[do action=”vfdictstart” title=”enthusiasm”/] [do action=”vfdictitem” contents=”absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest: He shows marked enthusiasm for his studies.”/] [do action=”vfdictitem” contents=”an occupation, activity, or pursuit in which such interest is shown: Hunting is his latest enthusiasm. “/] [do action=”vfdictitem” contents=”any of various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense emotionalism and a break with orthodoxy.”/] [do action=”vfdictend”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.” author=”John Wesley”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”I prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.” author=”Anatole France”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” author=”Winston Churchill”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”You can buy a person’s time; you can buy their physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you can not buy enthusiasm… you can not buy loyalty. You can not buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these.” author=”Clarence Francis”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Be ENTHUSIASTIC as a leader. You can’t light a fire with a wet match!” author=”Author Unknown”/]
Intense emotionalism towards an interest or pursuit.
The word enthusiasm is derived from the Greek word, enthousiasmos, which means to be inspired or possessed by a divine being. Enthusiasm is an incredibly powerful tool to create momentum. Enthusiasm can also be used to combat fear and nervousness and it can even create temporary energy and willpower. Being enthusiastic also creates an overall feeling of happiness and well-being that makes it worthwhile regardless of its positive side-effects.
So many of us are unenthusiastic. The media is constantly barraging us with messages of tragedy, pessimism and fear. The people we are around tend to side more on the end of cynicism and sarcasm rather than enthusiasm. As a result this behavior becomes our own. With a generally apathetic and pessimistic society, we naturally adapt these kind of behaviors, largely without realizing we are doing it. With such an environment, how can we possibly hope to cultivate the kind of enthusiasm we need?
Enthusiasm is like any other skill. If it is continually practiced and exercised, it gets better. If it is not, then it will degrade. Enthusiasm rarely comes naturally and it must be the result of conscious effort. Practicing the ability to use enthusiasm can keep you excited and driven even in horrible circumstances. Without this ability even great circumstances are viewed through the lens of sarcasm and cynicism. So how can we harness our own inner divinity?
Genuine enthusiasm can only be sustained about something you are truly passionate about. Anyone can get themselves hyped up over a boring situation for the moment, but sustained enthusiasm can only come when you deeply care about something. If you aren’t that interested in the outcome of something, you won’t be able to create enthusiasm.
Don’t spend your time pursuing things that you aren’t passionate about. If you aren’t passionate about something, try to minimize or remove the time it is taking from your life. Nobody is going to applaud you for working at a boring job, having boring hobbies or staying in a dead relationship when you are dead. We are ultimately responsible for the amount of passion we experience in our lives.
If you look at really successful people, all of them having something they are very passionate about. These people have a drive that compels them to give 110%. Nothing is more motivating than an obsessive passion. As a self-proclaimed obsessive about personal growth, I can attest to that.
Passion provides the fuel, without it and their can be no fire of enthusiasm.
Being enthusiastic requires a lot more energy. If you feeling like passing out from exhaustion at the end of the day, chances are you aren’t brimming with excitement. Enthusiasm and energy are very closely linked. Being energetic makes it far more likely for you to be enthusiastic and enthusiasm can literally create the energy you need to get going. This may sound like a catch-22, but it isn’t.
Energy comes mostly from a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat right and get plenty of rest and water is the first step. Many people like to debate minutia about whether or not to eat xyz or whether they should be taking a vitamin xyz supplement. These little differences are only going to make the difference if you’ve already mastered the basics of a healthy lifestyle.
Temporary enthusiasm can actually be created relatively easily simply by acting more enthusiastic. Simply by acting more enthusiastic then you feel, you can literally create the same level of enthusiasm inside. I use this technique whenever I am in a social situation where I need some added confidence or energy.
Think about how you act when you are enthusiastic. Smiling, moving around more and having more expressive body language are likely key characteristics. By making the conscious effort to behave more enthusiastically, you will start to feel more enthusiastic. After a few minutes you will probably create the kind of enthusiasm that your body language suggests.
Our body language commands a lot more of our internal behaviors then we think. Most of us believe that it is our internal emotions that create our body language. The situation, however, actually works in reverse as well. Body language itself can create the emotions it represents. I wrote about this more here.
Now that you have some ideas on how you can create enthusiasm, both temporary and long-term, what are some possible uses for this new skill?
Countering Fear and Nervousness
What do most people do to try to get rid of nervousness? They try to calm themselves down. Maybe take a few deep breaths or a drink of water. Unfortunately, this is probably one of the worst ways to counter it. Trying to calm yourself down only strengthens the nervousness until you are completely paralyzed.
