Charles Schwab was paid a million dollars a year salary by Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish steel magnate who made his fortune in the United States during the late nineteenth century. Schwab didn’t attract such a salary because he knew more about the manufacture of steel than plenty of other people. He confessed that he had many employees more knowledgeable than he was. Then he indicated the secret of his success: “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men, the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a man as criticisms from his superiors. I never criticise anyone. I believe in giving a man incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise. In my wide association in life, meeting with many and great men in various parts of the world, I have yet to find the man, however great and exalted his station who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under the spirit of approval than he would ever do under the spirit of criticism.”

Source: Wesley Harris, Success is in Giving, 1998, Victoria, Australia: Wrightbooks, p.86-87

What the world needs are more people who will apply to their jobs the same enthusiasm for getting ahead as they display in traffic.

“You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eye. It is the swing in your gait, the irresistible surge of your will and your energy to execute your ideas. Enthusiasts are fighters. They have fortitude. They have staying quality. Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress. With enthusiasm there is accomplishment. Without it there are only abilities.” – Henry Ford (1863-1947), founder of the Ford Motor Company

“One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.”

Edward B. Butler

Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do.

Ephesians 6:7-8 NLT

I once heard the story of an international shoe manufacturing company, who had ambitions to expand into new markets. The abolition of apartheid in South Africa, during the early 1990’s, presented new opportunities so they decided to test the market. Initially, the company sent their most experienced sales person, samples in hand, to test the market place and sell what he could. Shortly after arriving in one of the townships, the experienced salesman sent a telegram back to his home office saying, “No one here wears shoes. STOP. Market non-existent. STOP. Returning home a.s.a.p.” Now, although the company had great expectations the fact is, a market has to exist before you can supply it.

The company didn’t give up, however, and a couple of months later they tried again. This time though, instead of sending an experienced salesman, they sent a novice salesman, who lacked experience but more than made up for it with enthusiasm! The same thing happened and shortly after arriving, the head office received another telegram. As before, this one said, “No one here wears shoes. STOP. Market completely untouched. STOP. Send me everything you’ve got a.s.a.p.!” Enthusiasm always outsells experience every time!

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, adapted from Maximize Your Potential

“Above all else, what distinguishes top performers in every field is their enthusiasm and persistence in the face of setbacks.”

Daniel Goleman, psychologist

Cited in The UCB Word For Today, 11/5/2003

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.

Romans 12:11 NIV

“I studied the lives of great men and famous men, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the job they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.”

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), 33rd American President

Enthusiasm is a beautiful word, originating from the Greek words, enthousiazein meaning possessed by God and entheos meaning God inspired. Its literal translation then, is ‘God in us’. And the last four letters of Enthusiasm (IASM) are an acronym for I Am Sold Myself. Having enthusiasm about something, whether it’s a concept or a product or even another person, means just that, I am sold myself, hook, line and sinker! With that kind of enthusiasm and belief comes a Godly power that makes impossible things happen. As Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23). Let me illustrate the point:

The bumblebee is one of the most enthusiastic fellows around. During the summer months, the bee is one the earliest to rise in the morning and one of the last to bed at night. All day long he remains focused on his objective, collecting nectar from flowers, to make honey. Throughout the long summer days, bees can fly up to 1000 miles (1600 km) a week, which is quite a feat, when you consider that on average a bumblebee is only about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. The truly amazing fact though, is that a bee shouldn’t be able to fly at all. I’ve read that scientific evidence is now overwhelming, pointing to the fact that a bumblebee can’t fly. Its wings are a disproportionate size to its body – they’re too small and too light. Its body is too round and fat and heavy. Its shape is not at all aerodynamic. The plain fact is it should be impossible for a bumblebee to fly, never mind it being able to hover over a flower to collect nectar!

So then, how does our enthusiastic friend do it? How does he achieve the impossible? Well, for my thinking and put simply, when God created the bumblebee He forgot to tell him that he couldn’t fly! In other words, the bee doesn’t know any better. The bumblebee doesn’t concentrate on all the reasons why he can’t do it – he just gets on and does it … with enthusiasm.

Let me encourage you, then, to follow the example of the bumblebee. Get up early, work hard and without complaining, remain focused on your objective, go the extra mile and be enthusiastic. Do this and the results will always take care of themselves!

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, adapted from Maximize Your Potential

A young lad was asked by his Sunday school teacher to describe what a ‘saint’ was. The boy couldn’t answer immediately and so he pondered the question for a moment and as he did so he thought of all the saints portrayed on the stained-glass windows in the church. “I know” the boy chirped up, “a saint is someone who the light shines through.” – Similarly, with a person of enthusiasm.

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

Charles Kingsley.

Enthusiasm is caught not taught

“A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”

Mary Kay Ash

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the eighteenth-century evangelist John Wesley was asked, ‘Why do people seem to be drawn to you, almost like a magnet?’ he replied, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.”