There is a wonderful power that operates in the universe that appears to be almost magic when it’s understood and used in the proper way. This is the Magic Power of Enthusiasm.

The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek “Enthous” and means “The God within or a supernatural inspiration or possession.” It also means “intense or eager interest; zeal; fervor.” The point that we should not miss is that the Magic Power of Enthusiasm is already there, within each of us, just waiting to be used. When we use this wonderful power to rise to new heights, achieve greater success or improve a relationship, it is often manifested as excitement, zeal or fervor. As Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, “Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm.”

In addition to the fact that it is already there, there is another important reason why enthusiasm helps us to get more done. While love is the strongest human emotion, enthusiasm is the most contagious. Most of us had rather be around someone who is enthusiastic, upbeat and positive than someone who always seems to be down. In a sense, our enthusiasm is almost like a magnet as it attracts other people to us and more often than not, they will help us in whatever we are doing. Many times I have stood back watching someone doing something that was highly enthusiastic, and before long I was right in there with them.

There is another element regarding enthusiasm, however, that we need to guard against. This is when our enthusiasm becomes misguided, which is to say we get enthusiastic about things that have little or no lasting value. One of the best stories I have ever heard along these lines is about three men who were sitting in a coffee shop and they heard the whistle of an approaching train.

Upon hearing the whistle, they all jumped up and started running toward the train depot. The first man was about 6 foot 6 and after a few yards he was out in front. The next man was about 6 foot 2 and he was not far behind. The last man in the trio was only 5 foot 8 and a little overweight and he had two bags to carry. When the first man reached the platform at the depot, as the train was just pulling away, he managed to grab on to the railing of the observation car. The second man was close enough that he managed to reach out and grab the first man’s hand and pull himself on as well.

The train had already cleared the platform and was leaving town when the last man, huffing and puffing, finally arrived. When he looked down the tracks, he saw his two friends on the back of the observation car waving at him. Needless to say he was very discouraged. A man who was standing nearby had witnessed the scene. He walked over and said, “Mister, I sure am sorry you missed your train.” After he caught his breath the little short fella said, “Fella, that ain’t the half of it. Do you see those two guys waving at me from the observation car?” He said, “Yeah I see them.” The little short man replied, “Well, those two guys are friends of mine and they came down here to see me off.”

Now, the moral of this story should be obvious. If we are going to get enthusiastic about something, let’s make sure it is the right thing. The Magic Power of Enthusiasm is one of the greatest powers we have if directed towards things that really matter. And here is a question for you to ponder: What do you get excited about?