Years ago I came across a saying, "The worst form of bankruptcy in the world is the person who lost their enthusiasm." - H.W. Arnold. That means this thing called enthusiasm is even more valuable than all the money in the world. Winston Churchill said, "Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." Walter Chrysler quipped, "The real secret of success is enthusiasm." Not to be missed is also the adage by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, "Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do."
Surely more than a word, enthusiasm signifies something greater. The direct meaning of enthusiasm is the absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest. Much can be derived from this definition. Certainly in order to be enthusiastic, you need a special frame of mind. It has to be full of excitement. A mind that is bored and indifferent cannot occupy the same space as the one that is keen and interesting. The enthusiastic mind is, therefore, eager to explore possibilities albeit good or bad. It is about experiencing the world through the eyes of a child; full of wonder and curiosity.
Enthusiasm also requires a bundle of positive energy to start with. Without the excitement of the pulsating energy, the mind may be willing but the body might recede. Youthfulness has an advantage in this area. However, we should not discount those who are young at heart to pursue new and great endeavors. Both Ray Kroc and Colonel Sanders were past their prime ages when they initiated McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken respectively. My favorite champion of enthusiasm is Dr. George Sheehan who took up running in his late forties and later became a running icon due to his passion in beating the odds of old age.
To live life enthusiastically also means to live life with a gusto. Every day should be an adventure in the making. An enthusiastic person seems to have a swagger that projects purposefulness and certainty. He is no lame duck in projecting his persona for it's all a reflection of his inner confidence shining out. He is well-paced, poised and elegant. There is no hurry worry movement on his side and yet he is not a laggard either. Everything seems to be under control.
It is worthy to note that enthusiasm is beyond positive thinking. At times positive thinking alone may be disastrous. Imagine if you have weeds in your garden and you keep saying, "There's no weed, there's no weed." And yet you do nothing about it. Pretty soon, before you realize, your garden will be invaded by bushels of weeds. Which brings me to the next point; enthusiasm is about taking action. Action requires effort and commitment. Very rare we see a person full of enthusiasm undertake an assignment without the will of going the extra mile. To make things happen he must be persistent and willing to work hard. Along the way, pride of workmanship also involves. He will not settle for a half-baked effort and never accept anything less than his best at what he does. The person I can think of who operates in this manner is our own Chef Wan. An accountant by qualification, Chef Wan later pursue his passion in cooking to become one of the respected names in culinary.
So there you have it, look forward to a brighter future. Don't let circumstances get to you. Once, during a battle, Napoleon Bonaparte devised a plan to attack the opposing enemy in an unorthodox manner. One of his military advisers said, due to certain circumstances that maneuver is not executable. Napoleon retorted, "Circumstances? What circumstances? I make my own circumstances, attack!" Ended, because of his decisiveness, he won the battle for the day.