The Virtue of Enthusiasm

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.

Reflecting Enthusiasm

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.”

— Michelangelo

Defining Enthusiasm

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.

The Disney Difference is Simply Amazing

I am just returning from Disney World in Orlando, Florida and I am beat. I am presently experiencing playground battle fatigue because I have a three-year-old son that kept me running, dodging, jumping, lifting his body weight and yelling three quarters of each day. I enjoyed my stay at Disney World, but I could not help from being mesmerized with Disney’s sense of order and meticulous attention to detail. Every Disney World employee we met was able to answer every question my wife and I had. This was our third family visit to Disney and their system has not yet cracked under the scrutiny of my skeptical eye.

Nothing like Disney World

Each time we visit Disney World, like the last several times, we took a brief hiatus to visit another well-known attraction we had heard a great deal about. When we arrived at this attraction, I went to pick up my tickets that I purchased online. We were met by a woman at the entrance to the attraction talking on her cell phone, which was outright disrespectful to visitors and a lousy example to this certain establishment. To add insult to injury, as we went further into the Attraction they did not have any supervision to monitor the children’s play area nor were there personnel to inform people on what goes on at each attraction. The Attraction was small and you would think that since fewer employees are needed here than at Disney World, they would have an ample work force and security to make their Theme Attraction exciting and safe.

Shoestring Budget – No Problem!

If you do not have the very best facility and your budget is the shoestring…no problem! This company could have done little things, such as going that extra mile to make their guest feel like they have been thoroughly informed when visiting their Attraction…and their visitors would appreciate it. However, it would take time to change their system, but it would engage the people to become participator instead of spectator.

Small Efforts, Huge Impact

What are some of the little things you can do to make your company run better or your marriage to become more cohesive or friendships more productive? Here is a short list of things you can implement to help your business or personal relationships improve and do extremely well, just by becoming more meticulous:

  • Learn how to say the right things the right way.
  • Listen to what people say about your service or product.
  • Train yourself and your employees on how to smile.
  • Invest time into correcting those so-called small insignificant details.
  • Post direction signs or write little notes of appreciation to your close relationships.
  • Ask questions about how you or your company is doing.
  • Always make yourself available.
  • Make small concessions for people that will make them feel special.
  • Make no assumptions that people know something.

These small little things will cost you no additional dollars but the dividends you will reap will make a lot of cents. You do not have to be Disney World to touch people; you just have to have a heart.

The Greatest Untapped Source of Power

America was once a country that was full of men of passion who had a reason to fight. From America’s fight for its declaration of independence to African Americans fighting for civil rights, this country seems to have nothing of true significance to fight. America’s last real war of significance was not the war in Iraq, but rather the fight that led to the death of one of America’s greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The assassination of this great leader awakened this country to a vast internal hatred that existed and the slow decay of an American population that was swiftly moving toward becoming a Rebel Without a Cause. Equality became more of a reality, while balancing the economic playing field for most Americans. This great nation is not quite there yet, but the accomplished strides have allowed this nation to have its first African American president. Now what!

Two Men Standing on a Bridge…

One day, there were two successful men standing on the bridge overlooking Niagara Falls. As they were impressed by the breathtaking view one turned to the other and said, “Look at the greatest source of undeveloped power in America.” His friend replied, “No! America’s greatest source of undeveloped power is the soul of the man.”

Thousands of Colleges and Still Dumb..

Millions in America are inundated with excuses and this train of thought has caused this nation to lag behind many countries in education. With thousands of higher learning institutions in America, the overall population is not getting smarter but rather dumber. Millions are searching desperately to find excuses for themselves for their lack of achievement. Seemingly, the only thing the people in this country have mastered is making excuses. Do these excuses sound familiar: “You either have it or you don’t; It is society’s fault; or The circumstances are beyond my control.” Whenever a person has excuses, they are ignorantly cooperating in their failures. To them, it could not be helped or their failure was inevitable. They view themselves as victims of an intolerant system engineered for their irreversible downfall.

One sees great things from the valley, only small things from the peak.
— G. K. Chesterton

Staying hungry

Give a person an opportunity to discuss their concerns; it will always be from a view as though they are at the top coming down. When a person speaks of their passion and desire, it is usually from a valley position. The difference is in the direction of travel; one person is coming down while the other person going up. Staying hungry is important for accomplishment. When passion is lost, the will to fight and persevere dissipates. You will no longer see fighting for something as the only option for achievement.

Giving Up Vs Losing

I have heard hundreds down through the years say that they did not see quitting as quitting. I wonder is this some warped way of pacifying oneself through their disappointment. One day, I was watching a girl’s basketball game and during half time, the score was practically even. When the second half started, one team came out and played the second half with such intensity that it mentally knocked the wind out of the opposing team. The team that lost did not lose because they did not have the talent of the other team. They lost because they gave up and just existed on the court when they saw how far behind they were. When I asked one girl what happened to the team during the second half and why did she feel they lost, she replied, “We really didn’t lose…we gave up.” Another girl on the team overheard the conversation and said, “We fought hard, but I don’t see it as a loss.” Two different opinions from the same team saw it entirely different. In actuality, one reasoned with an excuse while the other gave no excuse to reason at all.

An Example from the Greatest Man Ever

After Jesus was crucified on the cross, His disciples who accompanied Him for three years in ministry and had received the charge to move forward in the cause of the gospel…almost made the fatal mistake of going back to their fishing business. They had to muster up a passion for the cause of Christ so that His three years of labor would not be in vain. It was no longer up to Jesus to be the example of perseverance for them. They had to practice what they saw Jesus do. While three years of being in the presence of the Greatest Man to have ever lived and learn from the Wisdom that created the world, caused most of the disciples to experience uncommon success in ministry and as a person. One disciple seemed to have learned nothing at all. Instead of giving His teacher his undivided attention, he remained self-centered, only looking for what money he could get from Him. He too, received his reward.

Quitting Guarantees Failure

We will one day reap the reward of our lack of passion and drive. If America is to remain great, it will be because its citizens refuse to view quitting as a viable option. You can always find hundreds of reasons to quit and usually only one to continue to fight. Beloved, realize this, the only sure way to guarantee failure is to quit or become distracted by options.