Danny Anderson: The Importance of Being Enthusiastic

Walter Chrysler, the founder of the Chrysler Corporation was quoted saying, “The real secret to success is enthusiasm.”

We would all love to do more and achieve more with our lives. You have dreams and goals you hope to achieve one day. Maybe you want to write a book or get in shape.  Maybe you want to start a business or learn a new language. Maybe you just want to travel the world. One of my dreams is to become a published author one day. How can we increase the odds that we actually attain the results that we want? I believe part of the answer is enthusiasm!

William James said, “If you only care enough for a result, you will almost certainly attain it.” If we are to achieve a goal or a dream, we must care and we must care deeply. Enthusiasm is required!

A few years ago I made a decision to run a marathon. I knew the training would be rigorous and time consuming. I had heard about others who had tried and failed. I read about hitting the “wall” at mile 21 or 22. But I knew I would succeed even though it was something I had never done before. My confidence came from a deep burning desire! My enthusiasm was as high as it had ever been. I finished the demanding 12-week training regimen and the 26.2 mile race in 3:45! What a blast!

Could the Wright Brothers have invented the first plane without enthusiasm? Could MLK Jr. have led the Civil Rights movement without enthusiasm?  How about Thomas Edison and the light bulb?

Why is enthusiasm so essential for achievement?

1. Enthusiasm keeps you focused.

If your life is like mine and so many others, it is being inundated with new information, requests, and demands from family, work and friends. We face constant distractions from our email, phones, and social media. We have more choices in every area of our lives now than ever before. Enthusiasm for a result allows you to keep your priorities in order so that you stay on task during the daily grind of life.

2. Enthusiasm helps you push through life’s difficulties and failures.

Pain is par for the course in this life. You will face troubled relationships, tragedy, hurt and failure. Some people in your life will make unwise decisions that directly affect you. Accidents will happen. When pain enters your life, it’s easy to get discouraged and want to give up. Enthusiasm is the fire that keeps you going in the midst of affliction. Without it, you lose steam. Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without the loss of enthusiasm.”

3. Enthusiasm gives you the motivation to take action every day.

Achieving your goals and dreams requires that we take action every day. Enthusiasm is the fuel for consistent action. Those who work only when they feel like working will never get very far. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Three questions to ask yourself to fire your enthusiasm:

What do you care deeply about?

Becoming an enthusiastic person comes down to focusing your life on what you love. I believe you were created by God to care deeply about at least a few things. Your enthusiasm will come from those things that God has give you a natural passion for. It could be educating children, helping people find financial freedom, assisting the underprivileged, connecting people to a relationship with God, fighting injustice, raising great children, helping people create a great marriage, putting criminals behind bars, defending the defenseless, or encouraging the discouraged. It could be any number of things. Another way to ask the question is: What breaks your heart?

When have you come alive?

Take a few minutes and reflect on your life and ask yourself this question, “When was the last time I came alive?” When was your heart stirred? When were you moved to tears? When was the last time you couldn’t go to sleep because your blood was pumping? What were you doing? Who were you with? These questions will give you insight into what triggers your enthusiasm.

What do you want to see change?

MLK Jr. wanted to see the rights of African Americans become equal. The Wright brothers wanted to fly. Thomas Edison wanted to invent the light bulb. Henry Ford wanted a car in everyone’s driveway. Billy Graham wanted every human being alive to hear the gospel preached. What do you want?

These questions can help. But in the end becoming an enthusiastic person is a choice we make. It’s a mindset. It’s an approach to life. I agree 100% with Dale Carnegie who said, “If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.”

What is stopping you from being enthusiastic about life right now? What are you most enthusiastic about? Leave a comment below.

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Danny Anderson is the senior pastor of Emmanuel Church and a coach for CourageToLead.com. He married his college sweetheart, and together they have three awesome kids.