Napoleon Hill—author of “Think and Grow Rich”, as well as other success classics– once said the following:
“Enthusiasm is a state of mind that inspires and arouses one to put action into the task at hand . . . Enthusiasm bears the same relationship to a human being that steam does to the locomotive – it is the vital moving force that impels action.”
In addition, Earl Prevette––a master salesman and the author of “How to Turn Your Ability Into Cash“–argued that enthusiasm is your soul in action. Here’s a quote from his book:
“Enthusiasm is one of your greatest assets. It is better than money, power or influence–with enthusiasm you become the master of these. Combine enthusiasm with faith and initiative, and you can move mountains and achieve results unheard of.”
Whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s writing a novel, getting your start-up off the ground, getting a promotion at work, and so on, enthusiasm will give you the energy that you’ll need to keep running all the way to the finish line.
Below you’ll discover 14 ways to harness the power of enthusiasm. Apply these strategies and you’ll have so much energy, you’ll be unstoppable.
1. Follow your bliss. There is no better way to generate enthusiasm than to be engaged in an activity that you enjoy and to do work that you’re passionate about.
If your current situation is such that you cannot be engaged in the work which you like best, decide what it is that you want to be doing and focus on the fact that you’ll be engaged in that particular work at some point in the future. Even if you’re not currently standing where you would like to be, you can generate enthusiasm by facing the direction in which you want to go.
2. Think of the things that you want to attain. Here’s a quote from Hill’s “The Law of Success”:
“The home you intend to own, the money you intend to earn and place in the bank, the trip you intend to take when you can afford it, the position in life you intend to fill when you have prepared yourself, and the preparation itself—these are the things that produce happiness.”
Become enthusiastic about these things, regardless of your current station in life. Keep thinking of the time when you’ll be ready to turn these things into reality.
3. Have a plan. Creating a plan will fill you with enthusiasm to get up each day and follow through on your plan. Driving around without a map–that is, trying to achieve a goal without having a plan–can soon use up all of your motivation.
However, when you know where you want to go–see point “1″ above–and you have a map that shows you how to get there–you’ll be pressing down on the gas pedal and moving ahead at full speed.
4. Get out of victim-mode. Nothing zaps enthusiasm faster than seeing yourself as a victim. Look at the following two scenarios:
- You’re constantly thinking: “There’s nothing I can do to get the promotion that I want because my boss hates me.”
- You’re saying the following to yourself: “I’ll never be able to raise the capital that I need for my start-up because banks just won’t lend money to people like me.”
If your thinking is in line with the two scenarios above–that is, if you’re thinking like a victim–, how can you possibly generate enthusiasm?
In order to generate enthusiasm, you need to see yourself as a creator. That is, recognize that you can continually take the steps that you need to take in order to get what you want, regardless of what other people, or even life itself, throw at you.
You can read the first chapter of my ebook, “How to Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide for Creating and Achieving Your Life List”, which is all about how to become a creator, by clicking here.
5. Surround yourself with people who are enthusiastic and optimistic. Befriend people who will encourage you and challenge you to achieve your goals. Enthusiasm is contagious; when you’re around people who are enthusiastic about their lives and about their work, their enthusiasm will rub off on you.
If you can’t find people who are enthusiastic, surround yourself with videos and audio programs of people who are enthusiastic. Steve Pavlina–owner of the blog “Personal Development for Smart People”–finished college in three semesters. He writes that going through college this quickly meant having eight-hour days of classes.
In order to keep a positive can-do attitude, despite his heavy workload, whenever Pavlina had a break between classes he would listen to audio programs by Earl Nightingale, Zig Ziglar and others. Pavlina explains that this kept him enthusiastic and on top of his studies.
6. Stimulate yourself into a state of high enthusiasm. Hill explains that everyone has something that arouses their enthusiasm—it could be something like the following:
- Going to museums to admire fine paintings;
- Listening to music;
- Spending time in nature;
- Wearing clothes that make you “look the part”;
- Reading books by authors that you admire; and so on.
