In his book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Christopher McDougall writes: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
The above quote accentuates the fact that we all live for something. Undeniably, life stops when we have nothing to look forward to and which ultimately leads to depression. McDougall rightly says that it doesn’t matter who you are, you better be running. Notice that he doesn’t say walking. Running signifies energy and without energy things would fall apart. It is this energy that we refer to as enthusiasm, which is a feeling of excitement, of eager enjoyment, of lively interest in an idea, a person, a situation, a project or a belief. Being enthusiastic is being connected to the overwhelming creative energy we all have inside.
The etymology of the word “enthusiasm” is Greek and it means the God inside. How wonderful! What’s more? We have access to it, that is, if we choose to tap into that fire within us. Each one of us was born for a purpose and it would be very sad if one went to the grave without fulfilling what one was meant to be. Growing up, we had magnificent ideas of whom we wanted to be when we grew up but somehow; these ideas get muzzled up in the course of our lives and remain just that – dreams. Many went ahead to become exactly who they wanted to be and still many more gave up somewhere along the line and all they can do now is sit back and grouse.
We all want the good things that life can offer and while some of us were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, we have to work extra hard to reach there. We all have the big picture; the difference comes in the level of gusto we put in to make that picture a reality. And this is where enthusiasm comes in: without it, life will be one long, apathetic and painful journey. Nothing gets a job well done like enthusiasm. The phrase “give up” simply does not exist in the dictionary of enthusiastic people since they inject vivacity in everything they do.
Moreover, this virtue is contagious. Have you ever listened to someone talk about something he/she is enthusiastic about? They talk with excitement that literally pulls you to their idea, their beaming face and wide smile sells you out and you are left with no choice but to kowtow to their whims. This is because enthusiasm sows the seeds of determination and when we feel sure of our actions, we are convinced that all problems are conquerable and every goal attainable. Enthusiastic people can’t wait to get their hands on a task because they have the big picture and thus jump at opportunities with hope, renewed energy and immense drive to accomplish what they desire.
Being enthusiastic starts by knowing what you really like to do since it will flow more naturally when you are doing what you really like. Do not allow yourself to stagnate: go deeper and learn more and you will find stuff that are more fascinating, which will fuel your enthusiasm. Be positive, that glimmer of positivity will make things easier and more pleasurable. And surround yourself with enthusiastic people. Just like anything in life, you need to feed your enthusiasm. So get enough sleep, eat well, work out and drink lots of water. Finally, never allow your enthusiasm to drown in the sea of negative voices.
Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Samuel Ullman (1840-1924), American businessman, poet and humanitarian
Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, lecturer and poet
Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gut. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.
Henry Ford (1863-1947), American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company
Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.
Dale Carnegie (1988-1955), American writer and lecturer
Knowledge is power and enthusiasm pulls the switch.