Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.
Is is possible that something as simple as enthusiasm is the key ingredient?
We’ve read the accounts of Pele, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and the other legends who sacrificed everything to achieve their unfathomable achievements. The personal sacrifices, extreme workouts, and overachiever regimen.
Without question, these athletes and others in all walks of life who are able to rise to this calibre, have been gifted some special DNA, but that in and of itself is not the sole requirement. Nor is it the focus and determination.
To Pele’s point, I believe enthusiasm is the universal quality that all of these gifted people from Yo Yo Ma, to Jonas Salk, to Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and others possess.
Enthusiasm is the salve that our Universal Parent uses to motivate us past the tipping point. Our inner child is the one that focuses first on the goal. But like any child, within time, the journey is difficult, obstacles arise, fears appear overwhelming, and everything would be so much easier if we could just let go of the goal. Our inner child is very persuasive on this topic. It can rationalize a hundred reasons why it would be so much easier, if…..
So how is it that some people are just able to comfort that inner child and keep on going? As attitude is the only string we have to play upon, our Universal Parent steps in with a prerequisite dose of just the right cure that will propel us forward again.
That cure is enthusiasm. It must be. What other tools does the Universal Parent have to weaponize against our dismay and frustration? It has no monetary reward that it alone can provide. So how does our inner being combat itself and get some people to the promised land, and others not?
Enthusiasm. Pure and simple.
Think about it. You have used this countless times in your life at a moment of stress, fear, boredom, frustration, disappointment, despair, and overwhelm….. what got you out of those moments?
Eventually, your brain comes around to the promise that: “if we keep going, there will be a resolution to our satisfaction” (regardless of what that particular resolution may be, it is the fuel that catapults us forward to the next step, chapter, experience or other.
So if it is so simple, why waste an entire musing on enthusiasm?
Because when you are down, enthusiasm seems miles away. Unreachable, and wholly impractical. Your mind is fighting the battles that are on your immediate doorstep, be they exhaustion in a workout, stress of work, stress of health or a relationship…. Whatever is dominating your mind and precluding enthusiasm from entering, it is most wise to remember that enthusiasm is the cure.
If you have a headache that is strong enough, you take medicine. If your stomach is upset, you do the same. When your mind is upset, we have a propensity to try to drown it out with alcohol, pot, or food. These are the moments to try our best to remember that numbing the mind and dulling our senses are exactly the opposite direction to our salvation. These are the moments to come to terms with this precise reality. The only way out is enthusiasm.
I close today with my secret weapon. I hope you find time in your week to do this, if you have not already. I went through my music library years ago and made a playlist called UP TRACKS. These are tracks of music that always make me happy, always galvanize me, always take me to a new place. I can be in the worst mood, with the largest of fears, and the highest volume of stress closing in around me and inevitably, it is my UP TRACKS that save me.
I guarantee you that you have several or many of these in your life. But there are a choice handful that no matter what mindset you are in, if you listen to them and sing along (very important!) they will deliver you to a new internal vibration. That vibration will birth enthusiasm. It may come in a tiny dose. That frown may see one corner of your mouth smile, and perhaps the other corner will join. Before long, your frame of reference is changed and you are on the road to being you again.
That is your Universal Parent injecting you with a massive dose of enthusiasm. And if enthusiasm worked so well for Jordan, Pele, Ali and others…. Who are we to question the technique? Far better to employ it and appreciate it, than to doubt it into extinction in our lives. Doing so will create a most unhappy inner child and no one wants to live around an unhappy inner child.
Here is one of my go to songs. I have many. But this one, because Peter wrote it about his choice to leave the security of front lining Genesis and venture into the world of a solo career has always connected for me.
Just had to trust imagination…..