Friday, February 8, 2019

Lean Quote: Action → Inspiration → Motivation

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action." — Frank Tibolt

Most people only commit to action if they feel a certain level of motivation. And they only feel motivation when they feel an emotional inspiration.

The following is how most people approach completing goals.

They wait for inspiration. Then they act — they go to the gym, clean the entire house to surprise their partner when they get home, they start writing chapter 1 of their novel.

And yet, despite these surges of inspiration that happen every day…

Gyms are rarely frequented.

Houses remain cluttered messes.

That book is still a (mostly) empty Word document on the computer.

That’s because this strategy doesn’t work.

Emotional Inspiration → Motivation → Desirable Action

It’s a catch-22 of sorts. But the thing about the motivation chain is that it’s not only a three-part chain, but an endless loop:

Inspiration → Motivation → Action → Inspiration → Motivation → Action → Etc.

Action comes first, not last.

Action → Inspiration → Motivation

Don’t wait until you “feel inspired.”

Action creates inspiration. Action creates luck, creativity, and motivation.

Rather than waiting to feel inspired and motivated, you just need to start doing the work. Seems too simple right? Well, when you start putting in a little bit of daily work, it creates a compounding effect. You’ll begin to feel inspired, ideas will flow and you start building momentum. When you start doing, the rest starts to fall into place. The pathway to realizing your goals and dreams is non-linear and requires you to put in a lot of effort.


Taking action and applying a new idea to your life will inspire you more than anything someone else could say.

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