You often have heard the word "Enthusiasm" used have used it often
yourself. But have you ever thought of what the word really means from
what source it originated what is its essential spirit? Few have. The
word "Enthusiasm" is derived from the Greek term meaning "to be inspired;
to be possessed by the gods, etc.," the term having been originally used
to designate the mental state of an inspired person who seems to be under
the influence of a higher power. The term originally meant, "Inspired by a
superhuman or divine power; ecstasy; etc." It is now used, according to
Webster, in the sense of: "Enkindled and kindling fervor of soul; ardent
and imaginative zeal or interest; lively manifestation of joy or zeal;
etc." The word has acquired a secondary, and unfavorable meaning in the
sense of "visionary zeal; imaginative fervor; etc. "; but its real and
primary meaning is that ardent, lively zeal and interest in a inner forces
of ones nature. Real enthusiasm means a powerful mental state exerted in
favor of, or against, some idea.
A person filled with Enthusiasm seems indeed to be inspired by some
power or being higher than himself he taps on to a source of power of
which he is not ordinarily conscious. And the result is that he becomes as
a great magnet radiating attractive force in all directions and
influencing those within his field of influence. For Enthusiasm is
contagious and when really experienced by the individual renders him a
source of inductive power, and a center of mental influence. But the power
with which he is filled does not come from an outside source it comes
from certain inner regions of his mind or soul from his Inner
Consciousness. Those who have read our little manual entitled "Inner
Consciousness" will readily understand from what part of the mentality
such power is derived. Enthusiasm is really "soul power," and when genuine
is so recognized and felt by those coming within its field of influence.
Without a certain amount of Enthusiasm no one ever has attained
Success, and never will do so. There is no power in personal intercourse
that can be compared to Enthusiasm of the right sort. It comprises
Earnestness, Concentration, and Power, and there are a very few people
that cannot be influenced in some degree by its manifestation by another.
Few people realize the actual value of Enthusiasm. Many have succeeded by
reason of its possession, and many have failed by reason of its lack.
Enthusiasm is the steam that drives our mental machinery, and which
indirectly thus accomplishes the great things in life. You cannot
accomplish tasks properly yourself unless you manifest a degree of
interest in them, and what is Enthusiasm but Interest plus Inspiration
Inspired Interest, thats what Enthusiasm is. By the power of Enthusiasm
the great things of life are brought to expression and accomplishment.
Enthusiasm is not a thing, which some possess and others lack. All
persons have it potentially, but only a few are able to express it. The
majority is afraid to let themselves "feel" a thing, and then to let the
"feeling" express itself in powerful action like the steam in an engine.
The majority of persons do not know how to get up the steam of Enthusiasm.
They fail to keep the fires of Interest and Desire kindled under their
mental boiler, and the consequence is they fail to get up the steam of
Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm may be developed, by cultivating interest and love
of your task. Interest, confidence, and desire arouse Enthusiasm, and it
remains for you to either concentrate it so that its effect will be
directed strait toward the object, person or thing that you wish to move,
or else allow it to dissipate itself in the air without result. Like
steam, Enthusiasm may be dissipated or used by concentrated direction it
produces results; and by foolish waste and dissipation it fails to do so.
The more interest you take in a thing, the greater does your confidence
and desire grow and from these arise the steam of Enthusiasm. So
remember always that Interest is the mother of Enthusiasm.
The enthusiastic man naturally tends toward the optimistic frame of
mind, and by doing so he diffuses an atmosphere of confident, cheerful
expectation around him which tends to inspire confidence in others, and
which aids him in his endeavors. He surrounds himself with a mental aura
of Success he vibrates Success and those into whose presence he comes,
unconsciously take on his vibrations. Enthusiasm is very contagious, and
one filled with the right quality, kind and degree of it unconsciously
communicates his interest, earnestness and expectations to others.
Enthusiasm plays an important part in that which is called Personal
Magnetism. It is a live, warm, vital mental quality, and it quickens the
pulse of the one using it, and those who are affected by it. It is
different from the cold-blooded indifference that one meets with so often
in business, and which causes many a sale to be lost, and many a good
thing to be "turned down."
The man who lacks Enthusiasm is robbed of more than half his force of
Personal Influence. No matter how good his arguments may be no matter
how meritorious his proposition may be unless he possess the warm vital
quality of Enthusiasm, his efforts are largely wasted, and his result
impaired. Think over the salesman who have approached you and remember how
some of them produced the chilling effect of a damp cellar upon you, while
others caused you to sit up and take notice in spite of yourself by reason
of their earnest interest and enthusiasm. Analyze the impression produced
upon you by the different people with whom you have come in contact, and
then see how great an influence Enthusiasm exerts. And then remember the
effect it produces upon yourself, when you feel it. Enthusiasm is Mental
Steam remember that.
