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Enthusiasm – A to Z of Self Leadership


meaning : intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.
origin : early 17th century from French enthousiasme, or via late Latin from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthous ‘possessed by a God, inspired’ (based on theos ‘God’).

While enthusiasm has come to mean something else, I remember being excited about finding out the original meaning of the word. This was when I was deeply involved with working with young people within the Church. And I can honestly say, that all of us were truly enthusiastic about what we did. While we worked regular jobs, our weekends and leave was spent in planning or running programmes for young people.

We walked long distances in the hot sun, travelled in unreserved train compartments, and stayed in classrooms sleeping on the floor or on benches with newspaper! I’ll spare you details of the toilets. We believed sincerely that it was our job to show young people the way to God – or at least the way we had found for ourselves. Many of us put the rest of our lives on hold for this ‘mission’. Some of us, me included, gave up our jobs to take on this this work full-time. And this was well over a 10 to 15 year period!

Somewhere down the line, we realized that this was a rather self-righteous stand to take. We began to question ourselves. We realized that the discovery of God was an intensly individual process, albeit expressed often in community. Time, soul-searching and a lot of prayer, brought us to a new, non-religious outreach – working with children and youth in difficult circumstances – street children, youth in slums, children in factories, etc. I’m proud to say the enthusiasm stayed on.

Looking back, I marvel at where that enthusiasm, energy and sheer determination came from. I know we were driven by our beliefs and truly inspired. Today, when I see that our efforts have resulted in a large non-governmental organisation empowering youth across many parts of an Indian State, I know that our enthusiasm was not in vain.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can’t resist sharing a lovely story:

A woman disciple once had a cook, she said, who made the most wonderful hash in the world.
” ‘How on earth do you make it, my dear? You must give me the recipe.’
“The cook’s face glowed with pride.
She said, ‘Well, ma’am, I’ll tell yer: beef’s nothin’; pepper’s nothin’; onion’s nothin’; but when I throws myself into the hash — that’s what makes it what it is.’ ”
— from Anthony D’Mello’s More One Minute Nonsense

Yes, what better way of describing enthusiasm than ‘throwing oneself into the hash’.

I try to bring a lot of enthusiasm to my blogging and writing these days. But I’m not always successful. I’m looking within myself to find that passion, which I know I’m capable of.

Action steps to keep up enthusiasm

  • Become aware of waning enthusiasm about projects and work.
  • Check whether the work you are doing is in alignment with your beliefs and values.
  • Recharge yourself – take a break, read an inspirational book, play a game you love, go for a spiritual retreat, get yourself a massage, meet up with old friends and recall crazy times!
  • Recall times when you were enthusiastic and see what is missing now. What made a difference? Try to recreate that.


[Tweet “Enthusiasm adds significance to all you do. #atozchallenge “]

Today I’m on ‘E’ of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I’m undertaking the NaBloPoMo for April – the theme is ‘grow’ and the Ultimate Blog Challenge


  1. Parul Parul April 8, 2015

    Loved it. Enthusiasm brings out the best in all that we do and it is contagious as well. So you can engage and inspire others all along. Beautiful one!
    Parul recently posted..G for Glass CeilingMy Profile

  2. Doreen McGettigan Doreen McGettigan April 7, 2015

    I have been struggling all year trying to find my enthusiasm. I lost my bff last year, its been tough to find joy but I am finally seeing some light.
    You are so inspiring!
    Doreen McGettigan recently posted..It could happen to anyone…My Profile

    • Ranveer vishal Ranveer vishal April 10, 2015

      Enthusiasm always brings the best in us, Corinne. Sometimes, we are beaten but doing something in a selfless manner always helps:)
      Ranveer vishal recently posted..I for Internet Girl FriendMy Profile

  3. Elisabeth Elisabeth April 7, 2015

    This is why I blog… I have so little enthusiasm for my primary job… blogging keeps me going each day. Thank you for sharing that definition… it is wonderful.
    Elisabeth recently posted..Too Many Emails? Clear Out That InboxMy Profile

  4. Tarkabarka Tarkabarka April 7, 2015

    Enthusiasm is one of the things I love to see the most in others 🙂 As a storyteller, I see it a lot in kids towards stories, and it makes everything worthwhile 🙂
    Tarkabarka recently posted..E is for Escanor (Epics from A to Z)My Profile

  5. Birgit Birgit April 7, 2015

    What a wonderful post and one needs enthusiasm to not only get the job done but to enjoy it and make it the best one can

  6. Jeremy Jeremy April 6, 2015

    You are on my list to check if you are being part of the A to Z Challenge.

