How To Build Enthusiasm In A Half-Hearted World

By Dan Rockwell|01-06-2018 | 2 Min Read

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anything you do without enthusiasm makes you less of who you were meant to be.
Once enthusiasm is lost, it’s like starting a fire with wet wood. But what is enthusiasm? It is:

  1. Strength.
  2. Joy.
  3. Grit.
  4. Sweet.

Enthusiasm is the difference between putting in your time and meaningful effort. Enthusiasm indicates wholeheartedness. 

Nearly all the great improvements, discoveries, inventions, and achievements which have elevated and blessed humanity have been the triumphs of enthusiasm. – Orison Swett Marden

7 Ways to Nurture Enthusiasm in a Half-Hearted World 

Don’t compare yourself with slackers. It’s not fair that you work hard and someone else drifts. Forget about it.

  1. Resentment quenches enthusiasm.
  2. Notice low enthusiasm and take action to expel it in yourself. Low enthusiasm insults your humanity. You’re better than half-heartedness.
  3. Send chronic complainers to your competitors. Complainers love explaining why half-heartedness is appropriate.
  4. Do your best to hang out with enthusiastic people. Those who delight in complaining, criticising, and gossip destroy enthusiasm.
  5. Enjoy appreciation, but don’t need it. You are seldom appreciated as much as you deserve.
  6. Have enough confidence to learn enthusiastically.
  7. Do difficult work with enthusiasm. Painful labour done enthusiastically is completed sooner.

Cofidence-Building 101 for Leaders 

When confidence declines, enthusiasm heads for the door. If you want to build enthusiasm in your team, instil them with confidence.

Here are some ways:

  • Your confidence fuels confidence. Believe in your team’s ability to deliver meaningful results.
  • Remember people’s effort and contribution. When you remember someone’s effort, you instill them with enthusiasm to keep working. “I remember when you…”
  • Discuss and honour progress.
    “Tell me about the progress you’re making.”
    “What’s different about you?”
    “How are you improving?”

Leadership without enthusiasm is soul-sucking drudgery.


What are your thoughts? How might leaders build the confidence of others?
How might leaders nurture and protect their own enthusiasm?

Reposted with permission.
This article is also available in Chinese.

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Dan Rockwell is a coach and speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is an author of a world-renowned leadership blog, Leadership Freak.
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