"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
I love that quote and thought it was fitting to kick off this blog post. See, enthusiasm is found in that white space between perseverance and defeat. It is what makes someone stay motivated and keep going and others give up and quit.
So how do you get it and how do you keep it?
Well, look at your own life experiences to times when you lost your desire to work at something whether it was a marriage, a career, or maybe something less dramatic like painting a room. Perhaps you didn’t finish the room or you were too tired to touch up the trim. Maybe you don’t call it quitting because it's tiny on the giant spectrum of life, but if it were something bigger like a marriage or your job, the results could be disastrous.
Imagine you want something so wonderful – so out of reach – anything – a car, a career, a house, a spouse, a smaller waistline, whatever it is – imagine it. Do you feel energy inside you? Don’t worry about how you will get it – just imagine it. The how isn’t important – release that from your mind. OK, you have that image now?
Now think about that every day. That image. Keep that image alive. Every time you think about it you can add more detail to it. If it were a house, you can start to add furniture and accessorize the house. The color of the walls, the carpet or tile or wood flooring. The light fixtures. Every time you think about it feel the energy you'd feel if you were actually physically in this awesome house.
That energy is enthusiasm.
So now you know what that feels like – let’s build on that feeling and keep it alive. Let's say you have a job to do at work, some task, and you aren’t feeling too motivated or enthusiastic about it (sound familiar?). You can use self-talk in the same way as above, to give you energy.
You know that if you do the thing you are procrastinating or avoiding you'll be grateful later. You know that this task is the right thing to do and the benefits will outweigh the energy spent on the task now. Focus on the end result to build your motivation to do it in the first place.
The Real Secret to Success is Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is an emotion that you show and feel and sometimes when you aren’t feeling so enthusiastic about something, you can pretend to be and the more you pretend, you trick your mind into believing that you actually are enthusiastic. It is a phenomenon that will help you sustain your enthusiasm when you aren’t feeling very motivated or full of energy. I use this all the time when debating a workout. If I wait until I truly feel like going out for a run, man it's gonna be a long wait. So I'll fake the feeling, lace up my shoes and head out. Works every time.
The best part about enthusiasm is that by being enthusiastic about one task will spill into other areas of your life and you will see that your positive attitude will spread from work to home to your relationships and so on. It's called the Halo Effect. Your enthusiasm in one area of your life acts like a magnet for the others. It adds momentum just like a snowball rolling down a hill.
All starting with just a bit of well-played enthusiasm.