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The importance of being enthusiastic

Enthusiasm, the “irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.”

Priya Narasimhan
Priya Narasimhan
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The importance of being enthusiastic

Enthusiasm, the “irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.”

Share on facebook
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Priya Narasimhan
Priya Narasimhan

“Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points,” says Kevin Kelly in his 68 bits of Unsolicited Advice.

When you’re enthusiastic, you exude positive energy. You exude joy.

That joy and emotional self-confidence spill into your work, into your life, and into others around you. That joy is a force that it creates its own momentum. That joy can make things happen, both within yourself and within others.

When you see someone be enthusiastic, it takes you back to your own childhood, makes you recall your own sense of optimism and fearlessness back then — your belief that you could do anything, be anything, solve anything. There’s a fundamental honesty and purity in enthusiasm that makes us reconnect with the child in ourselves.

Enthusiasm is not over-confidence.
It is not blind optimism.
It is not naïveté.

It is loving what you’re doing, no matter the outcome.

Henry Ford called it the “irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.” Noble Prize winner and physicist Edward Appleton rated “enthusiasm above professional skill.”

Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

When you see someone genuinely enjoying what they do, that joy rubs off. Watch a kid chase bubbles. Watch a kid at a beach gleefully running away from the waves as they come in, and running after the waves as they go out. That child will do the same simple thing, over and over again, with absolute delight. Watching that child makes you smile.

Your enthusiasm can motivate others. Your enthusiasm can make others believe in the possible. Your enthusiasm carries positive energy into situations. Your enthusiasm can make others connect with the child within themselves, the child who once believed that anything was possible.

A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.
— Charles Schwab

When things go wrong — as they can— your enthusiasm can help you power through them without feeling the sting of defeat. Your enthusiasm is your armor, and it helps you remain immune to the setbacks you face on a given day. You look at setbacks as opportunities, as challenges you need to rise to. Enthusiasm is that stubborn optimism and adrenalin that helps you shrug off negativity and focus on the positive, and focus on the goal.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

I am reminded of this most when watching a middle-school robotics competition. You’ll see teams of students pitting their best robots against each other. You’ll see their robots break, burn, crash, topple over, veer off course. Through it all, you’ll see teams high-fiving each other, and running back to their workbenches to get more solder, glue, duct-tape, anything to hold their robot together, to find a way to win. They just don’t give up. Enthusiasm shields them from feeling defeated, and spurs them on to come up with makeshift solutions. You’ll hear the unmistakable pride in the voices of the teams with their broken (but functional — and, yes, this is important) robots held together with band-aids, glue, and duct-tape.

I wept because I was re-experiencing the enthusiasm of my childhood; I was once again a child, and nothing in the world could cause me harm.
— Paolo Coelho, in “The Pilgrimage”

Enthusiastic people act a certain way. They are unfazed by the opposition of others, by the negativity of others, by the difficulty of the situation, or by the challenge of the moment. Their emotional self-confidence allows them to continue to believe in the good and the positive, even when others don’t. Their emotional self-confidence allows them to be genuine and unselfish, in a simple, almost childlike, way.

Their language is simple, but powerful.

  • They find joy in being around other people.
    “I am so happy to see you.”
  • They find joy in catching people doing great things.
    “Wow, look at what you just did. That’s amazing.”
  • They find joy in helping others.
    “Hey, I can lend a hand. We can get this done together.”
  • They find joy in small victories. Even the smallest ones.
    “Would you look at that? We just did it!”
  • They find joy in problems because they like to test their wits.
    “Oooh, this is difficult. I like it!”
  • They find joy in discovering and understanding things.
    “Wow, did you see how that works?”
  • They find joy in sharing what they discovered.
    “I learned something cool today. Wait, wait, let me tell you.”

I would rather have one man with enthusiasm working with me than ten who are complacent. — Thomas Edison

A single enthusiastic person can change a meeting.
A single enthusiastic person can change a project.
A single enthusiastic person can change a team.
A single enthusiastic person can change the outcome.
A single enthusiastic person can change a life.
A single enthusiastic person can change their own potential.

Be that person.

I wept because I was re-experiencing the enthusiasm of my childhood; I was once again a child, and nothing in the world could cause me harm.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The real secret of success is enthusiasm.
— Walter Chrysler

A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.
— Charles Schwab

I rate enthusiasm above professional skill.
— Edward Appleton

Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.
— Dale Carnegie

Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.
— Anatole France

Nearly all the great improvements, discoveries, inventions, and achievements which have elevated and blessed humanity have been the triumphs of enthusiasm.
— Orison Swett Marden

The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm.
— Thomas J. Watson

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.
— Henry Ford