On a recent visit to Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize in Cape Town, I received a particularly enthusiastic welcome from the team. It was loud, energetic and infectious. It was fantastic and I loved it. Thanks again.
The welcome made me reflect on how music can breed enthusiasm. Different beats, tempos and tunes enthuse us in different ways. When I hear the song ‘Thunder Road’ by Bruce Springsteen I certainly don’t just sit around and listen. It makes me want to get up and get moving. It fills me with energy and enthusiasm for the day ahead. Fist-pump optional.
Enthusiasm is about approaching life with gusto and giving things your all. It makes a difference. Children certainly have their fair share of it. And lucky for us, it’s contagious. Demonstrations of enthusiasm by teachers, coaches and mentors are often alleged to have inspired and motivated.
The benefits of enthusiasm should not be underestimated. It’s a crucial part of overcoming challenges, solving problems and reaching goals. It gives us staying power in situations where our inner skeptic might be telling us to throw in the towel. The All Blacks have it each and every time they step on to the field. You won’t hear the word ‘half-hearted’ anywhere near ‘All Blacks.’
You often see it at the Oscars. In 1997 Cuba Gooding Jr. channeled his inner Rod Tidwell by repeatedly screaming “I love you!” and jumping around on stage. In 1999 Roberto Benigni won the Best Foreign-Language Film award for Life is Beautiful and upon hearing his name, hopped into the air and across seats to receive his award.
Great leaders have it in droves, as reflected in their great speeches. When Martin Luther King said “I have a dream” he had enthusiasm. When John F. Kennedy said “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” he had enthusiasm. People listened. People cared. They felt something.
Enthusiasm is all around us; it comes in many forms, and thank goodness for that, because it would be a pretty staid world without it.