Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Emerson was right.
Think about the times when you achieved something in your life that was really worthwhile. Were you enthusiastic about the work you had to do to achieve your goal? Wasn’t it a lot easier to achieve that goal because of your enthusiasm? Enthusiasm creates energy – it makes work easier and more enjoyable, it keeps you from getting discouraged, and it keeps you going when the going gets tough.
When I was in high school, one of my only goals was to play basketball in college. I was a decent athlete but nothing special. But man, was I fired up and enthusiastic about practicing hard enough to get good enough to play in college. I remember staying at the gym until 10:00 at night, practicing 5 and 6 hours a day. I would wake up on Saturday mornings and drive an hour to find pick-up games against good college players. I would watch games and read books about great basketball players. I attended basketball camps.
There is absolutely no way I could practice basketball for even an hour a day now. I don’t read books about basketball, and I only watch the occasional basketball game. I’m just not enthusiastic about it any more. But when I was, I could practice and watch basketball and play forever, and it was easy. I was enthusiastic.
Here’s the thing: Enthusiasm is a choice. You can choose to be enthusiastic. It doesn’t happen automatically.
So, figure out something you really want. Figure out why you want it. Think about how you would feel if you achieved your goal. And then choose to be enthusiastic about it.