Scott H Young

Enthusiasm


The word enthusiasm is derived from the Greek word, enthousiasmos, which means to be inspired or possessed by a divine being. Enthusiasm is an incredibly powerful tool to create momentum. Enthusiasm can also be used to combat fear and nervousness and it can even create temporary energy and willpower. Being enthusiastic also creates an overall feeling of happiness and well-being that makes it worthwhile regardless of its positive side-effects.

So many of us are unenthusiastic. The media is constantly barraging us with messages of tragedy, pessimism and fear. The people we are around tend to side more on the end of cynicism and sarcasm rather than enthusiasm. As a result this behavior becomes our own. With a generally apathetic and pessimistic society, we naturally adapt these kind of behaviors, largely without realizing we are doing it. With such an environment, how can we possibly hope to cultivate the kind of enthusiasm we need?

Enthusiasm is like any other skill. If it is continually practiced and exercised, it gets better. If it is not, then it will degrade. Enthusiasm rarely comes naturally and it must be the result of conscious effort. Practicing the ability to use enthusiasm can keep you excited and driven even in horrible circumstances. Without this ability even great circumstances are viewed through the lens of sarcasm and cynicism. So how can we harness our own inner divinity?

Passion

Genuine enthusiasm can only be sustained about something you are truly passionate about. Anyone can get themselves hyped up over a boring situation for the moment, but sustained enthusiasm can only come when you deeply care about something. If you aren’t that interested in the outcome of something, you won’t be able to create enthusiasm.

Don’t spend your time pursuing things that you aren’t passionate about. If you aren’t passionate about something, try to minimize or remove the time it is taking from your life. Nobody is going to applaud you for working at a boring job, having boring hobbies or staying in a dead relationship when you are dead. We are ultimately responsible for the amount of passion we experience in our lives.

If you look at really successful people, all of them having something they are very passionate about. These people have a drive that compels them to give 110%. Nothing is more motivating than an obsessive passion. As a self-proclaimed obsessive about personal growth, I can attest to that.

Passion provides the fuel, without it and their can be no fire of enthusiasm.

Energy

Being enthusiastic requires a lot more energy. If you feeling like passing out from exhaustion at the end of the day, chances are you aren’t brimming with excitement. Enthusiasm and energy are very closely linked. Being energetic makes it far more likely for you to be enthusiastic and enthusiasm can literally create the energy you need to get going. This may sound like a catch-22, but it isn’t.

Energy comes mostly from a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat right and get plenty of rest and water is the first step. Many people like to debate minutia about whether or not to eat xyz or whether they should be taking a vitamin zyx supplement. These little differences are only going to make the difference if you’ve already mastered the basics of a healthy lifestyle.

Physiology

Temporary enthusiasm can actually be created relatively easily simply by acting more enthusiastic. Simply by acting more enthusiastic then you feel, you can literally create the same level of enthusiasm inside. I use this technique whenever I am in a social situation where I need some added confidence or energy.

Think about how you act when you are enthusiastic. Smiling, moving around more and having more expressive body language are likely key characteristics. By making the conscious effort to behave more enthusiastically, you will start to feel more enthusiastic. After a few minutes you will probably create the kind of enthusiasm that your body language suggests.

Our body language commands a lot more of our internal behaviors then we think. Most of us believe that it is our internal emotions that create our body language. The situation, however, actually works in reverse as well. Body language itself can create the emotions it represents. I wrote about this more here.

Now that you have some ideas on how you can create enthusiasm, both temporary and long-term, what are some possible uses for this new skill?

Countering Fear and Nervousness

What do most people do to try to get rid of nervousness. They try to calm themselves down. Maybe take a few deep breaths or a drink of water. Unfortunately, this is probably one of the worst ways to counter it. Trying to calm yourself down only strengthens the nervousness until you are completely paralyzed.

Using enthusiasm takes the opposite approach. Acting incredibly enthusiastic will start by masking any nervousness in your body language and speaking. Once you’ve started to create that enthusiasm within yourself, fear and nervousness will be blocked out of your mind. The next time you are in a situation where you think you might be nervous, try to counter with enthusiasm.

Building Motivation and Momentum

Quick question: What is the antidote to procrastination?

Action of course! As soon as you start taking action, thoughts of procrastinating are blown away. Unfortunately this is a catch-22. You can’t act because of the procrastination and you need the action to get rid of the procrastination! At this point we can usually adopt numerous behaviors and techniques to try and convince us to do just enough action to break the threshold.

