The year was 1907 …
Frank Bettger received the shock of his life when his manager informed him he was fired from his Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Tri-State baseball team because he was too lazy.
On his way out the door, his manager told Bettger to put some life and enthusiasm into his work.
Upon reporting to his new team in Chester, Pennsylvania, in the Atlantic League, Bettger went from making $175 per month to just $25 per month.
Unhappy about his demotion and his dramatic drop in pay, Bettger decided to take the manager’s advice to heart and inject some enthusiasm into his game.
It wasn’t long before people began to take notice. He soon landed a position with the New Haven, Connecticut, team in the New England League.
Inspired by his promotion, he made up his mind to build himself a reputation for being one of the most enthusiastic ball players in the league.
The New Haven newspaper took notice:
“This new player, Bettger, has a barrel of enthusiasm. He inspired our boys. They not only own the game, but looked better than at any time this season.”
Within 10 days, his enthusiasm had catapulted him from $25 a month to $185 a month.
It didn’t happen because he suddenly became a better ball player – it happened solely because he added enthusiasm to his game.
Two years later, an injury forced Bettger to give up playing ball. Bettger then channeled his enthusiasm into a 32-year-long successful sales career. He later wrote the inspirational book How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling in which he observed that …
“Enthusiasm is by far the highest paid quality on earth, probably because it is one of the rarest; yet it is one of the most contagious.”
Could you use more enthusiasm in your life?
The benefits of living a more enthusiastic life can’t be overstated …
You’ll have more confidence.
You’ll be more productive.
People will view you in a more positive light, which will open you up to more and better opportunities.
Plus, you’ll experience more peace of mind at the end of every day.
So how do you go about it?
Here are 16 things you can do on a daily basis that will help you ignite enthusiasm:
1. To become more enthusiastic, act more enthusiastic – This is Frank Bettger’s number one enthusiasm rule. Bettger used to challenge people to put this rule into action for 30 days, telling them that if they did, it could easily revolutionize their life. Bettger says to stand up each morning and say the following:
“Force yourself to act enthusiastic, and you’ll become more enthusiastic.”
This quote from American businessman Edward B. Butler (1853-1928) ties into Bettger’s advice:
“Every man is enthusiastic at times. One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes – another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years that makes a success out of his life.”
2. Define your goals and what you need to do to achieve them – I know you’ve heard it before, but if you haven’t done it yet, sit down and write down your most important life goals. Then put a plan together to accomplish them.
As Lawrence J. Peter, author of The Peter Principle, says:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
3. Get organized – Get a system together that will squeeze the most productivity out of each day and stick to it. Don’t procrastinate or get distracted. Keep focused on the task at hand, and you will turn every workday into a success.
4. Draw strength from the positive – Remember the times in your life when you were enthusiastic. Feed off those positive feelings. Learn from the times you failed, but focus and draw inspiration from your successes.
5. Look for “Aha!” moments – Media giant Oprah Winfrey used to talk about “Aha!” moments on her talk show (she also features them online and in O Magazine). “Aha!” moments are those moments in life when something happens that changes some aspect of your life for the better. Look for your “Aha!” moments. Record them in a journal and refer to them often.
For example, one of the “Aha!” moments from Oprah’s site is from the beautiful actress Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Pinto, who is from India, has what she calls “a dusky complexion.” She says in her country, there was a very prevalent notion that “light skin is more attractive than dark.” One day as she was checking into a Los Angeles hotel, a woman who Pinto says was “as pale as pale can be” said to her …
“I’d love to have your skin color. It’s so beautiful.”
Pinto thought to herself, “What? Where I come from, people want to be your color.”
After thinking about it a bit, she decided to stop thinking how her complexion and accent “weren’t good enough” and be happy with the way she was.
6. Don’t dwell on the negative – Don’t think about past mistakes. Put them out of your mind. Banish them to the basement. And stop worrying about things you can’t change.
7. Make a list of the things in life you are grateful for – Most of us have a lot in life to be grateful for. It’s important to remind ourselves of this every so often. Get a blank piece of paper and a pen and start compiling a list of everything in life you’re grateful for: your spouse, family, friends, skills and knowledge, hobbies, health, achievements, and so on. Whenever you need a boost, take this out and remind yourself of all the good things you have in your life.
8. Make a list of things that make you happy – Make another list consisting of things that make you happy. If you love going to your child’s or grandchild’s baseball game, put it down. List all the events and activities you do that bring you pleasure. Use it as a reminder of all the joy that is possible in life.
9. Don’t try to solve the entire world’s problems at once – It can feel quite overwhelming if you look to where you want to be in life and where you are now – along with all the things you have to do to fill the gap.
Feeling overwhelmed can often lead to total paralysis in terms of moving closer to your goals and aspirations. It’s important to remind yourself that “life is a marathon, not a sprint.” Focus on one thing at a time with steady, consistent action, and you’ll get where you want and need to be in life.
10. Identify what’s holding you back and find a solution – For instance, if you are overweight, get a plan together to shed those extra pounds. If you’re terrified of speaking in front of a crowd of people, enroll in a public speaking course.
If you don’t know what companies to target for your business, sit down and figure it out. Make a list and put together a strategy to market your services to them.
Don’t procrastinate; do it today.
11. Surround yourself with enthusiastic people – Enthusiasm really is contagious. When you feed off other people’s energy, great things will happen. On the flipside, get rid of the negative people in your life that zap your energy. If you can’t convince them to be enthusiastic, avoid them.
12. Perform random acts of kindness – As Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The one thing the world can always use more of is kindness. Always be on the lookout to help someone in need, even it’s just with a friendly smile and a kind word.
13. Derive strength from your role models – Choose someone in your life whose success you want to mirror. It could be a friend or someone you’ve never met but has attained a level of success that you wish to achieve – and then emulate them. Motivational expert and bestselling author Anthony Robbins says it best …
“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
14. Don’t listen to the naysayers – Don’t listen to the people who criticize you without being constructive or always seem to discourage you.
15. Get your energy level up – It’s easier to be enthusiastic if you have lots of energy and feel good about yourself physically. Eating the right foods and exercising regularly will ensure you have energy to spare at the end of every day.
16. Remember, it’s you who chooses how you view the world – You determine your destiny. It’s as easy to have a negative view of your world as it is to have a positive view, so always choose the view that makes you happier and moves you closer to your goals.
Henry Ford once said …
“You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it there are only alibis.”
For freelance writers, enthusiasm is key.
If you’re not excited about the product you’re selling or don’t particularly have an interest in your chosen niche, not only will it come through in your writing, but it will also hamper your efforts to get new clients.
If you feel you could use more enthusiasm in your life, acknowledge it. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start to fix the problem.
Why not start right now?
Print these enthusiasm suggestions out and make them part of your day. People will start to take notice, and I guarantee you’ll be more successful and live a happier, more satisfying life … and because you’re more excited about your career, you’ll write better copy, too.
I will leave you with a quote from American author, advertising executive, and politician Bruce Barton (1896-1967), who once said …
“If you give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be – enthusiasm.”
This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Writer’s Life, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on how to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/the-writers-life/.