Getting motivated to make positive changes in your life may require a kickstart by finding the inspiration from within

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I love reading your positive guidance-filled articles each week and enjoy the insight and stories. I really value what you say and it makes so much sense the way you explain it. However, I feel increasingly frustrated with myself because I just can’t get motivated to make the changes, even though I know I should create a better environment for my family and me. If knowledge is power, I wonder why I am so powerless when it comes to this. What is your take?

You are not truly powerless. You simply lack inspiration and a strong enough reason to make the changes you want to make. Even though what you read sounds desirable and makes sense, in reality, you are not inspired to act. Our human nature is to change only when we have to, because change is uncomfortable.

We always do what we want

I make a distinction between motivation and inspiration. Motivation requires external prodding, but inspiration is internal, coming from the heart. When something appeals to your emotions, you tend to be inspired. Ultimately, we always do what we want, what we feel. That philosophy goes along with a core concept I teach — that people always have the time, money and energy to do the things they want to do, or are inspired to do.


For example, if I invited you to a concert with musicians you were not crazy about, you would likely respond to my invitation with something like, “Oh! Thank you, but I can’t. I’m so busy these days, and we are watching our spending, etc.” You are neither motivated by the offer nor inspired by the musicians. However, if I asked you to spend $100 of your own money to attend a concert with me involving musicians that you absolutely loved, you are more likely to accept the invitation.

In your case, when making feng shui changes to your home, the effort to get out of your comfort zone and make the changes you read about is just not inspiring enough. To be inspired, you have to feel it in your heart.


Getting stuck between motivation and inspiration

Many people get stuck, not taking action, even when they say and think they want to. You can address this in two ways. One is to find the inspiration in the advantages you would receive by making changes to your home. The other is to make peace with your lack of inspiration. The key is to come to balance, and let go of the frustration and judgment about your inaction. When you are inspired to change, you will.

Stack up the benefits of taking action

If you resist taking action on something you feel you want to do, stack up the benefits and shift your perspective from external motivation to internal inspiration. When you are inspired to do something, external motivation is transformed into heart-centered action.

Writing down the benefits of what you stand to gain will change your perspective and lead to inspiration, making the achievement of your goal more likely.


Title the page, “The benefits of making feng shui changes in my home.” Your list might contain some of these reasons. “I will feel better, have more energy, be less grouchy, feel as if I have accomplished something, be part of creating a better energy at home for my family and refresh my spirit. Then take it one step further. “If I have more energy, I will be more patient, snap at my children less often, avoid senseless bickering and create increased peace in the home. In a peaceful environment my children will thrive and I can be more productive.”

If you have written down the benefits and are still not “feeling it,” you haven’t written enough. Keep envisioning the potential benefits and writing until you reach a point where you are inspired. You will know when that happens because you will take action, and it will not feel like a chore.

“I just want to drop it”

If writing down all the benefits feels like too much work, strive toward getting “should” out of your vocabulary and reframe your mindset, viewing your situation as perfect for where you are in your journey at the time! No one says you “have to” do anything! When you hear yourself using words like “should,” you are probably living by someone else’s rules, an outside authority showing up as an illusory inner voice, telling you what you should do. Your true inner voice never uses the word should. Coming from a more balanced space, you will feel the lightness when you hear it.

Perhaps someone in your past told you that a good mother or wife does everything she can to create a good home and you bought into that, subconsciously believing that you have to make changes to your home to prove what a good homemaker you are. Nonsense! Take a step back and question that “inner voice” when you hear it. If it is inspiring and light, void of judgment, it is probably genuine; but, if it is filled with “shoulds,” admonitions, and fear, it is probably your ego speaking, leading you somewhere you don’t want to go. When you learn to discern your inner voice from your ego, you will find change less burdensome, as your life transforms in positive ways.

Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of DVDs on feng shui, as well as award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit for more.