15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.

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Enthusiasm + Focus = Rocket Science

I want to talk about two driving forces towards achievement. And since I’ve been talking about universal laws in recent posts, I’ll use a physics metaphor. This is also a poke in the eye to all my critics that say “your writing isn’t exactly rocket science is it?”


What is enthusiasm? It is a fire in the belly, it is emotion, it is desire, it is primal. It is like rocket fuel.

Do you know anyone that is always wanting to do something but never knowing what to do? Someone that is always running around like their hair is on fire? Someone that is passionate about what they are doing even though they have no idea what they are doing?

For enthusiasm to actually produce any sort of meaningful movement, it requires something to narrow the outburst of energy. That is where focus comes in. Focus is like the aperture of the rocket. The aperture channels all the energy from the burning fuel and gives it direction and thrust.

ImageThe narrower the aperture is (the more focused the individual) the greater the amount of thrust.

I recommend the movie October Sky, about the life of NASA engineer Homer Hickam. The first rocket he attempted to build as a high school student, was very similar to his mentality at the time. All fuel, no aperture. Which resulted in an explosion that blew up his parents’ fence.

Too much emotion without any focus usually causes a lot of noise and a big mess but not any great results. Intense focus without any passion to drive the engine results in grand intentions and nothing else.

One important thing to remember: the enthusiasm and the focus don’t have to come from the same person.

A good organization with strong leadership knows how to tap into the power of youth and exuberance and direct it with the focus of age and treachery.

Find where your strength lies. In your enthusiasm or in your focus. Then either work on the area in which you are lacking or partner up with someone that makes up for your deficiencies.

The results of the fuel of enthusiasm fired through the aperture of focus can produce results that are astronomical.

Was that bad?
That was pretty bad wasn’t it?

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Set Yourself on Fire

fireSome people have the wrong idea about motivation and success. They think that in order to succeed, they must first get motivated then they will be able to perform at a higher level. And so they postpone their effort until they are struck by a bolt of motivation from the heavens. While that may happen on occasion, external motivation does not last forever. Also, you are just as likely to be hit by a bolt of frustration and quit if you are waiting for outside forces to move you around.

The way to avoid being manipulated by all these lightning bolts being thrown about is to rely on yourself for motivation. And the way to do that is by giving yourself a healthy dose of enthusiasm. Like motivation, enthusiasm is an emotion; A temporary feeling. But you can create enthusiasm by an act of will. Once you decide to increase your enthusiasm, just follow these simple steps:

1. Act enthusiastic

2. That’s all

What? They don’t all have to be a 10-step process do they?

When you act enthusiastic, you will become enthusiastic. When you increase your enthusiasm you will have more energy. When you have more energy, you gain motivation to get your tasks done. Congratulations, you are now motivated to succeed, all you have to do is fake it (see Step 1).

Really? Yes. (see Step 2).

Enthusiasm will increase your effectiveness at just about any task. Another benefit of your increased level of enthusiasm, is it will increase the effectiveness of the people around you. Enthusiasm is contagious. Your enthusiasm will spread to the people around you at work or at play.

Winning sports teams recognize the power of enthusiasm. One teammate steps up with a powerful move, or play, or score; And the rest of the team becomes energized and starts to gain momentum. An enthusiastic home-team crowd is so important that they are called “the extra sixth player” on the team (well, just in basketball). One player can fire up the crowd, or sometimes a particularly loyal crowd will try to fire up a team that is lacking enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is not limited to sports though. You can inject enthusiasm into nearly any aspect of your life. Get enthusiastic about your child’s role in their school play and they will become enthusiastic about it. Get enthusiastic about your store meeting and force your coworkers that are dragging themselves in to wake up. Get enthusiastic about making a phone call, going grocery shopping, washing your dog and visiting the dentist. Enthusiasm is so important that Norman Vincent Peale wrote an entire book on the subject, Enthusiasm Makes The Difference. Frank Bettger devoted the first chapter of his book, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, to enthusiasm (which helped him not just as a professional baseball player, but also as an insurance salesman).

How has a healthy dose of enthusiasm helped you to thrive in a bleak situation?