February 4. Enthusiasm!

 “If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.” (Vince Lombardi)

Enthusiasm, the little known secret of success! Enthusiasm is that spark within me that makes me have a spring in my step, and a little more (or even a lot more) energy for the tasks I am doing.

Enthusiasm is a central theme to the Dale Carnegie class. When I was an instructor, I coached hundreds of people to find the most mundane chores of their lives and apply a heavy dose of enthusiasm to getting them done. The results were always astonishing. People talked of not only getting distasteful tasks completed more quickly, but also more effectively. They spoke of finding a bit of joy to tasks that they used to lay awake and dread. This was the effect of a consciously-applied spark of enthusiasm.

In my own life I can easily point to the things for which I have a lot of natural enthusiasm. They tend to either already be at the top of my list of things to do, or they are the first to get checked off. When I am operating in my normal mode, I automatically gravitate to those things for which I have the greatest enthusiasm. The leftover tasks become the dregs, those things I avoid doing that get lost in my procrastination.

Sometimes this anti-enthusiastic approach is OK. Sometimes those tasks are unimportant and die a natural death.  Other times they take on a life of their own until they are the gut wrenching, lay-awake-at-night worries that haunt me.

One of the things I know from experience is that I can work myself into an enthusiastic state. I can rally myself up and get my juices flowing when needed, even for those bottom dwellers on my list. I know this because I have seen myself do it many times.

I think today I need to find a few little round stickers. I am going to write “10x” on them and put them in some places where I need that reminder to stoke the fires of enthusiasm.  I just hope I don’t completely annoy everyone around me with my upbeat approach!

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