Lesson 7: Enthusiasm
One of the qualities that always strikes me about Richard Branson is his enthusiasm. I’ve never seen the man interviewed yet without a smile on his face, with an enthusiastic attitude about whatever it is he’s doing, and an upbeat presentation that makes me think the man is a truly positive example of the human condition.
At this moment I’m sure there are cynics reading this who are saying “Well, of course he looks cheerful – he has so much money!”
But then you might consider whether or not his cheerfulness came before the money or the money before the cheerfulness. What is it that allows Richard Branson to manifest so much success?
© Carrienelson1 | Dreamstime.com – Sir Richard Branson Photo
To me the answer is obvious: Richard Branson’s enthusiastic attitude is one of the things that draws people to him, one of the things that makes him a great leader that people look up to, one of the things that truly inspires those who are around him. (See how he manifests prosperity in business.)
You’ll recall that one of Napoleon Hill’s earlier lessons included the advice to surround yourself with people who could support you in achieving your objectives, in manifesting your reality.
These are people who maintain the same positive mental attitude, people who don’t see obstacles, but opportunities. Who don’t see problems, but challenges. Who don’t see a closed market, but who see opportunities.
I could go on, but I think the point is obvious. To manifest anything successfully, you need to be enthusiastic. Let’s have a look at what Napoleon Hill has to say on the subject of enthusiasm and how it relates to manifestation.
He talks about how enthusiasm will affect you, and he starts by making the obvious point that if you are enthusiastic about your work, it will seem neither hard or monotonous.
Though I agree that there is interesting work and there is boring work, I wonder if most people who find their work boring do so because they simply don’t look for something that they might be enthusiastic about, or because perhaps they don’t look for opportunities to improve the nature of their work or their own position?
If you agree that there’s always an opening for somebody who goes a little bit further than the average person, then there’s no reason ever to put up with boring employment for longer than your circumstances dictate.
Now just imagine this….
Have you ever had the experience of feeling so passionate about what you are doing that you didn’t notice time passed, and hours sped by without you noticing?
That’s the effect of enthusiasm and involvement in what you’re doing. It’s a vital force, which allows you to not only keep going when others stop because they’re tired, but it allows you to develop a personality which is dynamic and attractive to others.
Now, of course human nature varies, as Hill rightly says, but he also makes the point, quite correctly, that you can develop enthusiasm if you don’t naturally possess it.
And he also makes the point that if you’re working at something at the moment that doesn’t infuse you, then what you can do is form a “definite chief aim” to improve your circumstances and find employment that will infuse you and make you happy and passionate about what you’re doing.
Hill narrates the story of how he decided early in his life that he wanted to publish and edit a magazine about success and achievement.
He nursed this dream, without pursuing it actively, for 20 years. When he finally wrote his first editorial, he poured into it the emotions which had been developing his heart over a period of 20 years, and he wrote enthusiastically and passionately.
He then took his piece to a man that he knew and read – with passion and enthusiasm, no doubt! – this enthusiastic first piece to him.
As Hill recounts, his piece ended with the words “At last my 20-year-old dream is about to come true. It takes money, and a lot of it, to publish a national magazine, and I don’t have the slightest idea where I’m going to get this essential factor, but this is worrying me not at all because I know I am going to get it somewhere!”
And the mixture of faith and enthusiasm which Hill had injected into his work produced the payoff that the universe no doubt had been preparing to manifest for him for 20 years. How? Well, the man to whom he had read the piece immediately offered Hill the money. He said, “I can tell you where you are going to get the money – I’m going to supply it.” Talk about manifesting your destiny!
Now what does this story tell us?
Certainly the first thing it tells me is the power of belief and faith: the unshakable belief you have in your idea, your definite chief aim, your goal, your objective, call it what you will, causes the universe to respond. This is the first step in manifestation….
And then, in this case, the emotional energy of enthusiasm that Hill poured into his dream by writing the first piece and taking it to a man who – subconsciously at least – he probably knew could fund the production of the magazine, gave the universe the power to manifest the dream.
This is the magic of manifestation.
You’ll recall that the Law Of Attraction is the way in which the universe alters circumstances so that together they produce an outcome that fulfills your desires.
What I see in the enthusiasm that Hill brought to this experience is the intense emotional energy that can drive manifestation to happen.
While Hill thought about the project for 20 years, it was only when he took action, and he propelled his action into the world with the energy of tremendous enthusiasm, that the universe instantly responded.
So it’s back to our familiar formula:
Desire + Belief + Expectancy + Action = Manifestation (aka Reality Creation).
And what we might rightly add to this is that enthusiasm is just one form of the emotional energy that can drive this process.
Hill also tells the story of how he was publishing a book on “How To Sell Your Services“, and decided just before publication that he wanted some testimonials from some well-known businessmen in the United States.
So he quickly wrote to 10 eminent businessmen, asking for an endorsement – and he didn’t receive a single reply. Thinking about it, Hill realized that he had neglected to inject any enthusiasm whatsoever into his letter. Manifest failure, rather than manifest success, I would say!
Now, imagine this for a minute. Have you been in the company of people who are enthusiastic, and have you noticed how their enthusiasm infects you with a positive energy?
(I might add at this point that you’re certain to know how being in the company of depressed and negative people can infect you with a negative and depressed energy.)
By being around positive people, or by injecting positive energy into your communications, you raise the energy level of the person who is on the receiving end of you or your communication.
So when Hill analyzed why his letter to those businessmen failed, he quickly saw that his letter simply stated what he wanted: a testimonial for his book.
