THE MAGIC OF ENTHUSIASM
Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It is the force that often makes the difference between the mediocre and the superstars. In every field of human endeavor; be it sports or politics, business or the arts; nobody has ever made it to the top without a healthy dose of enthusiasm. In fact in the history of the world nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.
What is enthusiasm and where does it come from?
Enthusiasm originally comes from the Greek language. In its original form and usage enthusiasm was associated with being possessed by a divine afflatus or the presence of a god. It was the word used to describe the energy, fervor and inspiration that people exuded when they were possessed by a supernatural spirit. Enthusiasm is associated with inspiration, intense zeal, focus and enjoyment.
ENTHUSIASM IS THE ANTIDOTE TO INDIFFERENCE
The biggest obstacle between most people and progress is not a lack of talent, but a passive indifference. Many people do not care much about their careers and jobs. Few people care about the fortunes and futures of the organizations they work for. Not many are passionate about the direction their lives are taking or their personal relationships or their roles on a team or faculty. Passivity and indifference are pervasive and endemic in this generation. Enthusiasm is the antidote to indifference. It is impossible to be enthusiastic and insipid at the same time.
The source of all enthusiasm is belief. There are two dimensions of belief critical for enthusiasm. First is belief in you. If you underrate and disparage yourself and minimize your sense of self worth, you cannot be enthusiastic about anything. The enthusiasts in ancient Greece were people that believed that they were possessed by the spirits of the gods. They did not see themselves as ordinary people. They saw themselves as peculiar people specially chosen by the gods to accomplish significant missions. Their enthusiasm and zeal was inseparable from their sense of self worth. They believed that they were destined to accomplish insuperable feats and overcome odds insurmountable to the ordinary folks.
The greatest mistake you can ever make is to see yourself as just an ordinary person. The fact of the matter is that you are peculiar in every sense of the word. There is no one with a DNA like yours. There will never be anyone with a voice or finger print like yours. Above all no one will ever face the exact circumstances that the universe has matched you with. In a very real sense, like the enthusiasts of ancient Greece, we are all children of destiny divinely appointed to accomplish greatness.
The second dimension is belief in your mission. If you are really sold out to your mission, an unquenchable fire will burn in your belly. The salesman must believe in his product and the soldier on the legitimacy and primacy of the cause. Nothing illustrates this more graphically than the example of Arthur Motley. Arthur “Red” Motley was a master salesman and a prolific motivational speaker and writer who spent fifty years in the publishing profession. In 1958 he was famously dubbed “The greatest salesman God has ever created” after he took the loss making American Magazine and turned into a money spinner with a weekly circulation of more than 20 million copies within ten years. Motley attributed his success to a life changing experience he had as a university student. To earn extra money he used to sell musical instruments and he was very successful at it. One day he accidentally discovered that his instruments were faulty in that they produced a discordant note “C”. Although he never received a single complaint from his customers and although all his customers continued to extol the virtues of his instruments, from the day he made the discovery his sales plummeted. He had lost belief in his product and his mission. The moment you lose faith in your mission and product is the moment your enthusiasm begins to die and your chances of success begin to recede.
Enthusiasm Kills Procrastination
Procrastination is the worst enemy of any project. It kills momentum and breeds inaction. However, enthusiasm spurs us to act immediately. One can hardly wait to do a task that one is enthusiastic about.
Enthusiasm Is the source of staying Power
Every project or cause has its dark hours. A loss in enthusiasm has deleterious effects on any project. Enthusiasm gives the extra energy to navigate the treacherous times. The one who wins the war is not the one who never loses a battle, but the one who never loses his enthusiasm for battle. The ability to move from one setback to another without loss of enthusiasm is the hallmark of true fortitude of character.
Enthusiasm is Contagious
No virus is as contagious as enthusiasm. Indifference turns off people, but enthusiasm is magnetic. People do not always follow the one with the best ideas but are attracted more by enthusiasm, dynamism and positive energy. Charisma coupled with great ideas and enthusiasm always propels the leader to stratospheric success. If you have zest and enthusiasm you will attract zest and enthusiasm.
The best way to cultivate enthusiasm in your life is to act enthusiastically. Always act enthusiastically and not like a martyr about to be slaughtered. You cannot act enthusiastic and remain indifferent for long. No matter how difficult things are, raise your eyes and see the possibilities. The possibilities are always there and when you see them your enthusiasm will receive a boost. Your enthusiasm will always grow in proportion to your expectations. The greater your expectations the greater your enthusiasm for life will be. Finally, avoid the naysayers. People who highlight the difficulties and the problems will dampen your enthusiasm and take you down the gutter. People who tell you that it can be done and endeavor to show you how will build you up.
People who act confidently and enthusiastically in this life will meet with success unknown to common men. Enthusiasm is an accelerant, but apathy is a inhibitor.