A new idea pops into your awareness and lights up your world. What do you do when you feel inspired? Apparently, inspiration is a little impatient and wants you to act now. You need to be ready to act on inspiration and the sooner you act on inspiration the better.

There’s not much scientific research on inspiration however motivation often accompanies information about inspiration.

It’s the motivation and the action you take that make inspiration unique. Let’s take a look.


What is an inspiration and what has action got to do with it?

Google can entertain you for hours with articles about inspiration. Each article has its own perspective, but common themes come up over and over.

These common themes surrounding intuition tell us inspiration is:

  • Fleeting, elusive, and hard to describe
  • Arrives from nowhere; spontaneous
  • A moment of clarity
  • The springboard for creativity

Let’s go a little deeper into inspiration to find a connection between motivation and action. Once again, I was drawn to the work of Todd Thrasher and Andrew Elliot, researchers and psychologists.

I like how they describe inspiration as being both inspired by something and acting on that inspiration.

Thrasher and Elliot view inspiration as a motivational state that compels action.

Inspiration is like fuel for your favorite endeavors. Receive inspiration and be motivated to create something!

Inspiration may come as one moment of clarity; one big idea. It may also arrive in smaller visions and steps along the way to complete one big idea.

When your inspiration shows up, it’s the action you take that is the springboard for creativity.

The motivation to act may be the crown jewel of the coveted creative flow state. The creative flow state is where you receive inspiration, you act on it, and another inspiration arrives ready for action.

Artists and creatives thrive on the creative flow state. I’m talking about serial creators like Mozart, Ben Franklin, and Steven Jobs.

However, you can also get a lift by sensing and acting on inspiration.

It’s possible for artists, writers, and other creatives to actually leverage inspiration. Their minds are open and through their passion for a subject — boom inspiration shows up to nurture and bring a new idea forward.

You can strengthen your creative muscle!


There’s no specific research on this but it’s an idea that came up more than once in recent research.  It seems to be a widely held belief that inspiration followed by action encourages inspiration to come again and again.  

The more passion you have for _______________ (fill in the blank) the more inspiration you may experience.

If inspiration tends to flow to where it is acted on and used, then the more you respond and act the more inspiration will come your way.

Strengthening your creative muscle becomes a positive feedback loop.

Receive inspiration. Act.

Receive inspiration. Act.

Inspiration can be a big hairy deal or a very simple idea that you act on. Inspiration may deliver an entire chapter of a book. Or maybe you’re simply wondering what to make for dinner.

You move into action when you begin to write the chapter or simply follow your impulse to try a new recipe. You take the necessary action.


The connection between inspiration & motivation is found in scientific research


I’m not super scientific and I’d like to stay out of the weeds. However, it’s important to look at the research on motivation and action.

Science has not given very much attention to inspiration. Primarily because the definition of inspiration is unsettled across different disciplines like physiology, theology, psychology, etc.  Apparently, they can’t agree so there’s not a lot of data readily available for a novice to find and devour.

Getting back to the work of Thrasher & Elliot.  At least these two guys agreed to perform deep research into the connection between inspiration and motivation.

The reports citing their research have a lot of jargon.  Things like “Psychological Constructs”,  “Unified Framework”, and even an “Inspiration Scale” were used to clarify the connection between inspiration and motivation.

After all the jargon, the work of Thrasher & Elliot concluded real inspiration requires motivation.

Their research found inspiration is a motivational state that compels individuals to bring ideas to life.

This perspective adds substance to the elusive qualities of inspiration. It establishes the need and the importance of motivation and action.


Wrapping up inspiration and motivation


There are tons of ideas surrounding inspiration and it remains tricky to describe and nail down. How do you describe something that is elusive and comes out of nowhere?

The connection between inspiration and action brings a new level of understanding. Inspiration is not passive. Inspiration requires you to act and that’s where your creative potential lies.

When you act on your inspiration, you leverage your ability to tap into creativity again and again.

This blog post was definitely an inspiration that motivated me to act. This action is nearly complete, but guess what – there’s already another inspiration ready for action!

It feels like intuition wants to get in on this discussion. So, I’ll be back with more insight on inspiration vs intuition.

Tell us what inspired action have you taken recently. Please comment below to inspire others to act on inspiration!

~Dianne Morais
Cultivate Your Intuition

Looking for more insight into inspiration? Try these:

An Important Message About Inspiration You Need Now
Divine Inspiration Meets Distraction

Resources for the research by Thrasher and Elliot:


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