“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Enthusiasm is the force within me that drives me to do deeds great and small. When that force is high, I can achieve nearly anything, when it is low, I am only barely getting by.
I have written here about enthusiasm in the past. Back in February I mentioned putting 10X stickers around my desk at work as a reminder to be 10 times more enthusiastic. Some of the stickers have fallen off, but there are two that still remain. One is on the lower-left corner of my main screen, and the other is at the top left of my laptop keyboard.
When I first put those stickers up, some in my office questioned what they meant. When I explained, with enthusiasm, that they were there to stoke my inner flames, some reacted with a smile, others a bit suspiciously. I think that anytime someone announces that they are going to be more enthusiastic, there are a number of people who will wonder what is up. People are wary of overly overt enthusiasm, perhaps seeing it as fake or even manipulative.
The truth is that sometimes I do have to fake my enthusiasm. Not because I am trying to deceive someone else, or trying to manipulate a person or situation. I sometimes have to fake it in order to fan the flames within me. Soon, though, the flames are burning and my natural enthusiasm is kicking in.
I am about to go on vacation. Today is my get away day. When I get back, there is a particularly thorny issue that my project team has to deal with. It will take us about 2 to 3 months to resolve this issue, but the resolution will set us up for success for the next two years in a key aspect of the project. On Friday afternoon, I volunteered to spearhead the effort to resolve the issue. Today I am going to be fleshing out a plan of attack, and giving some assignments to my team members to do some data gathering while I am gone. I know going into this effort that one key to success will be my enthusiasm about solving the issue. If I take it on with gusto, if I wake each morning looking for the next steps, and pushing through obstacles, then we will find success. If I approach it lethargically or half-heartedly, then I will greatly reduce the chances of success.
I am keenly aware of the effect of enthusiasm on my life. When I started my weight loss journey back on March 1, I knew that if I approached it with enthusiasm I would succeed. There have been days since that the level of enthusiasm has ebbed, and I have had to kick it back up. It is sometimes hard to keep the momentum, but the reward is so great that I cannot do anything else.
Today marks the end of the first half of 2014. What projects and tasks are on my plate which need an additional dose of enthusiasm as I launch into the second half?