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The_Power_of_Enthusiasm_Leading_On_Purpose_Newsletter-f4691a3a The Power of Enthusiasm

The Power of Enthusiasm

22 May 2024

Energy is contagious. We've all experienced how the enthusiasm of one person can lift the spirits of those around them.

But what about those of us who aren't naturally exuberant or who prefer less interaction? Can enthusiasm still play a role in our success? Absolutely!

Science backs up the phrase 'energy is contagious.' Research in psychology and neuroscience has demonstrated that emotions and behaviors can be transmitted from one person to another through various mechanisms.

For example, mirror neurons are brain cells that fire both when we perform an action and when we observe someone else performing the same action. These neurons are thought to play a role in empathy and emotional contagion. For instance, when we see someone expressing enthusiasm, our mirror neurons can cause us to feel a similar emotional state.

Also, emotional contagion, the phenomenon where one person's emotions trigger similar emotions in others, can enhance social bonds and group cohesion. Behavioral synchrony means a group of people exhibiting high energy or enthusiasm causes others to match that energy level.

Social psychologists have long studied how individuals' attitudes and behaviors are influenced by those around them. Charismatic leaders, for example, often inspire enthusiasm and motivation in their followers through their energy and passion.

Finally, studies have shown that positive social interactions can trigger the release of neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin, which enhance mood and promote feelings of connection and well-being. These physiological changes can contribute to the feeling of shared energy and enthusiasm in a group.

The phrase 'energy is contagious' is supported by scientific evidence from various fields, including neuroscience, psychology, and social science. Enthusiasm and positive energy can spread through social interactions, leading to a more cohesive and motivated group.

My Personal Transformation

How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling

As an introvert, I discovered the transformative power of enthusiasm quite unexpectedly. During my third year of college, while managing my side hustle, I came across Frank Bettger's book, How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling. This book was a game changer for me.

Bettger, a minor league baseball player, was traded because his coaches believed he lacked energy and enthusiasm. Determined to change, he reinvented himself with his new team by showing infectious enthusiasm. Within a week, his efforts paid off, earning him a significant raise. This story not only changed his life but also provided me with a powerful lesson: enthusiasm can drastically alter your life’s trajectory.

Enthusiasm in Practice

Inspired by Bettger, I decided to experiment with enthusiasm in my own life. Despite my introverted nature, I began to apply his principles. To my surprise, the results were astounding.

In fact, I improved my enthusiasm to such a degree that it baffles people when I say I'm an introvert. Go ahead and give it a try.

Here are a few practical tips on how you can harness the power of enthusiasm, regardless of your natural disposition:

  1. Motion creates emotion: Sometimes just taking action provides the energy you need. For example, going to the gym: you might not want to go, but once you're there, you exercise. This is where discipline comes in, along with the willingness to do the uncomfortable things first.
  2. You're more likely to act your way into feeling, than to feel your way into acting: It's like 'fake it till you make it' but the scientific aspect is that the emotions will follow once you take action. Frank is a great example of this, whether it's getting into the rhythm of making sales calls or practicing a speech.
  3. Set Small, Enthusiastic Goals: Start your day with positive affirmations and set small, achievable goals that excite you.
  4. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how minor they seem.
  5. Engage Actively: When interacting with others, show genuine interest and listen actively. Your enthusiasm will naturally shine through.
  6. Stay Curious: Cultivate a mindset of curiosity. Enthusiasm often follows when you are genuinely interested in learning and exploring new things.

The Impact of Enthusiasm

Bettger’s story illustrates that enthusiasm isn’t just about being outgoing or loud, but about engaging fully with whatever you do. This attitude can significantly impact your professional and personal life.

For instance, in Bettger’s transition to insurance sales, his enthusiasm helped him connect with clients more effectively. He focused on developing good communication skills, understanding clients' needs, and actively listening. These skills, amplified by his enthusiastic approach, propelled him to success.

Dr. Troy and I define Leadership as the ability to motivate, influence, and enable.

Motivate: Stimulate people into action.

Influence: Mold thinking and mindset.

Enable: Remove obstacles and provide resources.

Enthusiasm plays a crucial role in all these aspects of leadership, driving better connections and outcomes just as it did for Bettger in his sales career.

I challenge you to embrace the power of enthusiasm in your life. Try incorporating some of these tips into your routine for a week and observe the changes. If you're willing to take on this challenge, comment below with "I will," and I'll check in with you in a week to see how it's going.

Start small, stay consistent, and watch as your energy transforms your interactions and opportunities.

For more on this topic, check out these blog posts: