We all know “that guy/girl” … they always seem happy, focused and grateful. Their optimism about almost any and every situation is admired by some but also annoying to others. Yes, I’m talking about those positive souls that awake fired up and seemingly eager to meet the challenges of the world. I’m talking about those who have acquired and nurtured the skill of enthusiasm. We’ve all seen it, but what is it?
An outward expression of an inward feeling …
The word enthusiasm has its roots in the ancient Greek language. Enthus, meaning God or spirit within, is a physical expression of inner excitement. Many people view it as a gift or personality trait that we are born with, and it’s true. If you think not, spend a day with a two-year old child and you will experience genuine, raw and uncontrolled enthusiasm for life. But for most, with each passing year, that same enthusiasm begins dissipating with the frustrations and disappointments we experience. As an adult, enthusiasm becomes a re-acquired trait … a skill that must be nurtured and developed.
Enthusiasm drives the world.
Nothing great happens without first enthusiasm! On my first day as an eighteen-year-old selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, I was told, “Fire-up! Get excited! Nothing great happens without enthusiasm!” I was astonished as I entered the sales meeting room to find a group of loud-talking, fast-moving people who acted as if they had just won the lottery. They were positive, energized and happy … but about what? We were all getting ready to start our day selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door on straight commission. How could anyone be happy about that? They were! They applied their enthusiasm to the job at hand and succeeded.
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Enthusiasm is contagious.
I learned quickly that if I was going to succeed in paying my way through college, I’d have to sell a vacuum cleaner every day. I was told by my sales manager that people buy products they are enthused about, and that enthusiasm was generated by the salesman. If I was going to knock on a stranger’s door, convince them to let me in and clean a spot on their carpet, I better be enthusiastic and quickly pass that enthusiasm through the door to the prospective client. It worked. I graduated from college debt free and learned valuable life lessons that still serve me today.
The most enthused among us are almost always the most successful.
It’s true. Numerous studies have shown that enthusiastic people are among the worlds happiest, wealthiest and most successful in their careers and personal lives. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm.” When you are excited about your career, marriage, hobby or really anything, your enthusiasm drives you to do it with energy and gusto. To succeed at anything, your chances are greatly enhanced when you proceed with enthusiasm.
If you want to be successful in your career, generate and show enthusiasm for your work. Business owners, supervisors and managers gravitate to those who seem excited about their job. When promotions or opportunities arise in the workplace, those who are enthused are more likely to be promoted. When looking for leaders, the most enthusiastic in the group are often chosen. If you want to change your life for the better, increase your level of enthusiasm.
But what if I’m not an enthusiastic person?
Make the decision to become enthusiastic. Act with enthusiasm and be enthusiastic. Dale Carnegie said, “Enthusiasm is the little recognized secret to success” and began his famous training sessions requiring the attendees to stand and scream, “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic!” Is it that simple? No, but it is a great beginning. Human emotion can operate in reverse. Outward expressions or emotion usually begin inside, but you can reverse the process and begin with an outward expression of enthusiasm to create the inward feeling. Want to be enthused? Act enthusiastic.
Where should I show enthusiasm?
Where would you not? Maybe if you are a doctor delivering bad news to a terminal patient a little less enthusiasm might be in order, but almost anything else in life is better with enthusiasm. Do you think your spouse and kids would respond positively seeing your enthusiasm for them? Would your boss be impressed if you displayed more enthusiasm for your job? The answer is obviously yes, so why not give it a try?
So, what’s the bottom line?
Success comes in many forms and the most enthusiastic among us are usually the happiest and I believe happiness is the ultimate success.
Gary W. Moore is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com.