Monday, October 22, 2007
Enthusiasm Questions & Answers
Enthusiasm Questions & Answers
Clearing out files, cabinets, closets, basements, garages and drawers can be quite the adventure. Occasionally little treasures are uncovered. This is the experience I have been having lately.
One of my discoveries was a copy of questions related to enthusiasm sent to me by the host of a radio show I appeared on February 1998. Looking over the original questions, I am recalling the blessings of a great host. Reviewing the list of questions also causes me to think about how I answered them in 1998 and how I might answer them for a radio show today. Join me now as I embark on another adventure in the land of inquiry in honor of The Month of Enthusiasm!
Q: Tell us about the background and how you got interested in the topic of enthusiasm?
ASW: In my earlier personal and professional life I never gave much in-depth thought to enthusiasm. That is aside from what I may have come across in articles or books. My formal ‘interest’ occurred in 1990 when I was facilitating a seminar called How Do You Spell SUCCESS? In my spelling of SUCCESS the letter ‘E’ represented enthusiasm. At the end of the program, I invited participants to fill out an index card with their name, contact info and any questions they might have. I let them know I would respond to their questions personally. One of the index cards had something like “this was a great class, but how do you draw enthusiasm and keep it?”
There was something about that question, “how do you draw enthusiasm and keep it?”, that went to my core and I couldn’t shake it. This is the question that spoke to my Soul.
At that point in time I had been thinking about starting a newsletter for my business. The question kept coming to me so I thought it would make a great focus for my first newsletter. Writing an article wasn’t enough so the thought came to me to create a program about enthusiasm. That really set things in motion. The program that I created — Enthusiasm! How To Draw It To Yourself & Keep It — became one of my more popular programs. Since then I have created a variety of programs related to the various aspects of enthusiasm, written several articles and now two books on the topic. My first book is based on the original program, Enthusiasm! How To Draw It To Yourself & Keep It. My second book is, Igniting the Spark of Enthusiasm! Discovering what to do when your get up and go got up and went. Plus there are more books and programs coming especially related to enthusiasm at work, enthusiasm as a key ingredient to sales success and enthusiasm in relation to the tough stuff of life.
Even after 17 years of working with this topic, there is more to discover, uncover and share with others. It is a fascinating process!
Q: How would you define enthusiasm?
ASW: One would think that after facilitating programs, researching and writing about enthusiasm since 1990, that I would have a clear, concise ten-word definition. However that is not the case. In fact the underlying focus of my first book, Enthusiasm! How To Draw It To Yourself & Keep It, looks at ways to define it. And I do include official dictionary definitions of enthusiasm…and so much more.
With regard to the dictionary, the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek word, enthousiasmos to be inspired, be possessed by a god, inspire enthous, entheos, possessed by a god ( en-, in + theos, god)
Some additional thoughts on the definition for enthusiasm that I’ll share with you now are, Enthusiasm is…:
· wholistic. The physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic aspects of your Beingness are affected.
· a power/energy/force that can cause things to happen and people to move through challenges, fear, resistance and the veils of illusion.
· present within and available to everyone. We are born with it.
· the dynamic expression of Spirit manifesting through us.
Q: Is it possible to draw to yourself, or create enthusiasm and keep it?
ASW: Absolutely! Everyone experiences and expresses enthusiasm in their own unique way. One of the first places to start is by giving yourself permission to “draw to yourself, or create enthusiasm and keep it”.
The key, then, is in discovering what causes you to be enthusiastic and allowing yourself to bring it forward in your everyday livingness
Another part of this is to become aware of what can zap your enthusiasm, then develop ways to Zap the ZappersSM before they zap you.
For some people this can be an inward process; for others an outward process. And for some it is an inward and outward process.
Q: Why is it necessary or important? Can’t we live meaningful lives without it?
ASW: A wonderful quote comes to mind by W. Clement Stone that responds to the first part of the question.
“Enthusiasm is to a person what gasoline is to the engine of an automobile; the vital moving force.”
With regard to the second part of the question, I suppose it is possible because anything is possible. I do know from my own experience and that of my clients, program participants, readers, friends and colleagues that things flow much more smoothly when we draw from our well of enthusiasm. We become more aligned with our creativity, we are focused in the present moment, and we have a greater sense of ease in all areas of our life and work.
Q: What if a person’s get up and go, done got up and left? What can they do to create more aliveness or energy?
ASW: This is such an important question mainly because this is something many people experience at some point in their life. In fact this is the focus of my second book: Igniting the Spark of Enthusiasm! Discovering what to do when your get up and go got up and went.
For some people this is a short-term, temporary experience. For others it could even become chronic due to their particular life circumstances. One of the first things to do is to acknowledge how he or she is feeling. Second would be to accept that this is what is showing up in his or her life. Acknowledgement and acceptance are an important starting point and can move one’s focus of attention to what is instead of what is not. Then positive changes can begin to occur.
It is important to note that this is a common occurrence for most people. It doesn’t make them bad or a failure. In fact there are two common myths and misperceptions related to enthusiasm that come to mind:
Myth #1: Enthusiasm means the person always has to be jumping up and down, gregarious, loud, perky, a cheerleader, etc.
Some enthusiastic people are this way but not all. Some enthusiastic people are this way some of the time but not all of the time. There are quiet enthusiasts, as well as gentle, peaceful and reserved enthusiasts. You will discover there are many ways enthusiasm is expressed inwardly and outwardly.
Myth #2: Enthusiastic people don’t have problems or have to deal with the stuff of life.
