When I met Dr Umesh and Dr Sharmilla Khot, I was astonished at how much passion and energy they emitted for the late Jagjit Singh, such that they created a magnificent book called ‘Lyrics of a Legacy: Jagjit Singh’ as a dedication to his life and his works.

I specifically remember holding this heavy and beautifully bound book and turning to a page with a lovely picture of Jagjit Singh playing chess with the infamous Gulzar, and a very funny conversation was had between them which gave me a wonderful insight into the man behind Jagjit Singh. It was such a pleasure to read!

When I stopped to think about the driving force behind what this husband and wife team has created, I knew it could only be a powerful calling as a result of how inspired they felt when they listened to Jagjit Singh’s voice. It’s incredible to imagine how moved we can become when we experience something that resonates with the core of our being.

And this caused me to consider the difference between feeling such a strong inspiration and trying to motivate oneself to feel this. Both appear to be the same but the underlying energy is very different and it is evident in the end results. Considering how difficult it is to write a book at all, the fact that this couple obtained and assembled never-seen-before content and committed to completing the entire process, is testament to the power that inspiration gives us.

When I try to motivate myself, nine times out of ten I’m pushing myself to do something I don’t really care about. It seems like motivation is about psyching yourself up, almost like forcing yourself to feel something that you’re not really feeling. But inspiration comes from a completely different place.

The word inspiration means to be in spirit. When you’re tuned into your spirit, you are naturally drawn to do whatever feels best. You may do things that aren’t outwardly productive. Or you may write a book in 30 days. Either way, it’s the perfect path to take because fulfillment is the end result.

Motivation, on the other hand, usually suggests that you think you should be doing something (without thinking about why) and it often leads in the direction of something that doesn’t really matter. It’s what you’re “supposed” to be doing. It’s just a good idea, but just not a passionate, burning desire that emanates from the core of your being.

So, how can you tell the difference between the two? When you’re inspired you know because…

  • You have to hold yourself back from starting right now
  • Your passion burns steady, it doesn’t flat line
  • You feel called to do this; the feeling comes from your core
  • You feel it in your bones

Now that doesn’t mean that what you are called to do will be easy. Nothing of value is ever accomplished without hard work. But when you’re inspired you don’t mind doing it. And I could clearly see that in Umesh and Sharmilla Khot. It appeared effortless.