Page 88 - Jackson Journal
P. 88

                 The Fallacy of
 In TRADOC Regulation 350-6, Enlisted Initial Entry Training Policies and Administration, and Schofield’s definition of discipline, the
terms motivation and inspiration are loosely used to describe how to influence Trainees and Soldiers. But how do we as leaders leverage these concepts
to meet desired end states? Better yet, how do we effectively mold Trainees to become committed and mitigate attrition rates?
Before I provide a supposition to these questions, I’ll identify the core differences between motivation and inspiration in relation to an individual. Inspiration is the end state of who we want to become or what we desire. It is in essence only an idea which is based in the realm of hope. Motivation on the other hand can be described as either an intrinsic or extrinsic motivator to take action and meet a desired end state. To put this into context, when you go about your day, what are you inspired to do? Are you inspired to exercise or turn in that TPS report? Inspiration is not necessary
to get you through your daily activities, nor is it necessary to become successful. The motivated understand what they want to do, what they need to do, and how they are going to do it. Inspiration is telling yourself, “I want to be that”, without requiring any follow through. Inspiration can be great but we as humans do not realistically need it for survival. Homo sapiens evolved based on needs and desires and used motivation to acquire them. Nowhere was inspiration necessary for survival.
1) Sinek, Simon. (2011) Start with Why. Penguin 2) Ibid.
The ability to motivate someone is generally not a difficult task. Based off the carrot and
stick idiom, tempting incentives or the threat
of punishment often elicit the behaviors we as leaders desire because it is quick and efficient.
We therefore get a desired output through minimum input. The mindset of the individual is ultimately the deciding factor on the sustainability of inspiration or motivation. Since inspiration
is an idea that doesn’t force action, it ebbs and
flows under various conditions. This hope to be something better degrades in value especially
when other opportunities begin to seem easier
or more beneficial.1 An example that we can all relate to is the Trainee whose father, grandfather, and great grandfather once served in the military. These Trainees are inspired to join and be a part
of something greater, but somewhere along the
line they realize that the military is not something they want to be a part of. Thus their lack of internal drive and motivation is what mentally triggers them to quit. But although inspiration is not essential,
it isn’t to say that inspiration cannot be of great significance. The inspired present the world with ideas to make our lives better through theories and inventions. But these individuals with the “why” mindset often don’t understand how to implement their creation or use.2 Having a combined team
of the inspired and motivated sets the conditions for original ideas to become fulfilled and this is ultimately the formula that we should all strive for.
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