“What I do best is share my enthusiasm.”
This quote from Bill Gates, the co founder of Microsoft is worth making a life philosophy. After all folks, lets face it, this man is one of the richest in the world. He has arguably had a greater influence on business and communication than any one else – ever. He has changed the whole paradigm of work and how we do business. He even seems to have a successful home life!
I believe excitement ‘jumps'! If someone is excited, enthusiastic and passionate about something, they ‘infect' those around them with the virus! Of course, some people are more susceptible to the enthusiasm virus. Jane Campion, the New Zealand film director and producer is quoted as saying “If anyone said “Let's do the washing up” really enthusiastically, I would leap up with great excitement!”. I love that approach to life!
Why choose to be someone – or hang around anyone – who dampens enthusiasm: a wet blanket who puts out the fire of life? Make a decision – and choose – to be enthusiastic about most things! Every task you do, do it with energy and vitality. Even if it's vacuuming the floor!
Do something to generate the enthusiasm if you don't have it – tell yourself great things about the importance of what you are doing; the contribution you are making; find some reason to recognize the significance of every minute of your life. Even if it's only that you'll never have that minute of your life again! Joy is in the minutes – find it!
Be enthusiastic about ideas and jobs and people. About their potential – it's the most potent way to create an environment in which someone can be their best.
Think about how we treat toddlers. When we want them to learn something, we are enthusiastic – we cheer and clap every time they take a step – we don't begin a tirade of abuse over their stupidity. We encourage vigorously – my definition of enthusiasm! We laugh and our eyes sparkle – it's considered very sexy to be enthusiastic and energetic!
How would a sports team perform at the grand final if everybody sat there and yawned? The cheering from the crowd inspires them to play their best. Being at a game or grand final is much more fun than watching it on TV because we get caught up in the enthusiasm of the crowd – it's like electricity that sets us tingling. Enthusiasm is catching – it jumps from person to person.
Try waking up enthusiastic about life. Open your eyes and grin – OK, fake it till you make it! Find something in your day to look forward to – even if it's only your shower!
Greet people enthusiastically – instead of a boring ‘hi, how are you' in a flat voice. Imagine you are in a really great mood and use that tone of voice to ask people ‘what's the best thing that's happened to you today?'!
When you have to complete a task that you have up till now, found tedious, become enthusiastic about finishing it! You'll be amazed at how much more quickly the time passes.
If you're the sort of person who is convinced that there is nothing in your life about which to be enthusiastic, you'd better get off your behind and find something about which you can become passionate! there is SO much for us to learn about – that in itself is exciting!
If you need to inspire people – whether as a manager or a parent – be enthusiastic. Nothing inspires people to achieve or do things or be different than someone else's encouragement and enthusiasm – or passionate belief (another synonym for enthusiasm) -that they can make the change; and do it well.
Enthusiasm can be learned and it becomes a habit – just like pessimism and cynicism. Which quality would you prefer to have in your coach, mentor or leader? What sort of person would you rather live with?
If sharing your enthusiasm can build a company like Microsoft, change the world and made Bill Gates one of the richest men in the world, think what you could build in your own family!