    THANK YOU for being up to the letter “E”…
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There\’s no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!
    Jeremy recently posted..“E” is for EEYORE – A to Z April Challenge [2015]My Profile

  7. Rabia Rabia April 6, 2015

    Looking back I can see where I lost the enthusiasm for certain things in my past. Most of them were not meant to be, so losing my drive was just a sign of things to come. In some instances my enthusiasm has waned and then returned. Those are the things I think I’m meant to be involved in.
    Rabia recently posted..Easter 2015My Profile

  8. orneryswife orneryswife April 6, 2015

    Lovely post. I love that you added some ideas at the end for how to bring that enthusiasm back to life. Some days I do better than others. It’s just the ebb and flow of life, I think.
    orneryswife recently posted..Blogging A to Z: E is for ElementsMy Profile

  9. Ina Tales Ina Tales April 6, 2015

    Your words have just worked like gas in a coughing car. Don’t mind my broken simile but that is the best I could think in my over tired brains. Almost on the verge of giving up the atoz and my doppleganger self, I feel I can carry on now since this is one series I believe in. Enthusiasm is one of the most waning emotions we feel in our lives but as you said, what you believe in makes you reach the goal come what may. Thank you Corinne. 🙂
    Ina Tales recently posted..#ATOZCHALLENGE: Letter E: The Unheard Voice, EchoMy Profile

  10. G Angela G Angela April 6, 2015

    Lovely post corinne, for few moments I went back to my enthusiastic days, thanks for this refreshing post. I like the action steps which is very valuable for bringing back enthusiasm.

  11. Vidya Subramanian Vidya Subramanian April 6, 2015

    I truly believe in doing things wholeheartedly. The enthusiasm of the doer reflects in the results. I always slow myself down to take a break rather then do something when I’m not enthusiastic or in mood. It ensures I give in my best always 🙂
    Vidya Subramanian recently posted..EuphoricMy Profile

  12. Considerer Considerer April 6, 2015

    Ohhhhh I LOVE that – throwing yourself into the hash! Beautiful. And yes – sometimes enthusiasm can be misplaced, but it’s far sadder when it’s turned to apathy through lack of care. I can see places in my life where there are each of those things.
    Considerer recently posted..Happy Easter, loveliesMy Profile

  13. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury April 6, 2015

    The strength we seek lies within ourselves, if only we stop to look within!.

    Beautiful post! Without enthusiasm, life is empty! Thanks Corinne. Gosh, I am so looking forward to your posts now. Hugs!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Little Things Bring Great JoyMy Profile

  14. Angelika Angelika April 6, 2015

    One of my favorite words! Great post.

  15. rajlakshmi rajlakshmi April 6, 2015

    Loved the story of woman and cook. That’s absolutely true. Without enthusiasm the end result could not be the best. Also enthusiasm brings a high splurge of energy, that sometimes surprises us.
    rajlakshmi recently posted..Eagle Yoga PoseMy Profile

  16. Suzy Suzy April 6, 2015

    I love this quote by Henry Ford on enthusiasm that sums it up well for me – “Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas”. Passion creates enthusiasm.
    Suzy recently posted..Love is in the Air – EducationMy Profile

  17. Eli Eli April 6, 2015

    LOVED it, Corinne. Inspiring to read about your Ngo work and i can so relate to the matters of keeping enthusiasm alive. For me connected to life force in a way. Thanks for an inspiring uplifting post:-)
    Eli recently posted..E for ExploreMy Profile

  18. Lata Subramanian ( Lata Subramanian ( April 6, 2015

    Enthusiasm makes all the difference. Important also to have conviction to be enthusiastic. Love your observation on that the discovery of God is an intensely individual process,
    Lata Subramanian ( recently posted..Oh, yeah? I’ll show you!My Profile

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