Using enthusiasm takes the opposite approach. Acting incredibly enthusiastic will start by masking any nervousness in your body language and speaking. Once you’ve started to create that enthusiasm within yourself, fear and nervousness will be blocked out of your mind. The next time you are in a situation where you think you might be nervous, try to counter with enthusiasm.
Building Motivation and Momentum
Quick question: What is the antidote to procrastination?
Action of course! As soon as you start taking action, thoughts of procrastinating are blown away. Unfortunately this is a catch-22. You can’t act because of the procrastination and you need the action to get rid of the procrastination! At this point we can usually adopt numerous behaviors and techniques to try and convince us to do just enough action to break the threshold.
How about another approach? Enthusiasm. Enthusiastic people don’t procrastinate what they are enthusiastic about. If at all possible, create some enthusiasm in yourself. You can use the physiology technique to create some quick enthusiasm. By leveraging this small amount of enthusiasm you can create the momentum you need to stop procrastinating.
This can also apply on a long-term basis as well. Although the physiology technique generally only works in short periods, utilizing passion and energy can help us create long-term momentum. By investing our time in our passions and taking steps to improve our energy we can create the kind of enthusiasm that will be with us when we need it for a longer period of time.
Enthusiasm is a great communication tool. Enthusiasm grants you licence to a lot more confidence than you might otherwise have without appearing arrogant or boastful. By leveraging enthusiasm it is far easier to communicate with others and the quality of that communication is greatly improved.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to be more outgoing and extroverted, enthusiasm can be one of the best tools at your disposal. Enthusiasm centers your focus outside of your own ego which separates you from your need to protect it. When you don’t need to protect your ego, you can enter any communication situation without fear or worry.
The benefits of enthusiasm are vast. From improving productivity, social skills, and confidence to reducing fears and nervousness, enthusiasm is an incredibly powerful tool. Remember that long-term enthusiasm is a skill that needs to be developed. Focusing on your passions and working on your own personal energy will give you the base you need for enthusiasm. Like a spark, guiding your physiology can create a fiery enthusiasm for anything you do. Utilize that enthusiasm and you can get the most out of your life![do action=”vfquote” quote=”I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill.” author=”Sir Edward Appleton”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The worst bankruptcy in the world is the person who has lost his enthusiasm.” author=”H. W. Arnold”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.” author=”M.Ash”/]
Enthusiasm: Fake it Till You Make it
A lack of enthusiasm is like a virus. Take a look at any team, business, class, school, parish, organization or even a home. When times are tough, many people share their pessimism, fears, and general lack of enthusiasm with their teammates, fellow coaches, classmates, teachers, parishioners, suppliers, customers, and family members. This lack of enthusiasm quickly spreads like a virus, creating in its wake, one of the most damaging problems a team, school, business, parish or family can face – a lack of faith!
“Fake it till you make it” is a common catchphrase that can inspire us to imitate enthusiasm so that as our enthusiasm is observed by others, it produces real enthusiasm in the people around us. “Fake it till you make it “can be a useful tool to help us avoid getting stuck in a self- fulfilling prophecy related to one’s fear of not having enthusiasm.
Creating enthusiasm from nothing is something that great leaders are often called upon to do. The idea is to bring to the mundane tasks of daily life new found enthusiasm, particularly when things haven’t been going well, are boring, or depressing. Being that spark of enthusiasm that sets afire the spirits of your team, class, organization or family sometimes can be very difficult. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- Team: There will be days when things might not be going so well, or you find your team down in the dump. You walk onto the field and see fear or apathy in the eyes of your players and assistant coaches. You probably feel the same way, but your obligation as their leader is to start the fire of enthusiasm. Fake it, blow smoke, until the fire ignites. It’s been said that you have to be a champion before you can win a championship. So spark your team into displaying the enthusiasm of a champion rather than the fear of a loser. Fake it till you make it.
- Work: It’s no secret that business has been tough these last few years, but the ones that are making it are the ones who have kept their enthusiasm. Customers feel confident buying products from upbeat enthusiastic businesses. Even if times are bad, fake it until you make it. The positive enthusiasm generates a buzz; your customers sense the positive activity, and go out of their way to spread the good news and fire up new customers for you.
- Home: So you broke your hump today working 8-5 and things didn’t go well. You had better be prepared to wipe that scowl off your face before you walk in the door to greet your wife and kids. Better round up some enthusiasm for them. They really don’t care about your boss, they a care about you. Fake it until you make it. Give them some enthusiasm and they will feed it back to you, and soon you will forget that bad day.
