People ask me to teach my method for staying so motivated. My answer is always the same: I can’t motivate you because I don’t even know how to motivate myself. Either you want something badly enough to do what it takes to get it or you’re content with an average—at best—existence.

However, I can inspire you because I know what it’s like to be inspired. I can tell you how to become inspired to achieve the only thing that matters—the life of your dreams, whatever that dream is.

Before I tell you how, let me do the semantics justice. Some might argue that there’s no difference between inspiring and motivating someone. Obviously, I’m not part of this camp. If you are part of this camp or you’re splitting hairs about the potential overlap of the definition, don’t despair. I’ll break it down. 

Either you want something badly enough to do what it takes to get it or you’re content with an average—at best—existence.

The difference between “motivate” and “inspire” is the source of the energy behind the action. Motivation is internal. I don’t do internal because I can’t make you want something. It’s why I will never go in to the personal fitness industry.

There is no shortage of information on how to lose weight. I think most people know the basic formula. They need someone to push them through the work because they don’t have the discipline to make it happen on their own. My hat is off to the guys that can make a good living doing that; I’m not built for it. I’m built for inspiring people.

The difference between “motivate” and “inspire” is the source of the energy behind the word.

Inspiration is external. You see a lifestyle or set of accomplishments and your immediate reaction is “I want that and I will do what it takes to get it.” The external circumstances inspired you.

This is why I enjoy training people to pass running tests, providing coaching in my sport, and tutoring. The person is already inspired. They’ve chosen to learn from me because of my accomplishments in the discipline. They are motivated to succeed, but inspiration is what causes them to follow my lead.

The trick to getting inspired is to push past the limits of your comfort zone. Many people lack the motivation to do better in life because they genuinely don’t know what “better” looks like.

Not in any meaningful context, anyway. It’s one thing to see a beach paradise on a show; another, way more inspiring event, to take a trip to your closest beach and experience that setting for yourself. Afterward, you’ll be inspired to do whatever it takes to visit the beach often.

The beach is my favorite place to use as an example because I want to live there. Inspiration works like this for the improvement of any facet of life. If you see the adoration a nice physique gets, you’ll be inspired to work hard in the gym and eat right.

If you see someone with a tight-knit, loving family, it may inspire you to settle down with someone and build a life together. The key to becoming inspired is having a real, positive experience that differs from your normal, day-to-day life.

The trick to getting inspired is to push the limits of your comfort zone.

Inspiration can also go the other way. I know quite a few people that decided to stop smoking or stop drinking or clean up their diet after they have watched a loved one perish from the result of those habits. Having a close brush with death also inspires a person to change.

The inspiration comes from a real experience that has a negative effect so different from what you’re used that it forces you down a new path of action. It’s one thing to read the surgeon general’s warning on a pack of cigarettes; it’s another thing entirely watch someone you love die of lung cancer.

When you can’t find the motivation to make changes—to add to the good or diminish the bad—there is a good chance you aren’t properly inspired. You don’t even have something you strongly desire to avoid or attain yet.

To become inspired, always seek new experiences. Each new experience shows you a part of the world that you didn’t realize existed. Once you find something that lights your fire, THEN you will burn with the motivation to accomplish it.

To become inspired to kick a habit, get as close to the negative consequences as you can. YouTube searches for videos of people in drunk driving accidents or chemotherapy might change your life. Meditate on how terrible it would be to experience this. Every time I’m in the car and I contemplate texting while driving, I think about how expensive a fender bender would be. Then, I imagine how much worse it will be going 40 MPH.

Imagine what it’s like to meet your end as a result of your terrible habit and how much life you’re losing as a result. If that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.