along the way, you'll immediately stop what you're doing.

"I want to be the world's greatest Formula 1 racer!" Heard of that? Yeah, then the next thing you hear, especially back then, when it was a trend everywhere... engines roaring, tires screeching, and then BAAAAANNNGGG!!! Well, that's not my point. What I meant was the person you want to be, that's Aspiration. And yes, Aspiration is a synonym to Ambition. So, have you gotten the answer to the first question I asked?

This word here is a little tricky, as the meaning tend to change strongly depending what phase/stage/situation you are at. If you're at the beginning (or in the midst) of something, Realization simply means you've gain awareness or you're fully aware of a fact that determines the direction, the goals, or your understanding of the plan. However, if you're at the middle or at the end of something, it simple means you're doing (realizing) your work, or you've completed (realized) the designated work. So Realization covers from the act of gaining awareness, to make it real and keeping it real. A good example of understanding what I meant would be, "Have you realized it?" could you referring to "Have you noticed it?" or "Have you done it?"

Understanding these doesn't necessarily means that you're done with it, or that you've achieved something great. That goes with saying, "You've only successfully understood what was told. Doesn't mean you're at success." This only provides you with mere understanding and how to distinguish them. However, making full use of this knowledge will bring you somewhere greater than you think - Kick start your Aspiration with Inspiration, with the support of Motivation, in order to achieve Realization in whatever you do or plan.

I wish you success in whatever you do.

"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm"
-Sir Winston Churchill-


  1. heyya, juz keep ur faith and reach for ur dreams^^

    long time no visit ooo, hw r u? ~^^

  2. @Xijon89:
    Thanks! :) I'm good, chasing dreams, climbing corporate ladder, and so on :) You?