- Classroom: Few people need to generate more enthusiasm on short notice than school teachers. 7:45 and forty or so empty eyes looking to you for enthusiasm. Fake it till you make it.
Initially creating enthusiasm from nothing might feel forced, but if you continue throwing off those sparks, a fire will start. Not only in the people around you, but a fire will actually start in your own heart and suddenly before you realize it, your fake enthusiasm has become real. You have created a positive feedback loop that is now generating its own energy.
George C. Marshall said; “It is not enough to fight. It is the spirit which we bring to the fight that decides the issue. It’s morale that wins the victory.” That spirit, that morale that wins, is created by enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm can be sparked with as little as a smile and a few upbeat words to your fellow man.
Being enthusiastic isn’t that difficult and can result in an incredible chain reaction of good in the world.
So if you have to….fake it till you make it.
Enthusiasm – The Key to a Successful Future
Enthusiasm is the energy, the fuel, the blazing fire that brings about a successful result. A famous writer once said that nothing great ever happened without enthusiasm. If you want to accomplish great things; if you want to realize great goals; if you want to live a great life, you absolutely must possess enthusiasm for everything you do.
Why is enthusiasm so important to success? The reason is that the difference between success and failure is often minute. Two people with virtually the same amount of skill and talent can differ vastly in the amount of success they achieve. This difference can’t be attributed to having more ability than the other person. In fact, in many cases, the more successful person actually has less ability. The difference is in enthusiasm.
This difference between success and failure is what we call the “Slight Edge.” The Slight Edge means that you don’t have to be 10 times or 20 times or 100 times better than the next person. You must simply be slightly better to achieve great success. In the world of professional golf, less than half a stroke per round separates the top player from the fiftieth or hundredth best player. Yet, this half a stroke difference is the difference between success and failure. It is the difference between winning many tournaments and not winning. It is the difference between millions of dollars and barely making a living.
How do you take advantage of the Slight Edge? The key is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is like a magnet. It attracts to you those things that you set out to achieve. It creates the conditions for a successful result. It enables you to take advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves.
Recently, there have been a number of books published about the importance of emotional intelligence. These books have shown that the critical determinant of success is not a person’s academic intelligence, but rather their emotional intelligence – their ability to control and manage their emotions in various situations and settings. Enthusiasm is the key to this emotion management. Enthusiasm allows you to control the emotional climate of any given situation.
How do you develop the power of enthusiasm? There are three critical steps:
- Interest – First you must have a strong interest or curiosity in knowing about a specific subject. In other words, if you want to be enthusiastic with people, you must be interested in them. You must want to know about them. You must want to establish a relationship with them. If you want to be enthusiastic about your work, you must be interested in it. You must want to know everything there is about your particular job. You must want to read about it in your off hours. You must want to learn, learn, learn.
- Knowledge – Many people are interested in any number of subjects, but until they really learn about these things, they never develop the knowledge necessary to create enthusiasm. Action is the key to turning interest into knowledge. When you are interested in something, you must act on it to find out the knowledge that you are seeking. As you build knowledge of the subject you are interested in, this then creates the condition for the third important step.
- Belief – Belief is where you transform your knowledge from simple academic information and facts to emotional commitment. This is where true enthusiasm is created. It is not enough just to know everything about a subject – you must believe it. The only way to believe something is to test your knowledge of that subject. By putting your knowledge to the test, you create belief in the validity and truth of that knowledge. This belief generates a strong emotional commitment, which fosters intense enthusiasm.
Here is a football analogy. Our high school football players are the most enthusiastic about running a particular offensive play after they practice it all week and then actually run it in a game and find out that it works. This can be true for a whole set of offensive plays or an offense in general. They took an interest in it, learned about it, tested it and now believe in it. That creates enthusiasm and breeds success. The same holds true for every area of life, whether it’s relationships, work, physical fitness, spirituality, or personal development.
Most people are sleepwalking through life, suffering “quiet lives of desperation.” Is this going to be the story of your life or are you going to wake up? Are you going to feel the enthusiasm and passion of living a life that you have always dreamed of?
