"Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success." - Dale Carnegie
"What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists...and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want...and are fully determined not to quit until you get it." - Alexander Graham Bell
I think we’ve all had an experience or two where our enthusiasm for the activity was very high. If you recall one of those episodes, how did it turn out for you? How did you feel about the activity? And what was the outcome?
There is almost a magical quality within our excitement for something. An enthusiastic attitude seems to line up our resources in such a way as to give us our best performance and usually a great experience. I bet you’ve seen some examples from the other side of that particular coin too. When you have no excitement for an activity, even if it simple to accomplish, it becomes painful drudgery and the outcomes are often not our best work. Facing bigger or more complex problems becomes a non-starter for us.
On a scale of one to ten, where ten is the most enthusiasm you’ve ever felt, where would you rate yourself right now?
Frustration, repetition, pain, isolation - these are all great detractors from our ability to sustain enthusiasm in our day. So it is no surprise that as we get older, and our obligations increase, that it becomes more difficult to summon excitement to confront the morning, much less the impending week, month, year!
Yet, there are many great examples of people that have come before us that have faced mind boggling suffering and difficulty and somehow managed to find enthusiasm in the midst of it all. What is the secret?
To live a full, happy and successful life we need to unravel this mystery and tap into enthusiasm when we want it, not just accidentally. So your exercise for this week is to find something in your life that you are excited about. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, but once you find it, really look at it in detail. What is it about that thing that fans the flames for you? You may not understand how the fire intrinsically works, but that doesn’t mean you can’t harness it!