There was no incentive or reason for any of these men to offer that; indeed, doing so would just absorb time and energy for no obvious purpose.
But a second letter, written in such a way that it offered the recipient the chance to “provide a message to millions of readers of the book”, succeeded very well.
Not only was Hill’s second letter enthusiastic, but it also offered a vision – communication – for the recipient. The men to whom Hill wrote could then spread their own message, their own advice, their own view of the world, to millions of people who would read Hill’s book, and in doing so, could possibly influence other people to adopt the same beliefs.
Or maybe the businessmen who received the second letter simply wanted the opportunity to express their own opinions to a large number of people.
It doesn’t matter, because the point is that Hill used his imagination and his enthusiasm to manifest the testimonials that he required.
Now, one of the things that makes selling rather challenging is the assumption that people are resistant to buying – which is probably correct.
But good salesmen still succeed in making huge amounts of money on commission. How do they do that? The answer is they research their prospects, and they talk to them as equals, as intelligent people. They are enthusiastic, and passionate, about what they’re selling, and they infuse the prospective customer with enthusiasm and passion.
And they believe in their product, so they are doing this honestly and with integrity. And they’re prepared to go the extra mile, beyond where most people would go when selling something.
Their combination of intelligence, enthusiasm, vision and passion can fire up a prospective client until their thoughts are more or less in alignment with the salesman’s thoughts – and then the sale is as good as made.
If you see this in energetic terms, what’s happening is that the salesman is manifesting a desired outcome (the sale) by using confidence, vision, and emotional energy to manifest his reality in the world.
You might be thinking it’s difficult to conjure up both imagination and enthusiasm at will. So let me ask you this: are you willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want, or are you going to give up just because you perceive difficulties and challenges along the way?
Truly the mark of the sovereign, the mark of the leader, the mark of the outstanding man or woman in any area, is their ability to step into a place of personal power and do what it takes to gain the skills they may not have.
These days there are hundreds of thousands of opportunities for personal development via workshops, seminars, courses, and the Internet. There isn’t really any reason why you should labor with your own limitations controlling your life – unless of course you are content to remain limited by the status quo!
Hill also tells an interesting point that his reputation as a persuasive orator and writer had gone so far as to lead the Mexican government, who at that time were trying to get recognition from the United States, to approach him to write propaganda for them.
Hill says that he was offered more money than he would ever have had in any other circumstances, but he refused the contract. And why did he do that?
As he writes: “I could not write convincingly of Mexico’s cause for the reason that I did not believe in the cause; therefore, I could have not mixed sufficient enthusiasm with my writing to make it effective… No man can afford to express, through words or acts, that which is not in harmony with his own belief, and if he does so he must pay by the loss of his ability to influence others.”
Hill might also justifiably mention the quality of integrity at this point: we can define integrity as a quality which means that you do what you say you will do, that you are who you say you are, and that your actions match your words, and that those actions are in line with your deepest beliefs.
Fail to live up to your own standards, and you lose integrity, and when you lose integrity, you lose an essential quality that looks very necessary for success.
Once again, it’s interesting to observe how manifestation and the Law Of Attraction work for those who do something they passionately believe to be right. For those, in short, who can make a difference.
As Hill sums it up: “You cannot afford to suggest to another person, by word-of-mouth or by an act of yours, that which you do not believe. And the reason that you cannot afford to do so is this: if you compromise with your own conscience it will not be long before you will have no conscience; for your conscience will fail to guide you, just as an alarm clock will fail to awaken you if you do not heed it.”
How To Manifest Enthusiasm
Hill offers a formula for developing enthusiasm:
First: Complete the reading of Napoleon Hill’s “the Law of Success”.
Second: Write out your “definite chief aim” (your goal or objective) in clear simple language, and follow this by writing out the plan through which you intend to transform your aim into reality.
Third: “Read over the description of your definite chief aim each night, just before retiring and as you read, see yourself (in your imagination) in full possession of the object of your aim. Do this with full faith in your ability to transform your definite chief aim into reality. Read aloud, with all the enthusiasm at your command, emphasizing every word. Repeat this reading until the small still voice within you tells you that your purpose will be realized. Sometimes you will feel the effects of this voice from within the first time you read your definite chief aim; while at other times, you may have to read it a dozen or 50 times before the assurance comes, but do not stop until you feel it.”
Manifesting A New Reality
Hill relates the success of his own post-war experience in a story of how he came out of the 1914-1918 war broke, with no money and only two sets of ragged clothes.
He purchased three suits and a set of expensive shirts, ties and other clothing on credit, and adopted, as he puts it, “an air of prosperity”! Every morning he walked down the street outside of particular publisher’s office building, adopting a confident bearing, and looking every inch the part of a millionaire wearing his very expensive suits.
He stopped the publisher as he entered the office building and chatted to him every morning for five days, and then on the sixth morning, he passed the publisher by without stopping.
As he’d planned, and envisaged, and imagined, the publisher – surprised and no doubt jolted to be ignored – called him over and asked him some question about how he was doing after the war, and how he was so prosperous.
Hill replied that he was actually going to publish a new magazine…. And the publisher, falling right into the plan Hill had laid for him, said “Well, you know I’m a publisher, maybe I can serve you too.” Before the day was out, Hill had not only contracted for the magazine to be published by this gentleman, but the publisher had also offered to fund the establishment of the magazine – all without knowing that Hill had no capital.
This is the power of enthusiasm, this is the power of self belief, and this is the power of knowing what you want and making a decision to manifest it in your life (read more).