The problem is that most people wait to be enthusiastic about something. Unfortunately, enthusiasm doesn’t hit us – it must be created. We must take responsibility for creating this enthusiasm in our lives. It is only then that we can fulfill our dreams.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Enthusiasm is the inspiration of everything great. Without it no man is to be feared, and with it none despised.” author=”Christian Nestell Bovee”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The real secret to success is enthusiasm.” author=”Walter Chrysler”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.” author=”Erica Colette”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die and a proclivity for united action; all of them, irrespective of the doctrine they preach and the program they project, breed fanaticism, enthusiasm, fervent hope, hatred and intolerance; all of them are capable of releasing a powerful flow of activity in certain departments of life; all of them demand blind faith and single-hearted allegiance.” author=”Eric Hoffer”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.” author=”Blaise Pascal”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” author=”Norman Vincent Peale”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.” author=”Christian Nestell Pele”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm” author=”Henry David Thoreau”/]
Enthusiasm originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a god. Johnson’s Dictionary, the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language, defines enthusiasm as “a vain belief of private revelation; a vain confidence of divine favor or communication.” In current English vernacular the word simply means intense enjoyment, interest, or approval.
Originally, an enthusiast was a person possessed by a god. Applied by the Greeks to manifestations of divine possession, by Apollo (as in the case of the Pythia), or by Dionysus (as in the case of the Bacchantes and Maenads), the term enthusiasm was also used in a transferred or figurative sense. Socrates taught that the inspiration of poets is a form of enthusiasm.
Its uses were confined to a belief in religious inspiration, or to intense religious fervor or emotion. Thus, a Syrian sect of the 4th century was known as the Enthusiasts. They believed that “by perpetual prayer, ascetic practices and contemplation, man could become inspired by the Holy Spirit, in spite of the ruling evil spirit, which the fall had given to him”. From their belief in the efficacy of prayer, they were also known as Euchites.
Several Protestant sects of the 16th and 17th centuries were called enthusiastic. During the years that immediately followed the Glorious Revolution, “enthusiasm” was a British pejorative term for advocacy of any political or religious cause in public. Such “enthusiasm” was seen in the time around 1700 as the cause of the previous century’s English Civil War and its attendant atrocities, and thus it was an absolute social sin to remind others of the war by engaging in enthusiasm. The Royal Society bylaws stipulated that any person discussing religion or politics at a Society meeting was to be summarily ejected for being an “enthusiast.” During the 18th century, popular Methodists such as John Wesley or George Whitefield were accused of blind enthusiasm (i.e. fanaticism), a charge against which they defended themselves by distinguishing fanaticism from “religion of the heart.”
In contemporary usage, enthusiasm has lost its meaning that someone is over excited and interrerible. The Enthusiast also refers to the “Type Seven” personality type (not to be confused with the “Type Three”/”Type A” personality). Some who fall into this modern definition of “enthusiasts” are adventurous, constantly busy with many activities with all the energy and enthusiasm of the Puer Aeternus (Peter Pan Complex). At their best they grab life for its different joys and wonders and truly live in the moment but, at their worst, they dash trepidously from one new endeavor to another, too scared of disappointment to actually enjoy themselves. Enthusiasts fear being incapable to provide for themselves or to experience life fully.
The journey to success is long, and enthusiasm is the fuel that sustains you. It is the fire that lights you up and keeps you moving forward in the face of difficulties. It lifts you up when the situation looks dark, and it energizes you when you are tired. That’s why Winston Churchill said that not losing enthusiasm is essential for success.
Fire Up Your Enthusiasm
1. Find a cause that fire you up
You can only have long-lasting enthusiasm if you have a fire that burns within you. Without it, all your efforts to ignite enthusiasm will only give you short-term results.So find a cause that you really care about, something that you are willing to put your heart and soul for. If you find it, you will have a strong source of enthusiasm that can sustain you for long term. I believe everyone has such fire, so find yours.
2. Dream a vision
If you have found the cause that fires you up, you should have a clear vision of how the future will be when the cause is fulfilled. Imagine how the life quality of many people will improve. Imagine how this world will become a better place. Can you see how people live at that time? Can you see the smiles on their faces? The more detail you can dream the future, the more it will energize you. The power of vision that comes from a burning cause is amazing.
3. Talk about your vision
Whenever I share my vision, I feel enthusiastic. Even if I have a bad day, I will soon be energized when I talk about my vision. So share your vision to others. Let them know about your cause and your dream. Not only will you ignite your enthusiasm, you will also fire up the people you share it with.
4. Set audacious goals
Vision deals with the long term, but you should also have goals for the short term. To be inspiring, the goals should be realistic but challenging. Set audacious goals. If the goals are mediocre, they won’t energize you. Only if they are audacious can they inspire you and those who hear you.
5. Put your written vision or goals in prominent place
Sometimes the busyness of life can make us forget about our burning cause and vision. That’s why it’s important to always remind ourselves about them. One effective way to do so is by writing them down and put them in prominent place. Put them on your desk, on your desktop wallpaper, or any other place you can easily see.
