About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

If I could bottle enthusiasm and sell it, I would be a wealthy woman. I can’t, but in a way I’m a wealthy woman already, because I have discovered how enthusiasm can get you to your goals faster, and thanks to help from one of my Resources I’ve found a way to generate it.
Family weekend
I’ve known for a long time that enthusiasm could make a difference. When I was a child, my family were always going on walking holidays due to my Dad’s life-long love of country and hill walks. This is a picture of many of us after we grew up, on one of our family weekends. My days of walking could go one of two ways. Either I would bound off ahead of everyone else, striding out with a jaunty step. Or else I would drag at the back of the pack, whine and complain and make every step a torture for the rest of the group as well as myself. There was pretty much no in-between. The difference was not in the weather, the toughness of the walk or even who else was there. Eventually I realised that what made the difference was how I behaved at the beginning of the day. If I set out as if I was feeling enthusiastic, pretty soon the feeling itself would turn up and I would have a great day. So that was the plan I chose, and still stick to now when I’m off out for a walk.

The fact that I had a very enthusiastic week last week has got me thinking about how this applies to the rest of life. I’ve been revisiting one of the resources I identified on my shelves, the book Wishcraft by Barbara Sher, and two factors have fuelled my enthusiasm this week. One is that I have identified what my current goal is and why it is important to me. The other is a tiny little step that has made all the difference. It is part of the daily process in the book, and involves deciding what you are going to do toward your goal tomorrow – and then collecting together anything you will need in order to do it (eg. finding a phone number or email address). These two factors, large and small, have encouraged me to get more done in the last week than for quite a while. To sum it up, it means I start the day knowing what I am going to do (even if it is one tiny step), and why I want to do it. I am sure that as time goes by I will come to actions I don’t want to do, or which scare me. And then I’ll be turning to what I learned in childhood and striding out with a jaunty step regardless, until I meet my enthusiasm coming the other way.

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Comments on: "Thought for the week – Enthusiasm" (2)

  1. I think it was in ‘What about Bob?’ that Bill Murray introduced me to the ‘baby steps’ method of starting an unsavoury or laborious task. Once begun, the task assumes a kind of momentum that carries you along, in much the same way as you have described.
    This runs alongside ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Once the task is begun, the enthusiasm soon catches up and trots along with us…

    • Definitely so, Andrew. Another thing that is becoming clear about the Wishcraft process is that it also shows you how that baby step fits into the progress towards your goal. I will be writing a bit more about that once I have got my plan in place. For now at least some of my baby steps involve doing the planning.

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