18 Meaningful Ways to Motivate and Inspire Others Today

Motivation and inspiration have two different meanings but are often used interchangeably because the intention behind their use is the same, to get people to do something.

Motivating and inspiring others require confidence and skills in your ability, being secure with your self-worth, having an open mind, being empathetic, and radiating that positive energy onto others are just a few important characteristics.

In this article, we’ll talk about more important characteristics and traits it takes to motivate and inspire others, as well as the importance and impact it has on the people around us, and potentially the world.

Is motivation and inspiration the same thing?

Motivation and inspiration are two different things, but both have the same intention. You can read here motivation vs. inspiration, but in short, motivation is the reason someone takes action, while inspiration is the state of being aroused by something to act in a certain way.

When you are inspired, you have a great idea to do something, and then you take action because of what motivated you.

Inspiration is your idea and motivation is your why. You get inspired to start a garden and your motivation is finding a hobby you enjoy. Inspiration is looking forward to the future, and motivation is changing the past.

Both terms have subtle differences that aim to make a person change for the better.

How to Motivate and Inspire others

Although there are specific characteristics to learn to motivate and inspire others, there is a common theme when it comes to influencing people, and that is to be a nice person.

In Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People, so much of the book is about being a nice person. Smiling, positivity, and kindness go a long way to affect someone. You can always feel someone’s energy.

What Makes a Person Inspiring?

An inspiring person

An inspiring person changes the way people think and instills new ideas and concepts. They make them want to change and take action. Here is how you inspire others.

1. Tell a story

When someone tells you a story you listen intently and imagine what it’s like in your head. This is the same reason people read fiction books, it makes us imagine and visualize what it will be like. Telling a good story instills creativity in people and gives them hope that they can achieve the same.

2. Be yourself

You living your best life is contagious. The way you live and how you carry yourself attracts certain people, and makes them want to be where you are too. Being comfortable with yourself and living a joyful and fun life inspires people to be there too.

3. Be empathetic

Appealing to people’s emotions and understanding why they feel the way they feel is a powerful way to relate. People feel connected when they are understanding of each other. One of the best qualities to have is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

4. Stay true to your values

We follow certain people because we believe we share the same values, and we look up to them in hopes that they act in a certain way to hold those values true. Staying true to your words is a good character trait to be consistent in someone’s life. Do you remember the last time you unfollowed someone because they did something out of character or did the vision you had of one person change because of a certain action they took?

5. Stay positive

Speaking positively is more effective than speaking negatively. Have you ever reacted nicely when someone spoke in a negative tone to you? Negativity can be draining and being around someone who complains all the time is not good. Positivity puts people in a good mood and affects their mindset and tone for the rest of the day.

6. Practice gratitude

If more people knew that happiness is a choice, it would make things a lot easier. Practicing gratitude is a great reminder to be thankful for what you already have, and happiness from one person will affect another.

7. Be passionate

Many people struggle to find a passion for something, so when they see someone else doing something purely for joy, it inspires them to try it too or to find something where they can love it just as much.

8. Have goals

Nothing is more inspiring than seeing someone go after their goal, and oftentimes achieve their goals because then it shows that it’s possible. When an athlete breaks a record, it paves the way for other athletes to break it too because now they know it’s possible, and thus, more records get achieved.

Read here the 7 Types of Goals for Long-Lasting Success or How to write SMART Goals.

9. Challenge Them

People love a good challenge because it requires them to do something different outside of their routine. It allows them to use their creativity or their abilities to see what they are capable of.

10. Trust people

We can only hope people do the right thing. Our only job is to do the best we can and trust that people can do the same. Inspiring is placing ideas and hoping they’re good enough to invoke ideas in other people to change, but at the end of the day, we can’t control anyone’s actions.

What Makes a Person Motivating?

A motivating person can get people to take action to achieve their goals. Motivation is the WHY people do something and sparking that in someone is a good motivator. A motivator requires being more active than an inspirator. You can read here for strong motivators, but here is how to motivate people.

11. Ask and Listen

Genuinely express interest in someone’s life and ask them questions, get to know them. Ask about their goals and if they have plans to achieve them, what do their short-term goals look like, and what about long-term? Get to know what motivates them, what’s important in their life, and what keeps them going.

12. Provide support

How can you help this person? What resources do they need to achieve their goals? If you can find ways to decrease the barriers or improve the path by providing tools and resources, it will help the person feel supported but also feel like the goal is more achievable. Knowing that someone cares enough to help and that you have someone rooting for you is a big motivation booster.