6. Remember your victories
It is easy to lose enthusiasm when we face many obstacles along the way. So it is important to remember not just how far we are from our goal but also how far we have walked. Remember your victories and let them remind you of what you can do. You have made a difference in the past, so there is no reason why you can’t make a difference in the future.
7. Create a “power station”
After spending your whole day working and facing difficulties, it will be uplifting to come to a place where you can be recharged. You could create a “power station”, a place where you can come and recharge your enthusiasm. You can use your office space or a room at home, and put motivational posters, pictures of your past victories, pictures of your dreams, or anything else that energize you.
8. Memorize some quotes that resonate with you
Inspiring quotes are good to motivate and encourage you. By memorizing them, you will have them handy whenever you need them. The quotes do not have to be somebody else’s sayings. They can also be the words you get through your own reflections and experiences.
9. Speak out positive words
Rather than thinking about them, speaking out positive words often gives better results. In my experience, this is one of the fastest ways to turn a situation around. By speaking out positive words, you can quickly light the fire in you.
10. Listen to uplifting music
Do you have some songs that you know can energize you? You should put them in your music player, so that whenever you feel weary, you can listen to them and be lifted up.
11. Listen to motivational podcasts / audio programs
Similarly, you may have some favorite podcasts or audio program that motivate you. Put them in your music player and listen to them whenever you need it.
12. Put up motivational images
Motivational images can feed you visually with positive input. You can set them as your desktop wallpapers, put them in your room, or place them on your desk.
13. Replace negative thoughts
Whenever negative thoughts start coming to your mind, don’t let them settle. Fight them back with the positive thoughts of your cause, vision, or values. If you leave them, they will take root and quench your fire.
14. Gather with enthusiastic friends
The truth is, no matter how hard you try, it’s often difficult to maintain enthusiasm when you are alone. It will be much easier if you gather with some enthusiastic friends. This way, when you are weary, their fire can ignite yours. In turn, when they are weary, your fire can ignite theirs. This way you will always have fresh fire transferred from your surrounding. The first step to do is to look around and find the people that can potentially do that.
15. Get rid of naysayers
While gathering around enthusiastic friends can energize you, gathering around naysayers will do the opposite: they will take away whatever positive energy you have. So avoid them at all costs. Of course, sometimes you need to reach out to them, but be sure that you energize them and not they take away your energy. You should always be open to constructive criticism, but avoid people who just make you down without giving constructive feedbacks.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” author=”Samuel Ullman”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Knowledge is power and enthusiasm pulls the switch.” author=”Steve Droke”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” author=”Douglas MacArthur”/]
The Power of Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is one of the greatest of human traits a person can have. An old Chinese proverb said “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” People are attracted to people who care. If you are enthusiastic about your work other people will be attracted to join in with you and help you take that work to the next level.
Nothing worth doing can be done by one person in total isolation from others. We need other people and they need us! If we show enthusiasm for what we are doing others will be drawn to our enterprises. No one wants to be around a “Grump.” We all crave the positive energy of life, the exuberance, the joy, the pure love of life and when we see that in another person we want to be around that individual. When people see this energy in you they will want to be around you. The Famous actor Clark Gable once remarked “The only reason people come to see me is because I know life is great and they know I know it.”
Do you realize how great life is? Do you inject your enthusiasm into every venture you endure?
In addition to its attractive energy, enthusiasm has another attractive quality, it can be extremely contagious!
It has been noted throughout history by all the great thinkers that we become like the people that we are around.
In the world of animals this is called imprinting, a baby duck picks up how to act from the mother duck, a puppy learns from the elder dog. The same thing goes on in human life, the more attractive a person is the more likely others are to imprint off that individual and enthusiasm of the right sort can make an individual very attractive. The energy of the universe glows through him or her.
The Power of Enthusiasm in Business
In a business context nothing could be more important, one properly enthusiastic person on a team can ignite other members to a warmer glow of emotional energy, two can set a team on fire. On the other hand “Gloom” can be contagious as well, but people tend resist gloom. Deep down everybody wants to be committed to something so properly displayed enthusiasm is one of the most attractive, infectious characteristics imaginable.
It has been said “That nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm,” author unknown but I am certain that I read the quote elsewhere. Enthusiasm can become a habit like most anything else. I am an enthusiast about almost everything I do it is the most beneficial way to engage most every situation in this world. Enthusiasm is attractive, contagious and energizing. Your own enthusiasm gives you an immediate point of contact with other individuals of superior quality who because of precisely this may become to see in you, something of themselves. Washington Irving wrote “Enthusiast soon understand each other.” I think nothing could be more true, just think a moment when you meet someone that is just so full of enthusiastic energy can you not relate to their exuberant feelings. I mean don’t they just make you feel better no matter what the situation? Enthusiasts do understand each other and since we all want to work with other people we understand, enthusiasts throughout the world tend to work with each other at the highest levels of any enterprise. Therefore I enthusiastically conclude; It is a very good thing to be an enthusiast. A quote by Clarence Day said “You can’t sweep other people off their feet if you can’t be swept off your own!”
