Stay Inspired, and Enthusiasm will follow naturally.
At times, enthusiasm toward a particularly task is my natural response. This is most often when the task is inherently pleasant, and doesn’t require any self-discipline on my behalf. However, sometimes mounting the necessary motivation is not only difficult but seems unnatural. For example, this year during my Psychology course, I am required to do statistics. I find it very difficult to become excited about statistics, because I find it very dull and dry. I find it difficult to become enthused about doing the dishes – I don’t think I have to elaborate on why.
Motivation on its own is hard, ‘bling’ and you get enthusiasm. Motivation is a ‘will do’ but enthusiasm is ‘want to do’…and gives you the energy and spark that mere willpower will not.
Enthusiasm is like fire, but before any fire, there has to be a spark. This spark is inspiration, and is a necessary forerunner to enthusiasm. You need some positive mental energy, even just a little, whether it comes from imagining how good it will feel to complete that goal, or visualising it in your mind that you are happily doing it. Visualisation is powerful because your mind doesn’t know that this mental image isn’t real. It assumes that is, and then goes about bringing it into realisation. It might be that Nike poster on the wall with that superbly fit athlete.
The fire of enthusiasm must then be kept alive.
I am a great believer in making tasks fun if they don’t lend themselves to being interesting naturally. For example playing get-up-and-go music turns housework into a singing along experience. If I try to apply fun, real-life examples to subjects that are that rivoting, they do actually become more attractive. I can write in different colours, and also have a paradigm shift: anything that is a challenge is actually exciting. I find statistics difficult, and sometimes solving the problems gives me somewhat of a buzz.
This paradigm shift can be used for anything where it is difficult to become enthusiastic. Seeing something as a challenge can be like that hill in jogging. It’s hard to get to the top, but there is the exhilaration when you reach it. If we’re metaphorically jogging on flat ground all the time it is certainly easier, but hard to get enthusiastic about, simply because it’s too easy.
Now you may think “yes but doing the dishes is easy but I still don’t feel enthusiastic about it”. In a way, yes it is easy, but in a way, it is difficult, a challenge, because you may simply not feel like doing it. So it still is jogging up that hill.
However, don’t choose something that is beyond your limitations, such as running a marathon when you have never ran more than two kilometres. Enthusiasm won’t result, but exhaustion and disillusionment will.
Merely behaving enthusiastically can be enough to trigger the feeling. Our mental and emotional state is influenced by our physical body. Just as when you smile, you trick your brain into believing it’s happy. It’s the same concept.
enthusiasm brings the necessary energy to your willpower to turn a task from ordinary into pleasurable
becoming inspired will help you to become enthusiastic. The inspiration is often found in something that reminds you of how you’d like to be, and one way to become inspired is to visualise the end result.
enthusiasm can be kept alive by such means as
use of colour
making the activity fun: this may require some imagination, but it’s well worth it.
seeing the task as a challenge which will give you a ‘rush’ when you finish it because you stretched yourself
since enthusiasm tends to be contagious, if you are around someone who is naturally this way, then you can be sure it will rub off. Along the same line of thought, avoid being around "kill-joys" or people who see everything "as a drag" - this is just as contagious
Enthusiasm is just a paradigm shift where you intentionally put the extra zing or ‘wow’ factor in – and the more you do it, I am glad to tell you, at least from personal experience, the easier it gets.