I don’t know why, but I woke up yesterday morning with these two words in my head:
And they weren’t just floating around my brain without purpose or concern. From the moment my eyes opened they were a call to action.
Isn’t it great when mornings start out like that?
I cannot take credit for the combination of these two words, which go together perfectly and which I’ll break down here in a minute. I know I’ve heard them together before, I just cannot place where. (And a quick Google search delivered no easy answers.) I feel like it was a famous coach who talked about “attacking each day with unbelievable enthusiasm,” but I could be wrong.
Regardless, whatever I once heard that stored this concept in the recesses of my brain, and whatever catalyst brought it to the forefront yesterday morning, I’m not complaining.
How could I be? One does not complain when attacking every task with unbelievable enthusiasm.
What is unbelievable enthusiasm?
What does it mean to attack a day, and every activity in it, with not just enthusiasm but unbelievable enthusiasm?
Let’s break down the definitions of the words.
un·be·liev·a·ble adjective – so remarkable as to strain credulity; extraordinary
en·thu·si·asm noun – absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest
So, by definition, unbelievable enthusiasm is an absorbing or controlling possession of the mind, by any interest or pursuit, which is so remarkable or extraordinary as to defy belief.
I like that definition. It fits.
This has become my goal for this week: to approach every single thing I do with unbelievable enthusiasm.
When I am writing a new blog post for Synthesis, I want to write it with unbelievable enthusiasm.
When I am discovering new music on Spotify, I want to listen with unbelievable enthusiasm.
When I go out driving again with Bryce, I want to sit in the passenger seat with unbelievable enthusiasm.
When I am in my next yoga class, I want to perform every moment and take every breath with unbelievable enthusiasm.
And so on.
Even when something goes wrong, when I have to work through a challenge or a negative experience, I want to approach solving the problem or turning it into a positive with a level of enthusiasm that is unbelievable.
My hope is that doing this for a day turns into two days, and two days turn into a week, and a week turns into two, then to three; and then it will hopefully be a habit!
I realize this may sound kind of cheesy. It may sound like life coach/motivational speaker buzzword type stuff that is easy to go in one ear and out the other. And it very easily can be, but it doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be.
Like everything else it is all based on our perspective, our attitude, and how we approach it.
What unbelievable enthusiasm is not
Here is what I am not talking about when I say do everything with unbelievable enthusiasm:
I am not talking about making ostentatious (but possibly empty) displays of “positivity” and “excitement” for others to see.
You know the types of people I am talking about, the types who seem like they are trying to be upbeat and positive and energetic but really are not and whose work and output doesn’t match their apparent intensity and focus.
Remember this guy from Office Space?
Being like him is not what I am talking about. He comes across as fake and over-the-top. It seems all for show.
Nowhere in the definition of enthusiasm does it dictate that others necessarily have to take notice because of outward displays of exuberance.
People will take notice over time, and it will show up in the quality of our work, but we don’t have to suddenly become Richard Simmons to go about our days with unbelievable enthusiasm.
To be unbelievably enthusiastic, we do not have to instantaneously change our personalities or our dispositions. We just have to allow whatever interest or pursuit is in front of us to take a controlling or absorbing possession of our mind in a way that is extraordinary.
Said another way, much simpler: live in the moment.
The Power of Now
Many years back I read a book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. In it, Tolle discusses the importance of learning how to focus on the here and now without letting ego and other factors force our thoughts and attention to the past or future, as they are so wont to do.
This is the essence of unbelievable enthusiasm.
We live in an age of distraction and diminishing attention spans. Working online as I do, I fight this every minute of every day. I have found that I really have to make a conscious effort to stay on task.
Even when I close all other browser windows, shut down HootSuite, turn off my phone, and my close my office door – as I did before beginning this post – I still have to fight the wandering attention span I’ve developed through years of living in a culture set up to foster it.
This fight is a battle to take back the now. And it’s a constant battle of great consequence because the now is all that really matters. The past is done, the future isn’t here, and the now is all we can impact.
This is why unbelievable enthusiasm is so important.
If I was not remarkably absorbed in writing this post, if I did not have an extraordinary and lively interest in making every word as effective as it possibly can be, it would be much easier to allow any of the ubiquitous potential distractions to creep in and yank my focus away from me.
I wouldn’t be in the now. I’d be somewhere else. And this post would be far less than what it could be.
Granted, this post may not speak to some people. It may not speak to a lot of people. But I know I am going to produce the best post I possibly can on this topic because I am unbelievably enthusiastic about doing so.
Anything less and I would be letting you down as a reader and letting myself down as a writer.
Unbelievable enthusiasm ensures that we never truly let anyone down, because we are always engaged in the moment and giving everything we have to it.
The concept of primility is the pursuit of success and happiness through a harmonious balance of pride and humility. Unbelievable enthusiasm fits in with this perfectly.
We can’t nourish our pride by being at our absolute best if we are not completely and totally focused on the moment at hand. So we need to channel the humility that motivates us to adopt a concept like unbelievable enthusiasm – or whatever works for you – to ensure that we are fully present and absorbed in the moment.
What I have found most revealing in the short time I have been consciously focused on bringing unbelievable enthusiasm to everything I do is how much more enthusiasm I had the potential to give to each moment.
Yes, the key will be to maintain it, and to find ways to maximize enthusiasm when momentum and excitement are not carrying me like they are right now in the early stages of this thought experiment; but now that my eyes have been opened wide to what I was leaving on the table, the motivation to maintain will be easier to hold onto.
In closing, I’ll just ask you try this out.
Focus consciously on doing something with unbelievable enthusiasm. If you find it works for you, do something else with unbelievable enthusiasm.
See if it flips a switch for you like it has for me.
See if it helps you embrace and maximize the now, which is the only true way to prepare for a better tomorrow.