18 March 2011


I knew someone once who pretty much never showed any enthusiasm for anything.  Whatever he did, he just did it.  He never sounded like he was enjoying what he was doing, or what he was about to do.  Everything seemed pretty blah to him, and it was very hard working with him because I always felt bad for him.  Because of his lack of enthusiasm, he never seemed to enjoy anything he did, and I never saw him give more to any job than was absolutely necessary to get it done with a bare minimum of quality.

Personally, I've had a hard time showing enthusiasm in my life, too.  That stems from some family issues I faced as a child, issues that led me to believe that nothing that was promised me was going to be delivered.  So I learned not to get too enthusiastic so that I wouldn't feel such a sense of loss when what I wanted didn't come through.

As time has gone on, though, I've learned that I can be enthusiastic about things.  I can look forward to them without fearing that they won't happen.  I can be enthusiastic about something I'm doing right now and enjoy the heck out of it while I'm doing it.  This enthusiasm is my choice, and it's no longer tempered by my fears.  I grew up learning that it was safer to decide not to be enthusiastic, but I've grown into a person who realizes that without enthusiasm, life simply doesn't have the luster or shine that it does for someone who really is enthusiastic about things that he or she loves.

And when we're enthusiastic, approaching life with energy and hopefulness and enjoyment, guess what we attract back to ourselves?  Exactly--plenty of people and situations that make that enthusiasm more and more useful and appropriate.

I love being enthusiastic.  It's been a long hard road to travel to get to a point at which I can be enthusiastic--without reservation--but it most certainly has been a road worth traveling.  There are plenty of things in life that are simply wonderful, and when we get the opportunity to experience them, doing so enthusiastically makes them even more special, for us and for whoever else is with us, experiencing it too.  I hope that as time goes on I grow even more enthusiastic, and that I become even more like the children who don't even need to allow themselves to be enthusiastic, because it's a natural part of who they are that they haven't yet learned to suppress.

Enthusiasm is the thing which makes the world go round.  Without
its driving power, nothing worth doing has ever been done. Love, friendship, religion, altruism, devotion to career or hobby— all
these, and most of the other good things of life, are forms of enthusiasm.

Robert H. Schauffler

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