Stop motivating. Inspire or enthuse!

Zilvold Coaching & Training Blog enthusiasm
6 min read

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People often tell me that I do my work with great enthusiasm and that it is fantastic. That is, of course, nice to hear, and I am grateful for this feedback. This article will tell you how you can do your work with more enthusiasm or inspire others and that it is different from motivating or doing something with passion.


To motivate yourself, you can imagine what a certain activity can bring you. If I motivate myself to jog for half an hour every day, I expect it will make me fitter, gain more muscle, and even lose weight.

I can do that by running with a buddy or listening to good music while jogging. Motivation is good for achieving goals. For example, I now motivate myself to work continuously for 20 minutes (using an egg timer), after which I can get a cup of coffee and drink it.

To motivate means to move someone to do something. For me, motivation is good to achieve small goals. It’s like holding out a carrot to yourself (or your employees) to move forward, to achieve a certain goal or ‘target.’ It’s a temporary stimulus.

The spark of inspiration

Inspiration is better. To inspire comes from “in spirit.” You get inspired by something someone does or says. That can be someone creative, innovative, or who dares to be different.

Art can inspire me. This photo below by the Dutch freelance photographer Wouter Le Duc (I own an original print) inspires me to stand for something and do those things that need to be done and persevere, even if they are not pleasant.


For me, being inspired is a spark that comes in and touches me, so that I want to take action myself. Here are 100 ways to experience joy and be inspired.

Just like motivation, inspiration is externally driven. You get inspired by someone else’s project or purpose. Inspiring is more sustainable than motivation because people are not only encouraged to do something (as with motivation), but they start doing those things because they are moved and believe in them.

The flame of enthusiasm

And you may also enthuse people. Then you go one step further. Enthusiasm is freely letting that spark burn within you. When radiating enthusiasm, I show that flame by doing those things that give me energy and fulfillment. Maybe that’s how I inspire others, and hopefully, I enthuse them. When I do something with enthusiasm, there is no fear, no apathy, or boredom. There is excitement, joy, and time stands still (or goes very fast). It is a source of excitement and energy. I am time, I am authentic, and I am in flow when I am excited. Doing something with enthusiasm is infinite. You always feel like it because you believe in it and because the flame is always burning.

That is different from doing something with passion. I have a passion for piano and good guitar music but I don’t play either instrument myself. I enjoy it, it inspires or motivates me to do something (for example, writing or facilitating a training), but these are not necessarily activities that I can do well myself. Besides, I don’t always want to listen to this kind of music.

How to be more enthusiastic?

So how can you be more enthusiastic or do those things with enthusiasm? You can do that to find that spark inside you and do those things to keep the flame burning. Those are your character strengths, your values ​​, and the things you believe in.

You can also surround yourself with enthusiastic people and being careful with what information you take in.

My enthusiasm is tempered by negative (news) messages, books, or films.

What also helps is to be optimistic.

Finally, you can do these things to be nearly always happy

What gives me the most enthusiasm is doing those things that align with my WHY. My WHY is to facilitate so that others can uplift themselves to do things that bring them joy and love. A WHY always has a contribution and an effect on the world. The effect of my WHY is that people do things that bring them more joy and love. That is to do those things for which their flame burns and to do it with enthusiasm.

Find your own flame

Your WHY helps you do the things you believe in that have a certain effect on the world for you, whether to bring people together, realize a better world or that others discover and live their greatness—examples of WHY statements are found here.

Saying my WHY aloud helps me to be excited about the things I want to do. Do you also want to discover your own WHY? That is possible! You’ve had it since your teens, and you often feel it. It is more powerful to pronounce it in difficult times or communicate it to your environment so that others know what you stand for. The effect is that you attract the right people (and situations) who want to do the things you believe in together with you.

We can help you discover your WHY so that you start doing the things you believe in. Interested? Contact us today to get to know us.

What enthuses you? What do you do to experience more enthusiasm? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article. and I are looking forward to reading from you!

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Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

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