Obtaining the Power of Enthusiasm
If you find yourself having trouble with a lack of enthusiasm just remind yourself of the elements of its genesis.
First you must be interested in what you are doing, fascination is best. If you don’t have it do what it takes to get it! Second, you need a strong desire for what you are pursuing. If the old pursuit has run out of steam, then you need a new pursuit, right away, within the job, attached to the job or if all that is really impossible and you enthusiastically tried your best, within a new job. Third, overcome any emotional blockages to enthusiasm by transcending the negative and imaginatively nurturing the positive. Give yourself a big picture of what you are doing, find something to love about that job and cultivate that love. Set goals whose attainment will bring into your life things that you deeply desire and when you achieve them celebrate that heartedly.
Once you achieve your goal you must renew your vision. Chart out a strategy for pursuing your new goals, launch out, keep your head up, stay on course and indulge yourself in a little passion or rather a lot.
Seven Strategies for Living with Enthusiasm
By Samuel Ullman
Everyone has a choice to make about their attitude each morning. So, why not choose to be enthusiastic about what you are going to do today? Enthusiasm is at the core of all success. Whether you’re hoping to achieve a big dream, get a better grade in class, heal your body, find peace of mind or push for a promotion, enthusiasm can help.
Here are seven strategies for living with enthusiasm.
- Know what’s important. Take time to identify the values that are most important to you. Share them with the people you love. As you discover, talk about and act from your values, you unleash your enthusiasm.
- Choose your path. Every choice adds to your enthusiasm bank account or drains it. Your life is the sum total of your choices. What are you choosing to think and do right now?
- Renew your spirit. You can accomplish this by replenishing your energy so that regardless of what is going on in your life, you can greet the day with a welcoming smile, an enthusiastic heart, a vibrant body and a fresh, open mind.
- Take action on your dreams. Anything is possible if you hold your vision, commit to it, and let the Universe help you one step at a time. Consider this quote from Goethe,” Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!”
- Appreciate yourself. List four strengths, characteristics, qualities or talents that you appreciate in yourself. Read the list out loud to yourself every day, saying, “I acknowledge and value my…” until you have it memorized.
- Nurture your support systems. People feel happier when they feel cared for. Therapists tell us that we need a minimum of five good friends in our lives to stay healthy. If you don’t have five friends in your network, work to develop them.
- Let go and live in the moment. Each time we let go of the past, we experience loss along with its requisite emotions, felt or unfelt. More often these emotions are painful, but sometimes joy and relief also emerge.
Youth is not a time of life. It’s a state of mind. It’s a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm, wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair – these bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. Whether 60 or 16, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and the star like things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what-next, and the joy of the game of living. You are as young as your faith; as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence; as old as your fear; as young as your hope; as old as your despair. So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the Infinite, so long you will be young. When the wires are all down, and all the central places of your heart are covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, will you grow old.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.” author=”Charles Schwab”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius.” author=”Isaac Disraeli”/]
Characteristics of Enthusiastic People
- Enthusiastic people RADIATE ENERGY. The #1 characteristic of enthusiastic people is their ability to radiate positive energy. When these people walk into a room, heads turn and people gather. Their smile lights up a room. Also referred to as charisma, their power comes from within. Famous Energizers: Mother Teresa, Julia Roberts, Maya Angelou, Oprah.
- Enthusiastic people are CURIOUS AND INTERESTED in life. They ask a lot of questions and explore what interests them. They love learning and live in a state of wonder, surprise, and delight: Famous Curious People: Sylvia Earl, Anna Quindlen, Dale Chihuly, the Delaney Sisters, Barbara Walters, Steven Spielberg.
- Enthusiastic people FOCUS ON THE GOOD (even when things are bad). They emphasize what they can do rather than what they can’t do. They look for the gift in difficulties and live life with gratitude. FAMOUS POSITIVE TALKERS: Mr. Rogers, Christopher Reeve, Louise Hay, Norman Vincent Peale.
