(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)
Enthusiasm – a : strong excitement of feeling : ardor <did her work with energy and enthusiasm> b : something inspiring zeal or fervor <his enthusiasms include sailing and fishing>
Enthusiasm comes from the root words meaning “in theos” or with/in God. So someone with enthusiasm is said to be ‘with God’ or have ‘God within’.
If you are religious, spiritual, or if you believe in God, the Universe, Source, Creator, Nature, whatever – you may consider trying to be more connected to that ‘Source’. If you believe good things come from your creator, whoever or whatever it is, you want to be connected or be a part of that thing, right?
A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm. –Charles Schwab
Someone with enthusiasm is connected. Someone with enthusiasm may also be called passionate – or they have passion for that task or idea, right?
Generally, I am a low key guy. That is good in many cases throughout life. I am good with it. But it is sometimes not in my nature to get excited or enthusiastic about something. I have to work at it. I recall once, as a young boy, my dad was trying to tell me that I needed to approach something with enthusiasm.
He defined the word in his own way and explained that when you’re enthusiastic, things go quicker and easier, people respond better, and you do a better job. He said that I needed to be enthusiastic. He wasn’t scolding me or otherwise; I could tell that he was sincere in trying to relate a life lesson. It was good stuff. At that time I thought about it but I wasn’t entirely on board.
(by the way, this one discussion with my dad planted the seed for me to start the Words to Live By series years ago for my daughters – I wanted a way to convey important ideas – like enthusiasm – to my kids, and have them able to be referenced later).
We’ve all been really pumped about something important in our lives. What was the last thing you were enthusiastic or passionate about? Try to recall the passion that you feel deep within you. It sometimes isn’t easy to explain or define.
“Enthusiasm is just a state of mind…an emotion…which you control. By control, I mean you can create it. If you want to be enthusiastic right now, this very second, you can create it. To start, just think about the work or service you like to do best. Can you feel a change, maybe a smile on your face?” ~Thomas D. Willhite~
This enthusiasm moves you in a direction that seems motivated by a force beyond your control. As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “It’s the inner excitement of being on the right path, doing what feels good to you, and what you know you were meant to do.”
Were you ever enthusiastic about something and you tried to ignore it and “it” just kept coming back? That’s probably because you feel or know in your heart and mind that it is the right thing for you in life at that moment.
“A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”- Mary Kay Ash, businesswoman
Enthusiasm is feeling and knowing that it doesn’t matter what other people say. It means that this is the right thing to do. It means that there are no real challenges. There are no excuses. It means that the journey will bring joy.
Think of a child when he or she is enthusiastic. They ask for something or they believe that they can accomplish something. You believe that they’re going to hit hurdles and obstacles and you think “Just wait and see.” Sometimes they do hit the hurdle, sometimes I think they’re discouraged by adults like us. Regardless, their enthusiasm is pure – they just know that they can do “it” and they move ahead with joy and passion.
“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” ~Anthony Robbins~
When did you feel like that? Do you remember how it felt when you were passionate? It was powerful, right? You felt happiness and joy. Even when you hit obstacles, if you still had that passion, you still enjoyed it, right?
I look back at things I’ve done – some easy things I did without enthusiasm looked bland and fell flat. Another task was actually quite difficult in retrospect but I was excited and passionate, and it was a joy the whole time.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I once was promoted to a new group at a large bank. I suddenly got intimidated about the challenges ahead. So I hired a coach. She helped me find the “why” and find what I was enthusiastic about. I moved ahead fine and I did well. It was fun too!
TO quote Wayne Dyer again, Enthusiasm is “the greatest gift you can receive. And when it’s aligned with Spirit, treat it as a miracle, doing everything you can to hold on to it.”
The presence of passion within you is the greatest gift you can receive. And when it’s aligned with Spirit, treat it as a miracle, doing everything you can to hold on to it.”
Enthusiasm seems to make the world cooperate with you, even co-create with you, doesn’t it?
Did you ever see the movie “Hairspray”? My daughters like it. In the beginning the main character is so enthusiastic about singing and dancing. She walks around the streets of Baltimore and sees all good stuff – all things seem to be encouraging her. In real life we’d say that she was naive or foolish. But simply put, she is passionate and enthusiastic and that’s what she sees in her life.
Do you remember when that happened to you? How did you feel?
Deepak Chopra said, “If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” This is what happens when we are enthusiastic.
“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
So next time you face a task, take a moment, take a step back and think of how you can be enthusiastic about it, think about the “Why”. What are you enthusiastic about in life? How will this small task help that “big idea”?
Use enthusiasm in your daily ‘hum-drum’ life and it won’t be so hum-drum, you’ll enjoy it more.
Enthusiasm is something you have when you found or decided that you have found you true calling, your purpose, your joy.