The Potency of Enthusiasm

“Nothing,” someone once told me, “is as contagious as enthusiasm.” He was quoting Edward Bulwer Lytton though I didn’t know it as the time. It is a thought that has stayed with me over the years and I have no doubt of its truth. Let’s face it, if you can’t get enthusiastic about your own ideas and projects, how do you expect others to get excited?

When I first started writing songs, as a young man still thinking I might become a pop star, I would sometimes go over to the piano or pick up my guitar and begin a new melody. With the song only half figured out, I would then often leave it for a day or two. After a couple of days, either I could remember that song or I couldn’t. And that was how I would test to see if the song was worth finishing; whether or not it was something I might be able to get enthusiastic about.

Do you have enthusiasm for your work, the job or business in which you are presently engaged? If so, that great; if not, are you doing the right thing? It is said that most people will spend about 72 thousand hours in their day jobs. That’s a lot of time to be doing something for which you have no enthusiasm don’t you think?

Without enthusiasm, it is impossible to give of your best. But with that magic ingredient, whatever you do will come to life. I remember, at my last place of work, seeing a colleague teach a course with passion and enthusiasm. Other people taught the same material, but just did not get the same results in terms of customer satisfaction. Everybody loved the enthusiastic guy and indeed, he was a role model for many.

Here’s a couple more questions for you to contemplate:

1. If you somehow inherited enough money to live comfortably without ever working again, would you continue to work?

2. If you answered ‘yes’ to the first question, would you continue to work in your present field of expertise?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both of the above questions, I bet you also answered ‘yes’ to the question about having enthusiasm in your current job. If we are engaged in what we want to do, it is easy to be enthusiastic. If, on the other hand, we are going to work for entirely the money, then perhaps we may not be quite so enthusiastic.

However, even in your present job, whatever it is, if you could just be more enthusiastic, I guarantee the world would perceive a different person and your results would improve, no matter what you do.

What Can Enthusiasm Do for You in Your Present Job?

Within ten days, enthusiasm took me from $25 a month to $185 a month(nb:that was in 1920′s)-it increased my income by 700 percent. Let me repeat-nothing but the determination to act enthusiastic increased my income 700 percent in ten days! I got this stupendous increase in salary, but not because I could throw a ball better-or catch or hit it better, not because I had any more ability as a ball player. I didn’t know any more about baseball I did before. … Enthusiasm alone did it; nothing but enthusiasm.

The above quotation is taken from the book How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger.

So how can you become more enthusiastic about what you do? I love Zig Ziglar’s answer to this question. You can watch him speaking about it here.

He suggests that you take a piece of paper and write at the top the following heading: 20 Things I Love About My Job. Then you have done that, make a list. Force yourself to do it if necessary, but find 20 things you, at least, like about your present job. Zig usually starts people off by suggesting that number 1 on your list might be that ‘they pay me’.

Zig then suggests that you use that list to craft 20 positive affirmations about your job. Say them every day to yourself (and don’t worry, they can’t lock you up for it) with enthusiasm and as Zig says, you won’t believe how the people around you have changed 😉

3 thoughts on “The Potency of Enthusiasm

  1. Abdulla Mistri

    I tried to follow the suggestion of “The Potency of Enthusiasm” offered and found an interesting result. It helped me a lot in finding my right Path to my destination.
    It forced me to concentrate on my present duties, care for my loving ones and lead to a new satishfaction level. Great! A mighty article can change and improve our skill…. now I believe it!

    Thanks to Anita for giving me a straight sight !

    Thanks to Ana, for her comment “The wonder about self-development is that we get to focus on progress rather than perfection”…. It is simply Great!!

  2. Ana

    What Anita says makes perfect sense. Also it is important to remember we are all work in progress, therefore even if we fall short on the 20 reasons once we begin the suggested exercises, we can always go back to them at a later time.
    The wonder about self-development is that we get to focus on progress rather than perfection.

  3. Anita Jefferson

    Enthusiasm is a great motivator. You will find that energy + passion = enthusiasm. The discovery is that you already have inside of you everything and all that you need to accomplish whatever you want to do.

    Let me suggest that readers also make a list of 20 Things I Love About Myself. Write your post and place the list in multiple locations. And, each day, often during the day, place your hand over your heart and say the 20 things you LOVE about yourself out loud. Inculcate the vibrations deep inside. Soon, in less than a week, you will be astounded with the zoom of energy, passion and enthusiasm you will feel.

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