Inspiration Evokes the Vision - Motivation Empowers the Mission

Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR

Recently I read How to Be #1: Vince Lombardi on Leadership written by his son Vince Lombardi, Jr. In the book, there is a chapter1 that mentions how crucial inspiration and motivation were to Coach Lombardi in molding the Green Bay Packers into a championship team after they finished 1-10-1 in 1958, the year before Lombardi became Coach/General Manager. Under Lombardi, the Packers would become the Team of the 60s, winning five world championships over a seven-year span, including victories in the first two Super Bowls.

Lombardi's insights stirred my thoughts inspiration evokes the vision; motivation empowers the mission:

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: (OED)2 from Latin, inspīrāre . . . to blow or breathe into

To infuse some thought or feeling into (a person, etc.), as if by breathing; to animate or actuate by some mental or spiritual influence. . . . with a feeling, idea, impulse, etc.

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Motivation: (OED)3 to provide with a stimulus to some kind of action; to direct (a person's energy or behavior) towards certain goals.

From Motive4: of the Latin, ML motivus serving to move.

1) Something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive. 2) the goal or object of a person's actions . . . . 4) causing or tending to cause motion. . . . . 6) prompting to action.

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  • Kendra Cherry writes in "What Is Motivation?"5

"Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal‑oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to act . . ."

  • On the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY web site under Psych Basics there is a topic: "How to Get Motivated."6

"Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals - and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self‑control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be."

 Inspiration Evokes the Vision;
Motivation Empowers the Mission

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[1]. Lombardi, Vince, Jr. What It Takes To Be #1: Vince Lombardi on Leadership. NY: McGraw-Hill (1982) 196.

[2]. "Inspiration," Oxford English Dictionary, CD-ROM, ver. 3.0, Oxford University Press, 2002.

[3]."Motivation," Oxford English Dictionary, CD-ROM, ver. 3.0, Oxford University Press, 2002.

[4]. "Motive," Random House Webster's Electronic Dictionary and Thesaurus, College Edition, ver. 1.0, 1992.

[5]. Cherry, Kendra, "What Is Motivation?" "Psychology,"‑definition.htm (accessed October 18, 2012).

[6]. Psychology Today, "How to Get Motivated," (accessed October 18, 2012).