Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson,
It seems Emerson found value in a trait I happen to have a lot of - enthusiasm. I was a rambunctious child to say the least, and I approached everything in life with vigorous excitement - to the point of lunacy. There was always something I was excited about; a new sport, a friend, a class. To me, passion just happened to come naturally.
Not much has changed since then - I am still as enthusiastic and passionate about life as I have ever been. From losing weight to getting better at my job, I gave 200% of myself into every pursuit. It didn’t matter what obstacles there were or how many; I was enthusiastic (or most likely crazy) enough to believe I could do anything. And I did. In a year’s time I lost 60 lbs and gained more confidence at work. I was elated! I had been doing the happy “yay me” dance when all of a sudden, it rained on my parade. I got laid off.
The funny thing about being enthusiastic is that you become the exact opposite of it during times of distress. And distressed I was. Like a baby, I sobbed in the conference room after the announcement; partly because I suddenly found myself unemployed, but mostly because I felt a deep sense of loss. I had never loved a job, a team, a company that much. It sounds so bogus saying that out loud, but in my young, impressionable, “junior professional” mind, I knew that I was leaving a very special place.
I was enthusiastic when I applied for the job a year ago; so enthusiastic, in fact, that after the grueling 5-hour interview, I couldn’t find the energy nor the brain power to speak full sentences. After receiving an offer I was convinced to make the position my own, and to give it everything I’ve got. I never said no to a task and was always eager to work on something with anybody - whether we were on the same team or not. Everyday I came to work excited and grateful. I had a supportive team and an encouraging boss who believed in me more than I believed in myself. I was crazy lucky.
Which is why this afternoon I finally let it all out. I sobbed like a child and even started to wail - as if someone had died. I hadn’t let myself cry since that time in the conference room. Today, I cried fervently about the job I just lost, and the coworkers I will miss. For the first time in a week, I allowed myself to feel nervous, scared and a little worried about what lies ahead. That’s another thing about enthusiasm - it makes you vulnerable. Yet as vulnerable and distressed as I currently am, I feel a tinge of excitement deep down inside me. I now have things to look forward to - new things, different things, better things. And you can bet that I will be just as enthusiastic in the next job as I have been in the last. My pursuit may be different but my method stays the same. After all, the world could always use a little more enthusiasm!