He adds that all people of outstanding achievement have discovered ways and means of stimulating themselves into a state of high enthusiasm. Identify activities or situations that energize you, and engage in them as often as you can.
7. Ask questions. Earl Prevette explains that one of the best ways to generate enthusiasm in yourself is by asking yourself questions about your abilities, your ideas, and your progress. Likewise, if you want to generate enthusiasm in others, ask them questions. Prevette says the following:
“Ask enough questions and you will find the answer. Asking questions starts an endless chain of ideas, each one suggesting several others. Most inventions and improvements are the result of questions. Someone wanted to know the answer.”
Questions stir up ideas, arouse response, stimulate interest, and create desire. That is, they generate enthusiasm. Here are some questions you can use in order to begin generating enthusiasm:
- 100 Questions to Help You Generate More Income
- 99 Powerful Questions to Ask to Turbocharge Your Life
8. Develop the right attitude. Another method which Prevette recommends in order to generate enthusiasm is to have the right attitude. Attitude is getting the right slant on the thing you are doing.
Prevette explains that when he became a salesman he adopted the attitude that he was creating and developing ideas to help others. This perspective gave him the spirit to sell; he was eager to find ways to fill the needs of others, and to fill those needs well. Here’s a quote from Prevette:
“The right attitude toward your job taps a hidden reservoir of knowledge and experience, and puts to work every available force to aid you in the accomplishment of your goal.”
9. Give all of your attention to what you’re doing. Still another way to generate enthusiasm is by giving your full attention to what you’re doing. Prevette explains that doing any job well requires concentration of thought. Integrate your mental attributes completely, pull together, and pay strict attention to what you’re doing. Here’s what Prevette says:
“It is not putting in hours, but putting yourself into the hours that wins promotion, earns more money, precipitates an increase in salary and gets you ahead.”
Whatever it is that you’re doing, look for ways to pull your attention together and place it fully on the activity that you’re carrying out. It’s very difficult to generate enthusiasm when half of your mind is on one thing, and the other half is thinking of something else.
10. Get your energy level up. It’s hard to generate enthusiasm when you feel tired. Make sure that you have the physical energy to be able to generate lots of enthusiasm by getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and getting regular exercise.
11. Lower your levels of “bad” stress. Stress isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, if you want to achieve anything noteworthy in life, some tension is necessary. Look at the following:
- To achieve great things you need to learn and grow; that is, you need to step outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
- To get things done, you need to set deadlines.
Challenging yourself to try new things and striving to meet deadlines is stressful. However, setting deadlines that you can keep and striving to meet challenges that you can achieve by making some effort, creates good stress.
Bad stress is when you’re pushing yourself too hard, and you begin to feel overwhelmed and that you’re losing control. Bad stress will zap away at your energy and make your enthusiasm plummet. There are many things you can do to lower your stress levels, such as taking up yoga or meditation, decluttering your mind and your space, prioritizing, and simplifying.
12. Use your physiology. If you’re trying to generate enthusiasm, use the body posture and the tone of voice that you use when you’re talking about something that fills you with excitement. Move and talk as if you’re full of enthusiasm, and your emotions will soon follow suit.
13. Apply your strengths. Whatever it is that you’re working on, you can become enthusiastic about it by applying your strengths. For example, if you’re an artist but you’re currently doing office work, look for ways to add visual elements to your work. As a second illustration, I had a friend in law school who loved to sing. He applied this strength to the task of studying for classes by turning the law school lectures into songs.
14. Begin. Whatever you want to do, begin it. As Prevette explains, the law of nature is the following: “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” Start learning about the topic at hand; the more you know about something that more likely you are to become enthusiastic about it. In addition, set small goals for yourself and begin to achieve them. These small achievements will help you to generate the enthusiasm that you’ll need to keep going.
Follow the 14 strategies described above in order to kindle the fire of enthusiasm and keep it burning until you’ve achieved everything that you want. If you think of each of your goals as a seed that you’re planting, enthusiasm is the fertilizer that helps the seed to grow.