How about another approach. Enthusiasm. Enthusiastic people don’t procrastinate what they are enthusiastic about. If at all possible, create some enthusiasm in yourself. You can use the physiology technique to create some quick enthusiasm. By leveraging this small amount of enthusiasm you can create the momentum you need to stop procrastinating.

This can also apply on a long-term basis as well. Although the physiology technique generally only works in short periods, utilizing passion and energy can help us create long-term momentum. By investing our time in our passions and taking steps to improve our energy we can create the kind of enthusiasm that will be with us when we need it for a longer period of time.

Improving Communication

Enthusiasm is a great communication tool. Enthusiasm grants you licence to a lot more confidence than you might otherwise have without appearing arrogant or boastful. By leveraging enthusiasm it is far easier to communicate with others and the quality of that communication is greatly improved.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to be more outgoing and extroverted, enthusiasm can be one of the best tools at your disposal. Enthusiasm centers your focus outside of your own ego which separates you from your need to protect it. When you don’t need to protect your ego, you can enter any communication situation without fear or worry.

The benefits of enthusiasm are vast. From improving productivity, social skills, and confidence to reducing fears and nervousness, enthusiasm is an incredibly powerful tool. Remember that long-term enthusiasm is a skill that needs to be developed. Focusing on your passions and working on your own personal energy will give you the base you need for enthusiasm. Like a spark, guiding your physiology can create a fiery enthusiasm for anything you do. Utilize that enthusiasm and you can get the most out of your life!


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37 Responses to “Enthusiasm”

  1. Skip Reardon says:

    BOTTOMLINE: Common sense? Perhaps. Insightful? You bet! Keep in mind – Scott Young – is still in high school. How about THAT for enthusiasm and passion??

  2. donkey says:

    nice thought, I learn a lot from it . thank you .
    I am badly need these.

  3. Scott Young says:

    Thanks for the comments!

    Enthusiasm and passion are one of my two major skills in combatting many of my problems. I like to say that you can’t dissuade someone who really gives a damn!

  4. Troy says:

    Wow. Simply awesome! Well done, Scott. Yours is a very excellent blog.

  5. Scott Young says:

    Thanks for the comments Troy!

  6. [...] See Scott’s blog entry for the rest of it. Great read. If you enjoyed Great stuff from a kid still in high school…, subscribe to Trizle’s Free Business Newsletter. Related Entries Study: Stop Bottling up Your Emotions. It’ll Rob Years From Your Life. [...]

  7. [...] Scott H. Young has a great post on enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is like any other skill. If it is continually practiced and exercised, it gets better. If it is not, then it will atrophy. Enthusiasm rarely comes naturally and it must be the result of conscious effort. Practicing the ability to use enthusiasm can keep you excited and driven even in horrible circumstances. [...]

  8. [...] Scott Young har en post om Entusiasm. Entusiasm och passion är två färdigheter som gör det enklare att lösa många problem. Läs vad Scott skriver om nervositet, [...]

  9. vairam says:

    very nice

  10. Vrishali says:

    Well when u talk so much about the bidy langauge of enthusiasm. Are there any verbal language tools, words which will be specifically enthusiastic. This is in person. But what about when u want to sound enthusiastic on an e-mail?
    Any answers???…

  11. Scott Young says:

    Vrishali,

    In communication, emotionality is generally conveyed through non-verbal communication. Although the words you say are important, enthusiasm plays a big role in your body language.

    Have you considered that if you used your body language to create an emotional state of enthusiasm, that itself would reflect in a more enthusiastic e-mail? I can’t think of any specific trigger words that create enthusiasm or emote it, but generally being positive and upbeat in your communication helps.

  12. Terrell says:

    Hey. Great article. I just have a few things that I would like to add. Someone might read the part about trying to relax and think, But relaxing DOES help me feel better. And it does work… somewhat. When you’ve had a stressful day, getting into a nice, relaxing bath does help. If you are having trouble sleeping, some meditation and deep breathing does help. The problem is, this doesn’t work too well when you can’t get away from what is making you nervous. And, when there are other things to do, people have a built in reflex to hold on to their anxiety, even as the relaxation techniques should be taking it away. Or they find it nearly impossible to get back to what they were doing before.

  13. Perfect Johnny says:

    Scott,

    Atrophy is a noun. “If it is not, then it will atrophy” makes no sense. Put down your vocabulary book & brush up on grammar. Good read, though. Clever chap. ;)

    Johnny

  14. Scott Young says:

    Perfect Johnny,

    That’s why I’m glad I have readers that are better editors than I am. Thanks.

