Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Power of Enthusiasm

I don't intend this blog to be a book review, but when I come across something that strikes a cord in me, I just have to share it. I just finished reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61).  This was a gift that was given to me by my former boss.  It's taken me awhile to get around to reading it, but I finally did...and loved it.  Although the book is intended for psychological and spiritual growth, I found some principles that apply to Marketers, Entrepreneurs, and businessman alike.  In the final chapters of the book, Tolle discusses the 3 modalities of awakened doing.  These include acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm.  Of course, getting a baseline for Tolle's requirements for awakening will really add to the effectiveness of these modalities, but here's a basic breakdown:

You are truly only able to control one thing in life - your state of consciousness right now.  Many of us get caught up with our humble beginnings, and how others had advantages growing up, or along the way.  The truth is, you can't control your past, how you got to this place, or the circumstances behind all of that.  That stuff doesn't truly matter right now.  Take responsibility for what you can control and accept what you are doing right now.

As you accept your existence, you should understand that you have the ability to control your body's mood.  Find the enjoyment in what you do, and if you can't, then stop doing it.  Stop looking to the past and future and wanting to be in either state as a criteria for enjoyment.  This is the only time that you have right now, so you must enjoy it.

Enthusiasm is what happens when you combine acceptance and enjoyment with a purpose.  When you truly find enjoyment (not just your mind telling you that you enjoy something) the enthusiasm usually follows.  Although there are people out there that find enjoyment in their life without ever really dedicating themselves to a purpose other than the enjoyment itself, it is probably those of you who would even read this blog that would take that enjoyment to the next level.

Taking It To The Final Level
I believe it is those people that are able to find that last level of enthusiasm that become the examples of success in modern society.  Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, etc. are all great examples of people who found that enthusiasm we're talking about.  This level is extremely difficult to obtain.  I believe that most people never truly find this level in a business setting.  We end up in jobs, or pursuing careers based on security, money, or prestige...not our true passions.  We then get stuck, unable to pursue our passions because we don't think they'll allow us to support our current lifestyles, etc.  This is undoubtedly a challenge, and not something that is easy to correct.  However, as we alluded to earlier, this is our only opportunity at life, and we can't continue to look to the future for comfort.  The power is in the present.