Thursday, July 23, 2009

Three kinds of enthusiasm

Most people have heard the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "No great thing was ever done without enthusiasm".

However, what surprises me every time I do sales training, is how few people understand that enthusiasm, the way it's traditionally perceived, appears in many forms.

PASSION
What kind of enthusiasm? Most people experience enthusiasm as passion, i.e. energy growing out of great excitement about a particular subject, product or some kind of hobby. It's what I always refer to as inner conviction. But there's so much more to enthusiasm, isn't there?!


CONNECTION
Have you ever been fired up by a relationship with another person? Of course you have. It's one of the best things in life. The experience is one of connection. We might refer to it as being in love, being best friends or even soul mates. I believe it can be experienced every day with the people around us. We just need to do what it requires. This kind of enthusiasm comes from what I refer to as shared conviction. It's enthusiasm we experience and have together.


INTUITION
Can you think of other types of enthusiasm? Well, having worked with the subject for 9 years in sales training, in my opinion there's one more group or category of enthusiasm, and maybe it's the most important one, or shall we say, the top level. It's the one I call discovered conviction. This is when you discover something new, when you learn something, understand something or when a new world opens up to you, either on a higher level or as increased light and understanding.

I've put this in a separate category, because it's usually outside of our control. It's intuitive. We can do a lot to make it happen, but it has the characteristics of innovation, and innovation doesn't just happen. It's sort of like an inexplicable gift that explodes in our faces at times when we're somehow ready to receive it. I love Einstein's quote: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them".

Well. These types of enthusiasm (I call them energies in my book) are - in my experience - sequential. Meaning, it usually begins inside (Passion), then it's shared (Connection) and finally we discover (Intuition). And every time these feelings represent a kind of conviction. Can you see it? When you do, there's a structure that helps you to understand how you can inspire the people around you. And most importantly, it works! There's a practical approach to this and I love sharing it with people. Yes, it gives me energy ;-)

p.s. About a year ago I wrote a blog post about how influence is connected to energy. If you enjoyed these thoughts, then I'm guessing you might like that article, too.

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