There is one ingredient missing in every person who has ever attempted something and given up without ever seeing his or her attempts come to fruition-and that, my friends is not knowledge. Although having the knowledge to do a particular thing is important, it is not always essential. A person can always employ the services of others who may be more familiar with a certain device or service. There are investors and professional athletes that own restaurants or invest in them, who are not the least bit interested in learning the day-to-day operation of their establishment. They trust other people who are knowledgeable so that they can run their business interest.
Consequently, what is the super, mighty missing characteristic so important that no successful person has ever been discovered working without it? Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Enthusiasm reflects a person’s attitude and depth of commitment to a particular purpose, undertaking, person, or dream business. Enthusiasm will push an entire basketball team losing during a game to not only believe that they can win, but eventually win because they are enthused about what they believe. This great emotion has caused individuals and teams to accomplish the unbelievable, defeat the unbeatable, and perform the impossible.
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
How does enthusiasm work and what does it mean? I will answer the latter part of this question first, because I do not want people to have a false assumption of their personal definition of the word enthusiasm by using examples. Enthusiasm originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a god. Johnson’s Dictionary, the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language, defines enthusiasm as “a vain belief of private revelation; a vain confidence of divine favor or communication.” In current English vernacular, the word simply means intense enjoyment, interest, or approval. Now, I will answer the first part of the question posed at the beginning of this chapter. The manifestation of enthusiasm always appears as if a person is possessed with an extraordinary power to endure, but also to outlast his or her challenges with extreme eagerness and expectation.
The End Result
When enthusiasm is missing in a person or a team, their momentum slows to a crawl and their thought of focus becomes scrambled or illogical. They will begin to bring up alternatives to their objectives and focus on the challenges at hand without the thought of conquering them, but rather delaying the inevitable-quitting. You will be surprised at how easy it is to quit when you lose your enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the muscle to fight on, the brain to think creatively during times of feeling stifled, and the heart to believe you that you can. I love what Margaret Mead once said,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Enthusiasm is the missing ingredient in those who start to quit, and those who start to finish.