I am not sure how this one began. People are people. Life is life. Enthusiastic people experience the same types of life events, celebrations and challenges as everyone else. One key difference that sets them apart is how they choose to be with and handle the experiences.
Some other things they can do includes:
. get up and move. This can be going for a walk, stretching and exercising spending time in nature or in a park, or walking out and standing on your porch or balcony. This can get your energy flowing and oxygen to your brain.
. reduce distractors, which can be anything from too much TV and constant news shows, overeating, spending time with negative people, or not doing things that bring you enjoyment and satisfaction, no mater how big or small.
. reflect on times in your life when things were more positive and you were happier. What was going on during those times? What skills and activities were you engaging in? Are you willing to tap into those now, a little at a time if necessary?
. working with a coach or therapist can be helpful to become more objective and receptive to turning things around especially with serious cases.
Q: If a person is “off purpose” or feeling like they don’t have a purpose, how does that effect their energy? And what could they do about it?
ASW: When people are “off purpose” they can fall into a state of drudgery. Things can become more difficult. There is often a diminishment of energy and vitality. There can also be a tendency for physical challenges, relationships could become problematic and sometimes people simply lose their spark. Apathy and lethargy can set in on most or all levels.
What can they do? One of the best gifts they could give themselves would be to think about and get in touch with what causes them to be enthusiastic. In my first book, Enthusiasm! How To Draw It To Yourself & Keep It, I list 32 things that people have identified as causes of enthusiasm. There are more, but the ones listed are some of the more common. Ten of the 32 causes are looked at more in-depth. Some of the more often cited causes include:
. working toward something
. doing what you enjoy
. a new idea or activity
With this information people can align more fully with their purpose on a regular basis.
Q: What if you are in the doldrums?
ASW: This relates in some ways to the earlier question of a person’s get up and go having got up and left. Additionally, know that this is often a natural part of the life experience especially given the pace of things in our world today.
First, only look at you and your experiences. Too many people get caught into the trap of comparing themselves to others or to some unrealistic persona. This often leads to frustration and unrealistic expectations.
Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Practice extreme self-care. Remind yourself that you have had positive, happy or joyful times and you will have them once again. On a physical note, make sure you are drinking lots of water, breathing properly, and fueling your body with proper nutrition.
Something else you can do is to honestly evaluate your life and work. Are you under stress? If so, in what areas and what might you do to reduce the stressors. Stress is often something that has many facets so you do yourself a big favor by breaking them down into concise, manageable parts. This is the primary focus of Igniting the Spark of Enthusiasm!
Q: Is it important in one’s personal and professional life?
ASW: Absolutely yes! Enthusiasm is important in all areas of our life. Keep in mind that enthusiasm has myriad ways it can be expressed and experienced. Also many people equate enthusiasm with being upbeat, energized, outgoing, etc. This is how it might be for some people. Though, know there are quiet, gentle enthusiasts among us. And the pendulum can swing to all stages of the spectrum depending on the person and what is going on in his or her life. The key thing is to be aware there is not just one way that enthusiasm looks or feels. I can definitely attest to that from my own experiences on my life’s journey.
Another aspect of enthusiasm is that it is a higher vibration. This is important to note for ourselves and in relation to others. A frequent comment I hear, in conversations and programs, relates to the contagious aspect of enthusiasm. One reason for this is that we are tapping into the higher energy vibration, which changes one's frame of mind, among other things.
Q: You mentioned to me in an earlier conversation that it was important to celebrate our successes. Why is that?
ASW: Too often we can go through tasks, experiences and life in general waiting for someone else to notice us and say “good job” or “thank you” or “we are glad you are here”. When we don’t hear that from others, whether they be family, friends, teachers, bosses, peers or colleagues, we can begin to devalue what we had done. Our self-esteem can begin to erode. In essence we can give our power away. These things begin to take a toll on us, on our energy and can zap our enthusiasm.
Every thing we do matters. Every thing we do is important.
We send a powerful message to ourselves when we take the time to commemorate our accomplishments and successes. These celebrations and acknowledgments can be big or small, quiet or loud. And it doesn’t matter what others may think about what or how we choose to celebrate. It only matters to us because we know what we did, along with what it took for us to do it.
Q: What if you feel like you don’t have any successes?
ASW: As I mentioned earlier, focus on you and what you have done/are doing. Do not waste time and energy comparing yourself to others. Something else to consider is to start small. Remember everything you do matters. For some people this may be hitting the snooze alarm two times instead of five. For someone else it may be getting up in from of a group of people and speaking for 5 minutes.
It may also be helpful to keep a list of things you do that are new, interesting, challenging and/or meaningful to you. This could be kept in your calendar or planner or in a notebook. It can be updated as you go along, at the end of the day or once a week. Our lives move at a rapid pace so this can help you remember successes more easily ~ this could be your own personal brag book that is for your eyes only.
Q: Can we become our own champions and cheerleaders?
ASW: Yes. I highly recommend it.
Well looks like this is it for now as I conclude another adventure in the land of inquiry.
In the Flow of Understanding,
© 2007 Antoinette S. Webster. All rights reserved. www.ASystemthatWorks.com
To find out more about Enthusiasm! How To Draw It To Yourself & Keep ItSM, contact Antoinette today to at Info (at) ASystemthatWorks.com.
Antoinette is also available for interviews, speaking engagements, keynotes and spouse programs along with training programs, retreats and workshops. And she works with a limited number of individuals and groups for ongoing coaching. Contact her at 513.887.0600 or Info (at) ASystemthatWorks.com to schedule a program for your organization—in person or by teleseminar—or an appointment for a private session.