In honour of National Enthusiasm Week, we wanted to share Golden Pearl #12 with you from our book, The Secrets to Living A Fantastic Life – Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They’ve Discovered. Many have enjoyed the chapter, and we hope you do too!
GOLDEN PEARL #12 – Enthusiasm
It is not success that brings enthusiasm. It is the enthusiasm that brings success. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fred the Carpenter
It was a cold November day. Fred was tired. He had worked 35 years for his boss but could not rustle up any more enthusiasm to do so. So he went to his boss and said, “It’s time for me to quit.”
His boss thought about it for a moment. He said, “Before you quit, can you do one more job for me? I need a special house built, and you are the only one I’d trust to do it.”
Begrudgingly, Fred said yes. But he had no enthusiasm. He got to work late and left early. His work was barely passable. It was so bad that when the house was done, it barely passed inspection.
When he was finished, Fred delivered the keys on his boss’ desk.
Fred said, “Ok, I’m done.” The boss said, “Not so fast.”
He called all the employees together.
“Everyone, this is Fred’s last day. He has been my loyal employee for 30 years. Now I have a special surprise for Fred. For the last year, Fred has been involved in a very special project. He has built me one last house. Now, today, I am giving this house to Fred. I hope you enjoy this in your retirement.
– Author unknown
Moral of the story: Bring your enthusiasm every day.
“Enthusiasm glows, radiates, permeates and immediately captures everyone’s interest.” – Paul Meyer
Dr. Lycka: Let’s chat about Golden Pearl #12. ENTHUSIASM. It’s one of my favourites.
Harriet: I agree.
Dr. Lycka: Wow, it’s a rare day.
Harriet: We actually agree on a lot of things. Enthusiasm is the spark you bring to daily life that starts the fire.
Dr. Lycka: I think Woody Allen said: “To succeed in life, you have to show up.”
Harriet: No, he said, “80% of success is showing up.”
Dr. Lycka: O.K. smarty. What’s the other 20%? Harriet: I think the other 20% is enthusiasm. Dr. Lycka: And then the other 1% must be?
Harriet: ???I’m an accountant. That makes no sense.
Dr. Lycka: I’ve never seen an enthusiastic person stop at 100%. That’s a start.
Harriet: Now, I see your point.
Dr. Lycka: And as a doctor, what is the most contagious thing in the world?
Harriet: As I write this? COVID-19 – the nouveau coronavirus. It’s sweeping the planet. But it, too, shall pass. But, of course, it’s enthusiasm, the topic of this chapter.
Dr. Lycka: Bingo. It’s also incurable, COVID-19 hopefully will soon be tamed.
“I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.” – Michael Jordan
Harriet: Enthusiasm: An infectious, incurable disease.
Dr. Lycka: Yup. One which hopefully starts in childhood. Let’s look at this through the eyes of a three-year-old. Take, for example, my grandson Zach. It was frightfully cold in Edmonton, -40 below Celsius. Yet Zach went outside and said, “Grandpa, look,” as he looked into the air. “Look at what, Zach?” I asked, and he responded, “The diamonds in the air.”
It was so cold; ice crystals had formed. The sunlight was making them glisten. To Zach, they looked like diamonds in the sky.
Harriet: That’s enthusiasm. Let me tell you a story: Two frogs fell into a can of cream.
Or so it has been told:
The sides of the can were shiny and steep, The cream was deep and cold.
“Oh, what’s the use?” said number one, “It’s plain to see; no help’s around.
Good-bye, my friend, good-bye, sad world” And weeping still, he drowned.
But number two, of sterner stuff, dog-paddled in surprise.
Then while he licked his creamy lips and blinked his creamy eyes.
“I’ll swim at least awhile,” he thought. Or so it has been said.
“It really wouldn’t help the world If one more frog were dead.”
An hour or more he kicked and swam, Not once he stopped to mutter;
Then hopped out from the island that he made of fresh churned butter.
– Author Unknown
Dr. Lycka: So now you are telling me enthusiasm is not only infectious. It makes butter?!
Harriet: Just like you to focus on food when we are talking about enthusiasm. Focus.
Dr. Lycka: Food is always important. But we will come back to food in Book 2.
“Enthusiasm is a volcano on whose top never grows the grass of hesitation.” – Kahlil Gibran
Harriet: Do you know how to keep enthusiasm in your life?
Dr. Lycka: I think so. As you know, many call me Dr. Enthusiasm.
Harriet: How did you get that way?
Dr. Lycka: I guess I could say that it’s as simple as being enthusiastic. My friend, Paula Abdul, said, “Fake it until you make it.” I don’t think many know, but Paula is amazing. She was born with one leg inches shorter than the other. When she’d cry as a baby, her lungs would collapse. She learned never to cry. But this did not dissipate her enthusiasm. She learned to be a world-class dancer and then started the dance craze in cheerleading when she was on the LA Lakers cheerleading team.
Harriet: I would add another thing to this. I’d say you should spend at least 15 minutes a day on something you love.
Dr. Lycka: That’s easy for me. I have dozens of passions.
Harriet: I like physical activities, all that body movement, especially death races, you know. It’s a powerful mood buster – more effective than drugs or shopping therapy.
Dr. Lycka: Here’s another. Practice self-compassion.
Self-compassion is the practice of noticing what you’re feeling, remembering that you’re human (and therefore fallible, just like everyone else on the planet), and treating yourself with the same kindness you’d give to a beloved friend. Unfortunately, few of us have been trained to respond to ourselves in this way. Much more often, our response is to beat ourselves up when we stumble, but research has shown (and your own experience may echo) that self-flagellation is counterproductive.
Harriet: I like to spend time with enthusiastic people – like you. Enthusiasm is contagious. Since your time and energy are limited, pay attention to how you feel after spending time with people in your life, and seek out those who fill you up, energize and inspire you.
Dr. Lycka: Here’s one more: practice spontaneous acts of kindness (but not sacrifice). Have you ever noticed how good it feels to say or do something kind for someone else? Performing random, spontaneous acts of kindness – even just a kind word or a genuine smile – has been shown to boost self-image, lead us to perceive others more compassionately, promote a greater sense of connection with others, and feel grateful for our good fortune. All of these things make us happier, and when we’re happier, it’s easy to be more enthusiastic.
Don’t overdo it at the expense of filling your own bucket.
Harriet: And with that, we need to turn to the last chapter Dr. Lycka.
Dr. Lycka: Yes, it’s on Empowerment.
We hope you enjoyed this post on enthusiasm! To read on about empowerment and the other pearls, the book can be found here.