  15. Tyson says:

    Great article Scott. Thanks for sharing what you know, I really appreciate it.

  16. Hannelie says:

    Scott what day in August were you born?

    Regards

    Hannelie

  17. Scott Young says:

    Hannelie,

    the 19th.

  18. Vidushi says:

    awesome site, very informative

  19. Fiona says:

    this site gives useful information which helps me alot in doing assignments.

  20. Aatash says:

    I have noticed to that having an enthusiastic, positive attitude makes me more effective in whatever I’m doing, and it simply makes whatever I’m doing more enjoyable.

    However, sometimes when you’re the opposite of enthusiastic, you get more attention from others. Do you think when things aren’t going your way, you should still stay enthusiastic on the outside as if everything’s all right?

    By the way, just reading this post filled me with enthusiasm :D

  21. Scott Young says:

    Aatash,

    No. Your emotions are like a sensor to the quality of your external and internal world. If you are feeling shitty, you don’t need to wallow in it. But you do need to recognize that something isn’t right. Either your external world (and more likely) your internal world has a problem you need to solve.

    But enthusiasm can be a good tool to overcome temporary fears or nervousness. Just don’t abuse it as a solution to long-term pain.

  22. fx says:

    Great article. BTW, atrophy _is_ most definitely a verb as well as a noun! Maybe Perfect Johnny is not so perfect :)
    Obviously I get enthusiastic (or maybe just ticked off, but tere is a similar effect – action) by people feeling a need to correct others about things they know nothing about.

  23. [...] Enthusiasm – An early article I wrote about the benefits of being in an enthusiastic mood and ways you can encourage more enthusiasm in yourself. [...]

  24. emman says:

    just awesome!!!

  25. [...] received a comment recently saying that I was very enthusiastic speaker. This isn’t an accident. When I imagine my ideal self I see myself as being extremely [...]

  26. [...] suffering. This is human nature. I draw immense enjoyment from self-improvement. I am excited and enthusiastic about improving and making [...]

  27. Badhshah says:

    I am a reader from India..

    You really provide beautiful contents that bring up the inner dynamic energy of a person.

    A blog with a positive aura, that is what I can say…

    Cheers,
    Badhshah

  28. [...] Mastery (My traffic went up 5000% in one day because of this series) Enthusiasm Energy Management Overcoming Discouragement Don’t Be [...]

  29. Jonathan says:

    Hi!,

    This blog is really helpful and I would like to recieve more blogs like this one by email if it’s possible. Thank you in advanced.

    Regards,

    Jonathan

  30. caerberu says:

    “Scott,

    Atrophy is a noun. “If it is not, then it will atrophy” makes no sense. Put down your vocabulary book & brush up on grammar. Good read, though. Clever chap. ;)

    Johnny”

    Sorry Johnny, but atrophy can be a noun, AND it can also be used a verb.

    Took this straight from my electronic dictionary. It’s called WordWeb Pro, you might like it installed before you start pointing out other people’s mistakes.

    Noun:
    Atrophy
    1. A decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse
    2. Any weakening or degeneration (especially through lack of use)

    Verb
    1. Undergo atrophy
    “Muscles that are not used will atrophy”

  31. Susie Q says:

    I stumbled upon this by accident… Wow! What a great article! I only got a chance to read a couple of your posts, but your words really struck a chord with me. I’m bookmarking your blog and will definitely come back to read some more. Thank you for sharing! Cheers! ^_~

  32. mahe says:

    simply awesome site, i like to read more

  33. Charles Valerio says:

    Blog entry written 4 years ago and yet after reading it today, I feel some of the problems I’ve been facing for years can be solved now through the process of integration. Thanks Scott!

  34. marie says:

    i’m very impressed by your insight!!! thank you for a very helpful and wise article…..hope you continue to enrich people’s lives :)

  35. Srinivas says:

    A beautiful piece of writing.I like the content ( never did ken nuances or correctness of Grammar noways ) I really like the way you have encapsulated an oft used word and defined its practicality.I feel ‘enthusiasm’ as an elixir to most day to day skirmishes.Its very infectious,as the saying goes ” Every person we meet is a part of what we are becoming”. So long as enthusiasm is in the realm of GOD (en Thu) its awesome. when it goes into the other realm it fosters bullies , a la Hitler… Thank You

  36. Prince Sam says:

    Really explicit

  37. Damian says:

    Thanks Scott, great blog. Am writing a book on enthusiasm, i can see that you are knowledgable about enthusiasm. Keep enriching the world.

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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