5.1 Inspirational Presence- Inspiration vs. Motivation
EGL Newsletter Volume 5.1
What’s the difference? Let us start our exploration with some definitions. When we look up Inspiration, we find the main entry is “ecstasy”. That in itself has the meaning to “stand outside the ordinary self”. Synonyms of ‘Inspiration’ are blessedness, bliss, delight, delirium, ebullience, elation, enthusiasm, exaltation, fervor, gladness, happiness, joy, and rapture. When we look for the Motivation, the main entry is excitement. It has synonyms of action, activity, ado, agitation, drama, enthusiasm, excitation, fever, flurry, furor, movement, stimulation, turmoil, and wildness. These are very different words, and very different emotional states. We can see that Inspiration has connotations that allow you to be still within yourself and be in an inspired place. Motivation, with its orientation towards action, is more what we experience when we are bursting with energy and can’t wait to do something.
Most of us have experienced the meeting that is filled with motivational techniques. We get the bright lights, the loud music, the cheering from the stage. Invariably, these will have on your feet, clapping, and making plenty of notes about what you will don next. These events can find resonance within us and bring about action. This sort of energy definitely has its place. It jars you out of your seat, out of your comfort zone, and brings your adrenalin level up.
But what about the other times? What about the early mornings when no one else is around? What about the quiet places in the day when you are looking for something else, or the next place to place your attention and energy? These times call for inspiration, drawn from deep within ourselves. It is the energy that we pull up from our deepest, most connected places. It is the energy that sustains us over time, through good times as well as adversity. We find it possible to be motivated without inspiration following, as can often happen with pressure applied from the outside. However, it is impossible to be inspired without motivation following.
We can take an even deeper meaning of inspiration, that it is the divine breath of life. For our purposes, we need leaders who understand their connection to causes greater than themselves. We need leaders who can connect with the people around them in deep and profound ways, coupling the drive of human passion with the wisdom and intelligence of strategic thinking. We need leaders whose stories can inform us as well as guide us. We need leaders who have found their inspiration. These leaders understand the ultimate divine breath of life – to live in the ebb and flow of a force that is greater than one-self – to connect to a purpose that is higher than one-self.
Presence is that portion of another human being that you sense without being asked to do so. It can be small or large, compelling or repelling, is indefinable yet palpable, and is the basis of connection between beings. We know that all humans connect through the open loops of their limbic systems, as we both send and receive energy to everyone and everything around us. Each of us has that, and each of us can be sensed by others around us. We do notice, however, that some people have a presence that is more noticeable than others. Some people we notice when they walk in the room. Some people we notice when they get close to us. That is a presence that has become stronger than normal. When we become inspired, our presence becomes more noticeable. Our energy field gets stronger, and our impact on others is more positive. It feels better to be around these people than around people who are not. There is smoothness to their energy that can make you stop, take notice, and listen.
Presence, by itself, can be either positive or negative in its effect on others. We have all been around people who make our skin crawl for no apparent reason. We have been around people who make us nervous to be around. We have been around people who make us laugh to be around. Each of these has a different presence, big enough to influence our own state of being. But what does it take to lead? What does it take to have people want to move in the direction you are going, to buy in to your passion, to commit their energy to your path?
The next component of leadership is to learn to manage their own emotions. When we couple presence with a high degree of emotional intelligence, we get a leader who has found their inspiration, connected deeply with it in themselves, and learned the transparency and authenticity that allows others to know them, to know what is important to them, and to connect with them around their passions.
Inspirational Presence is the ability to connect authentically with others; to use your thoughts, feelings, and intuitions to inspire others towards your cause.