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Achievers Blog

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Shane Michaels

In his best seller book "Your right to be rich", Napoleon Hill puts ENTHUSIASM as one of the 17 principles that we should possess in order to live a rich and fulfilled life. The word "enthusiasm" has its origin from the Greek word “enthousiasmos”, which consists of the two root words “en” (in or within) & “theos” (God) Enthusiasm therefore literally means “God within “.... inspiration or possession by a god. It was only much later that the word enthusiasm began to be used to describe having intense feelings, a compelling emotion or desire and a passion about something.

Og Mandino, author of the well-known book 'The Greatest Salesman in the World', writes about enthusiasm: “Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity, but with it you can accomplish miracles”

When I think of someone that really lived with gratitude and enthusiasm, one person from my home town, Somerset East, immediately comes to mind. Albert has already passed away, but his legacy lives on. He was a colorful and lovable character and I fondly remember him as the perfect picture of enthusiasm. He knew everybody in town and greeted everybody, loudly and enthusiastically, wherever he went. Whether it was prince or pauper... he treated everybody with love, respect & enthusiasm. One could always hear Albert from a distance talking and joking with people around him. He used to drive slowly down our Main Street with his car window down, his upper body halfway out the window, enthusiastically waving to everybody in sight. Walking into church to his usual seat, he would always touch the shoulders of those sitting at the edge of the isle, greeting and smiling, often stopping for a friendly short chat.

Albert was the editor of our local newspaper and I know he loved what he did and that he was truly happy.  I believe that was why he always felt passionate and enthusiastic about life and therefore could truly express his enthusiasm. He eventually lost his battle against cancer, but I know that he definitely possessed many of the 17 principles that Napoleon Hill talks about. Right till the end he still possessed a pleasing personality and great enthusiasm. Some men leave monuments of stone when they pass away, but I know that Albert left a legacy in the hearts of many. It is my earnest wish that I would too one day leave a legacy and be remembered for having a pleasing personality, living life with enthusiasm and making a difference in other’s lives.

Unfortunately the complete opposite is true of my high school history teacher. He used to just read monotonously and boring out of our handbook. He hardly looked up and he made what was supposed to be an interesting subject just sound terribly boring. I used to get the idea that he didn’t like what he was doing and that he was just doing a job to get it over and done with. And that’s why there was no energy or extra interesting stories or even eye contact.... no excitement, no emotion and no enthusiasm.

An enthusiastic person's body language speaks volumes. Enthusiastic people walk upright with posture... they walk fast and with a mission, they greet with a firm handshake and make eye contact while greeting.... and above all.... they smile!  It is so important when we talk to people, to put a pleasant tone into our voice.... to put a smile in our words.  We also have to learn at times to tune the enthusiasm in our conversation "on" and at other times to rather turn the enthusiasm a little "off" again.

Napoleon Hill also talks about the power of faith and having a burning desire. If you want to do something or have something badly,  you work yourself into a state of wild enthusiasm and draw the picture in your mind of what you want. When you keep that picture alive and vivid in your mind and with the power of faith, it will definitely manifest. And when unpleasant things happen, instead of brooding over it and becoming negative, rather start focusing on your goals and dreams of what you will have or where you will be in a year or 5 years from now. Think about things that will get you enthusiastic again. Be thankful for what you already have and don’t focus on what you don’t have. When we focus on thankfulness and when we are grateful for all things, our brains release the happy neurotransmitter, dopamine and when we are happy we are open to learn new things with passion and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm gives one a brighter mind and makes us more alert and open to fresh ideas and more opportunities. Because enthusiasm is so contagious, it will also help to get the cooperation of team members so that they will also be moved to more action and greater enthusiasm.

I'm convinced that if you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will never reach your full potential, but with a burning desire and an unbridled enthusiasm, you can succeed at anything you set your mind to. Those who run this race with energy, love, joy and enthusiasm will definitely finish as winners. So let us all be winners and transform more lives!!

Stay blessed
Irene du Preez