- Enthusiastic people FEEL DEEPLY AND LAUGH OFTEN. Laughter helps them keep things in perspective and just as they are open to joy, they also allow tears. They show compassion for life’s difficulties and use humor to help themselves and others through tough times. FAMOUS COMPASSIONATE LAUGHERS: Bill Cosby, Carol Burnett, Anne Lamott, Tom Hanks, Patch Adams.
- Enthusiastic people DO SOMETHING THEY LOVE every day, no matter how small. They are passionate about their work, hobbies, craft, or the sports they play and it shows. FAMOUS PASSIONATE PEOPLE: Julia Child, Suze Orman, SARK, Venus and Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong.
- Enthusiastic people SERVE A GREATER PURPOSE than themselves. They have a desire to help others and build community. They are naturally drawn to share their enthusiasm with others. FAMOUS COMMUNITY BUILDERS: Oprah, The Dali Lama, Marianne Williamson, Cheryl Richardson, Nelson Mandala.
Enthusiasm – It Is Contagious
Who would you rather be with at work? Someone who hates what they are doing, or someone who loves what they are doing? The answer is obvious. People who love what they do seem to have a charisma or enthusiasm about them. Their attitudes are contagious, and for obvious reasons, they are simply more enjoyable to be around.
Remember different teachers you might have had in high school or college? I remember teachers that lectured – or should I say read from notes or a manuscript – to their classes. They never even looked up at their students. I also remember teachers who spoke from their hearts. They encouraged questions and classroom participation. They weren’t necessarily funny, but somehow their classes were fun and exciting to be in. What’s the difference between the two? Well, part of the answer is enthusiasm. One teacher is simply doing the job, just going through the motions. The other teacher is immersed in his or her job, involved with the students and creating a learning experience. The first teachers educate the students by lecturing. All information is going one way, from teacher to student. Either the student gets it or doesn’t. They try to take notes and listen, with every attempt not to fall asleep. The other teachers are encouraging two way learning. They interact and communicate with students.
Isn’t it almost the same in the working environment? Some people just work for their paycheck. Others work for their company and personal fulfillment.
Zig Ziglar tells a great story about enthusiasm. There were some employees of a major railroad company standing around the tracks. A large limousine pulls up to the workers and out steps a well-dressed man, the president of the railroad company. The president walks up to one of the workers and says, “Hello Bob, how are you?” Bob says, “I’m doing great, Gene. Thanks for asking. ”When the president of the company walked away, the workers were impressed with Bob and asked him how he knew the president of the company on a first name basis. Bob told them that twenty years ago they started working together. The workers asked Bob, “How come he’s president and you still work out here in the yard?” Bob replied, “Twenty years ago when we started together, I went to work for the paycheck. Gene went to work for the railroad company. ”
Gene obviously loved what he did and managed to work his way up to becoming president of the company. He didn’t get there by not caring or not having a passion for what he did. To get to the top where Gene started took a lot of hard work and enthusiasm in his job and his life. Enthusiastic people tend to be more successful.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” author=”Benjamin Disraeli”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” author=”Sir Winston Churchill”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” author=”Unknown”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The worst bankruptcy in the world is the person who has lost his enthusiasm.” author=”H. W. Arnold”/]
In Praise of Honest Enthusiasm for the Awesomeness of Life
By Brendan Leonard
One Saturday morning last October, my friend Greg and I were running down the North Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon, close to halfway through 26 miles of trail. We had run four miles and would run about four more to Phantom Ranch, where we could double-fist coffee and lemonade at the cantina before climbing 4,400 vertical feet back up the South Rim to finish a hike/run Rim-to-Rim.
I turned around mid-stride and said, “Hey Greg!” “Yeah,” he said. “We’re running in the Grand Canyon!”
Sometimes I get to do awesome things, and I kind of forget how awesome they are. Do you? I get stressed, caught up in other stuff, and I forget how fortunate I am, how incredible life has turned out to be most days, and some of the special places I’ve gotten to see.
Kurt Vonnegut, in a 2003 speech to students at the University of Wisconsin, said,
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”
I urge you to notice when something is awesome, as it often is, and exclaim or murmur or just make a mental note of it. Isn’t it fantastic that you have your health, for example? Or running water, or electricity? Or that you have enough money to actually pay someone else to make you a cup of coffee? Or if you want ice cream, you are at any time in America probably only 5 or 10 minutes away from a place that sells some form of it? (Trust me on that one)
Your life, even the bad parts, is amazing. And most of the small things that make up your life are amazing, too — mountain bike rides, rock climbs, ski runs, sunsets, stars, friends, people, girlfriends and boyfriends, dogs, songs, movies, jokes, smiles…even that burrito you ate for lunch today was pretty phenomenal, wasn’t it?
