Enthusiasm. You know it when you see it. The sparkle in the eye, the little skip in the step and a cheerful spirit bubbling from within. Encountering a person with enthusiasm is like being in the presence of someone who has been inspired by the divine.
Rightly so, for the word enthusiasm originally meant to be possessed by a god. These days, enthusiasm means ‘great excitement or interest in a subject or cause.
Children have a natural enthusiastic disposition. Adults on the other hand, seem to have a diminished capacity for enthusiasm. Why is it this so? Some would say that the educational system stifles enthusiasm by imposing learning, enforcing stringent standards of performance, sanctioning failure and restraining creativity.
This gets carried over to one’s adulthood and reinforced by the workplace. Adults have been inadvertently trained to think that enthusiasm is not essential to success.
However, it is enthusiasm which can actually spell the difference between success and failure. A salesperson who is excited about the product he is selling will most likely be able to close a deal than his colleague who is detached while making the sales presentation.
A ho-hum subject may very well capture the hearts of the audience at a gathering if the speaker is passionate about it and expresses this in his speech. It is enthusiasm that emboldens one through obstacles and challenges. Without enthusiasm, it is all too easy to give up when difficulties arise.
Enthusiasm cannot be forced. There are ways, however, to bring out genuine enthusiasm. One must take inventory of oneself and examine one’s attitudes. Negative emotions and their origins must be determined and addressed.
To encourage enthusiasm in oneself, one must seek out things that one is enthusiastic about. Spending time doing the things one is excited about gives rise to positive emotions that may very well carry over in other areas in life. It also helps to be with people who are naturally enthusiastic.
If man is to succeed and excel in life, he must harness the power of enthusiasm. As English poet Edward Bulwer-Lytton says, “Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm; it moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.”