February 9
The worst bankrupt in the
world is the person who has
lost his or her enthusiasm.

H.W. Arnold


Today's Meditation:

There have been times when I've lived long periods without enthusiasm.  When depression got strong, when things just seemed to keep going wrong no matter what efforts I made, when there simply didn't seem to be any point to things--those were times when enthusiasm seemed to be almost a luxury item, something extra that I couldn't really tap into. 

What I've learned since those times, though, was that the lack of enthusiasm was not only my doing, but also the reason for itself.  I've learned that the world gives us back what we give to it, and had I known that then, I would have been able to give more enthusiasm to all that I did, and then more things would have happened to me to help me to foster that enthusiasm.

I watch many of my students approach their tasks with almost no enthusiasm at all, and I watch them learn almost nothing.  They may perform okay on a test, but then they forget the information or process.  Nothing has been learned.  I watch other students approach their learning with enthusiasm, and I see them actually learn the material fairly easily, and that success that they experience fosters new enthusiasm for new topics and new ideas. 

Sometimes we think that the "world" somehow takes our enthusiasm, our hope, our dreams, away from us.  But really, if we've lost the enthusiasm, we've let it slip away.  And it's up to us to reclaim it.  There's no reason at all to walk through life without one of the most helpful feelings of all.  Enthusiasm leads to great achievement with high quality, and enthusiasm is the product of our attitude towards whatever we're doing--and it's also the cause of our attitude.  So if we can spend time fostering anything that will help us with our work and our relationships, time spent on enthusiasm may be some of the most important time of all. 

Questions to consider:

What does the word "enthusiasm" mean to you?  Do you spend any time trying to foster it in your life?

What are some of the causes of diminishing enthusiasm?  Why do we allow other people and occurrences to cause us to let our enthusiasm slide away?

What are some activities for which you show great enthusiasm?  How can you transfer that enthusiasm to other activities?  What might be the results of doing so?

For further thought:

Every memorable act in the history of the world is a
triumph of enthusiasm.  Nothing great was ever achieved
without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation,
no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning.
Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity
but with it you can accomplish miracles.

Og Mandino


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