Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy

Motivation vs. Inspiration

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I went away with my girlfriend Jill this week to Shelter Island, and then to Atlantic City. She had vacation time and likes what many people like – sunbathing, shopping at the outlets and all that good stuff.

I watched the other vacationers – particularly at Atlantic City. God, the weirdest people in the world go there! Smoking and hanging out at a slot machine! Okay, I could see myself getting addicted to gambling but I don’t even get started and don’t want to know.

All week I found myself thinking that life was not much different on vacation than my real day to day life. What did trouble me was that I got to do less of what I wanted to do (play guitar) and had to do stuff on someone else’s radar and “be” a person on vacation.

I realized that my job – playing and practicing the guitar – is a joy. I love it. And I have had ups and downs, but I don’t need to motivate in order to practice these days. I am so inspired – to see my musical creations come into being.

“You are so motivated” people say. No, that implies resistance, like there is this rock to roll up the hill and I don’t want to do it, but I make myself. That is not it at all.

I can’t wait for my touch on the instrument to “sparkle” which comes about 2 hours into a practice session; I can’t wait for the bridge of the new tune I am writing to reveal itself; I can’t wait to run old repertoire and be an onlooker as the music plays itself.

That – is so much fun, so delectable, so sweet – I can’t believe other people don’t get to feel that.

Motivation implies inner resistance whereas inspiration comes from the spirit moving within (in-spirat-ion).

Everyone must have the potential of finding something that yummy, that perfect, the thing that lights them up – the thing they have talent for. And as I saw people just eating, smoking, and gambling – I felt this spiritual deadness from some of them (Shelter Island was a little better than A.C.) and I realized these people don’t know how sweet life can be.

Then it occurred to me – whoa, I might be more tuned in then them, but there are those more tuned in than me. I bet I can just keep spiraling upwards. How high is up?

To find out and inquire what allows the inspiration to flow is a vast topic, and I’ll write about it forever because it has everything to do with outlook. And yes of course there is the old axiom “Art is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” but to stay the course and do the 99% is still inspiration- because you know, or have a sense of, the payoff.

My wish, my prayer for YOU is that you find and follow your inspiration – be it a hobby, job, whatever. It could be a walk in nature that only you experience, but what happens in your inner world is what counts.

When we are inspired and we love something, that’s saying “more please” to the universe, and the Law of Attraction then kicks in – we get more of the thing we want and love.

Pretty Cool! Hence, the expressions….

“Follow your bliss”

“Do what you love, the money follows”

Enjoy everyone, and may YOU follow your bliss.


Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

One thought on “Motivation vs. Inspiration

  1. First off I’d just like to say I’ve been reading your writing and it’s been a revelation, you address a lot of the things which tie me in knots! Fantastic guitar playing as well!

    I completely “get” all of this – from the “be a person on vacation” to the joy from practicing even though I am just a beginner.

    When I was young I lived to write computer programs and games. For myself, I experienced that same joy you get from playing a piece. So I “Do what I love” and now I do it as a job. But the joy is gone.

    I think there are two reasons:
    1) It is no longer working for myself, but for someone else at their agenda.
    2) I just can’t wait to get home and practice a piece.

    I have no answers, but I’d just like to say thanks for sharing, great writing!


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