13. Follow Up

In this study, the highest rate of achieving goals was writing them down and sending regular progress reports to someone to hold them accountable. To help motivate someone and to make sure they are on track and making progress, follow up regularly, or have them send weekly progress reports. This is where you can identify if there are any problem areas and talk about setbacks, if any, or praise them on their progress and keep encouraging them to continue and not give up.

14. reward, praise, compliment

Humans crave a reward, that’s why we do everything we do, and also why we don’t do something. Most people don’t stick to their goals because they don’t get instant gratification (the reward), they’re not focused on the big picture when there is no noticeable progress along the way. Help motivate people by offering rewards or praising and complimenting often. Don’t let any hard work or small progress go by without any notice.

15. Build Trust

Trust is really important when it comes to making deals with each other. If two parties are holding each other accountable, then there is a lot of trust to make it happen. Most people don’t want to let other people down, so if you are firm in your words and actions, the other person will most likely be firm in their words and actions too. The relationship and commitment you’ve built with someone gets stronger over time.

16. speak positively

No one wants to work with anyone that speaks negatively to them. Positivity is contagious and is a better approach to motivate than to be negative.

17. Encourage Them

No goal or objective worth pursuing is ever easy, everyone at some point will experience difficulties and struggles. Encouragement is a good tactic to remind them that their hard work is not a waste and that the journey is worth it. Be the person to lift their spirits when they are feeling down. Encouraging words help keep people motivated to continue and not give up.

18. Believe in people

You can motivate and help a person as much as you can, but at the end of the day, you don’t control them and can only hope they make the right decisions. If you’ve done the best you can and have contributed as much as possible, all you can do now is believe in the person you are working with.

Why is it important to motivate and inspire others?

Motivating and inspiring others add purpose and meaning to your life. When you are the reason someone does something, it makes you feel important, and that you are here for a reason. You are potentially contributing an important life-changing decision to someone because you have imparted wisdom or advice, and they now want to better their lives because of you.

The power to impart change to someone else’s life improves your confidence and self-esteem and helps you continue to be better. Helping others gives you a reason to get out of bed every day and to show up to be the best version of yourself because you want to set a good example. This is how great leaders are made. They are not only thoughtful of themselves but of everyone around them.

Motivating and inspiring is a skill, and once you start, it becomes easier because you learn more as you reach more people. Your impact becomes larger, you change more lives and you leave behind a legacy. Your name now has value behind it because you’re the reason people decided to make a change.

When we help others, we help ourselves, and we take care of ourselves, so we can take care of others. This is how we can spread happiness, hope, and positivity.

What impact do motivation and inspiration have?

The way people live has an impact on this world, and the job that people choose to do contributes to society in some way. The decisions that lead to the direction of people’s lives could have been changed or modified at some point, in so many different ways.

People get influenced by who they live with, who their friends are, who they follow on social media, who their family members are, or even how they grew up with the kind of resources they have or didn’t have. There are so many factors that direct someone’s life, so imagine being a person who is a defining moment in someone’s life.

Motivating and inspiring someone is contributing to society. Whether you think so or not, and whether a small or big decision someone has to make, it can change the world. We see this every day on a large scale by famous people and celebrities. One decision they made being influenced by someone changed the trajectory of their life.

Many musical artists have other musicians that influence their music, some people become doctors because they were saved once by a doctor, some people become teachers because they had a teacher change their lives, and many other jobs have influenced people in some way.

Motivation and inspiration are powerful because they change the world, they shape our world, and make it what it is today.

Read here about motivation and success.

Who can inspire and motivate people?

Truly, anyone can inspire and motivate people. You don’t have to learn how to be a motivational speaker, you don’t have to be a celebrity, you don’t have to have a large following on social media, and you don’t have to be a genius. You can simply be yourself.

Inspiration and motivation can strike at any time and can happen to anyone without both people even knowing. Naturally enjoying yourself at your job can be an inspiration to someone. Positive energy and being happy doing something you love radiates to other people and it makes them want to be happy too.

Being good at something you do and showing confidence and joy can inspire people whether that be your job or working on a hobby you love. Inspiring and motivating don’t have to be extravagant, you don’t have to inspire someone to make a difference and change the world, you can inspire them to live an honest, fun, and enjoyable life.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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