When it comes to enthusiasm, I think we could all step it up a bit!
People can disagree with things like quality, maybe your taste in food, or whether or not a movie is good. But no one can argue with enthusiasm, especially when it is over the top.
Remember it is not illegal to high-five anyone. Do you use exclamation points in the salutations of your e-mails? Well, why not?
Do you like to laugh? Most people do, don’t they? Including servers, wait staff, gas station attendants, and retail personnel. Perhaps you have at some point had a real conversation with one of these people. This can sometimes begin by sincerely asking those people how they are, instead of treating them like a machine that makes you coffee or orders your salad. This opens the door to making them laugh. If you play your cards right, you may be able to high-five them at the end of a conversation.
Remember yesterday, when you saw that one thing that reminded you of that one friend of yours, and you thought about how if you sent that friend a photo of the thing that reminded you of them, they would smile? But then you didn’t send your friend that photo, and it wasn’t awesome. Don’t do that again. Here’s what you do:
Take the photo.
Send it to your friend.
Your friend smiles.
The world is a better place. Thanks.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”In the end, the size of a person’s accomplishment can best be measured by the size of their heart.” author=”Unknown”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool” author=”William McFee”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”No person who is enthusiastic about his work has anything to fear from life.” author=”Samuel Goldwyn”/]
By Dr. Harris Cohen
A long time ago, I sold World Book Encyclopedia, door to door. If you tried to do this today, one would have multiple gunshot wounds. Back in the day, you really could go door-to-door without the fear of being shot.
One of my trainers told me a story about his best salesman. He said that this gentleman was not educated at all. In fact he was truly illiterate. This man could not read, or write. In order for him to go out and sell books, he had to be accompanied by someone who could write the orders for him. So how is it so, that this illiterate man could become the number one salesman.
The trainer continued the story by describing what this salesperson did during a presentation. He was very personable, and would engage the homeowner and conversation. He found out some important information about the number of children, the age and goals the homeowner had for their children. In other words, he was a really good listener.
Armed with this information, he explained how these books, filled with pictures told a story of learning. He spoke eloquently, about what you could learn by just looking at these pictures. He did this presentation with such enthusiasm, that most of the homeowners were transfixed by the infinite possibilities these encyclopedias would do for their children.
By the end of the presentation, most of his prospective clients would purchase the encyclopedias based more on his enthusiasm, then on the content.
There are basically two types of enthusiasm. The most common type is listening or participating in a happening and feeling wonderful during the event. This type of enthusiasm is short-lived because while you are in the environment it feels really good but when removed from the event the feelings tends to diminish very quickly.
The other type of enthusiasm stems from an inner drive that is stoked by positive reinforcement of events. This type of enthusiasm can literally be cultivated by recapitulating positive events that happened during the course of the day. By mentally exploring the positive aspects of the each day, one becomes adept at changing the normally negative based thinking process into a positive one. Over a period of time, this positive reinforcement becomes normal. At that point in time your thoughts are literally trained to conclude positive outcomes rather than negative ones.
Remember, the most difficult thing that any person can achieve is to have control over his or her thinking process. It’s not weeds we want to continually grow, it is the flowers. Flowers take time, caring, persistence and determination in order for them to bloom but when they do they are beautiful and light up your life. Let’s make flowers not weeds.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go farther than a great idea that inspires no one.” author=”Mary Kay Ash”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Most great men and women are not perfectly rounded in their personalities, but are instead people whose one driving enthusiasm is so great it makes their faults seem insignificant.” author=”Charles A. Cerami”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Flaming enthusiasm backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” author=”Dale Carnegie”/]
The Power of Enthusiasm
By Ralph Marston
Your life is a great and wonderful experience, so don’t be afraid to show some genuine, infectious enthusiasm for it. The world is filled with outstanding opportunities, and you can make the most of those opportunities by being enthusiastic about them.
Yes, sometimes you might look a little bit silly. However, it’s much better to be laughed at for being enthusiastic than to be pitied and avoided for being dull.
Enthusiasm keeps you young, energizes your days, and attracts positive people to your efforts. Enthusiasm keeps you focused on moving forward, even when there are obstacles and distractions working against you.
To be enthusiastic, you must do what you truly care about, and genuinely care about what you’re doing. To be enthusiastic, be honest with yourself about what your passions are, and follow those passions without holding back.
Feel how good it feels to let enthusiasm freely flow. Feel how powerful it is when your actions are continually energized by your enthusiasm.
Find those things about which you can be authentically enthusiastic. And then, let the power of your enthusiasm flow.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money, power and influence” author=”Henry Chester”/]