A few days ago there was erected a tablet, in one of the great colleges
of the land, as a memorial to a former student in its halls. This young
man saved the lives of seventeen people during a great storm on the lake.
He swam out after them, one by one, and brought them all in alive. He
fainted away from exhaustion, and when he recovered consciousness, his
first words were, "Boys, did I do my Best?"
The words of this young man express the great question that should urge
every true seeker after Success to so live and act that he may be able to
answer it in the affirmative. It is not so much a question of"did I do so
much," or "did I do as much as some one else?" as it is matter of "DID I
DO MY BEST?"
The man who does his best is never a failure. He is always a success,
and if the best should be but a poor pretty thing, still the world will
place the laurel wreath of victory upon his brow when he accomplishes it.
The one who does his best is never a "quitter," or a "shirker" he stays
right on his job until he has bestowed upon it the very best that there is
in him to give at that particular time. Such a man can never be a failure.
The man who does his best is never heard asking the pessimistic
question, "Whats the Use? "He doesnt care a whole lot about that part of
it his mind is fixed upon the idea that he is "on his job," and is not
going to be satisfied with anything less than his Best. And when one
really is able to answer the great question with an honest, "Yes, I did my
Best," then verily, he will be able to answer the "Whats the Use"
question properly it is "of use" to have brought out the Best work in
oneself, if for no other reason than because it is a Man Making process
a developer of the Self.
This infernal "Whats the Use" question seems to have been invented by
some pessimistic imp of darkness to use in discouraging people making
desperate struggles or leading forlorn hopes. It has brought down many a
man into the Mire of Despondency and Failure. Chase it out of you mind
whenever it appears, and replace it with the question, "Am I doing my
Best," knowing that an affirmative answer settles the other question also.
Anything is "Of Use" if it is in the right spirit, in a worthy cause, and
because ones own manhood demands it. Yes, even if one goes down to death
in the doing of it still it is a Success. Listen to this story, told in a
recent magazine article:It is a story of a sailor on the wreck of a German
kerosene steamer, which dashed against the rocks of the Newfoundland coast
in the early part of 1901. She had taken fire, and had been run ashore on
a submerged reef about an eighth of a mile from the coast. The coastline
itself was a wall, some four hundred feet high. When morning dawned, the
fisherman on shore saw that her boats were all gone, and all the crew and
officers had apparently been lost all except three men. Two of these
three men were standing on the bridge the third was aloft, lashed to the
rigging. Later, the watchers saw a tremendous wave strike the vessel,
sweeping away the bridge and the two men who had been standing on it.
Several hours later they saw the man in the rigging unlash him and beat
his arms against his body vigorously, evidently to restore the
circulation, which had been almost stopped by the lashing and the extreme
cold. The man then took off his coat, waved it to the fishermen on top of
the cliff and then plunged into the sea. The first thought was that he had
given up the fight and committed suicide but he as not that kind of a
man. He struck out for shore, and reaching it made three separate attempts
to secure a foothold on the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. But, he
failed three times was he swept away by the surf, and finally, seeing
the futility of his efforts, he swam away again, toward the ship. As the
narrator well says:"At that crisis in the struggle ninety-nine men out of
a hundred would have given and allowed themselves to drown; but this man
was not a quitter. "
After a fierce battle with the waves the man gained the ship, and after
a desperate struggle managed to board her. He climbed again into the
rigging and waved his hand to the fishermen high up on the cliff, who were
unable to help him. He lashed himself fast, and until dark could be seen
signaling the fishermen above, to show them that he was still alive and
game. When the following morning broke the fishermen saw that his head had
fallen to his breast - he was motionless frozen during the night. He was
dead his brave soul had gone forth to meet its maker, and who can doubt
that when that man confronted his Maker his eyes were looking firmly and
bravely toward the Presence, and not bowed down in shame or fear. Such a
man was indeed worthy to face his Maker, unabashed and unashamed. As the
writer, George Kennan, has said in words that make one thrill:"That man
died as a man in adverse circumstances ought to die, fighting to the last.
You may call it foolish, and say that he might better have ended his
sufferings by allowing himself to drown when he found that he could not
make a landing at the base of the cliff; but deep down in your hearts you
pay secret homage to his courage, his endurance, and his indomitable will.
He was defeated at last, but so long as he had consciousness neither fire
nor cold not tempest could break down his manhood. "
The Caucasians have a favorite proverb that says:"Heroism is endurance
for one moment more. "And that one moment more tells the difference
between the "quitter" and the man who has "done his Best. "No one is dead
until his heart has ceased beating and no one has failed so long as
there is one more bit of fight in him. And that "one moment more" often is
the moment in which the tide turns the moment when the enemy relaxes his
hold and drops back beaten.
Harvest Fields 373 Dundas St. Woodstock Ont. Canada