Emerson notoriously said that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
He was right. Enthusiasm is that rare force that grows on its own and builds on itself and provides us with the momentum we need to take massive action on our endeavors.
But what our transcendentalist friend failed to mention was, an overabundance of enthusiasm can work in reverse. It can retard our progress.
Consider the neophyte entrepreneur. He starts his business on credit cards, adrenaline and naiveté. The vomit of excitement that spews out of him is nearly uncontrollable. He feels alive in ways he’s never been before. And he’s ready to get to work changing the world.
The only problem is, his entrepreneurial eyes are bigger than his stomach. He wants this idea to fly so badly that he tapes wings to it. And so, impatient within his dream, he tries to accomplish everything in the first week.
Then again, what do we expect? Each one of us would do the same. It’s a defense mechanism. When we come up come up against something massive and overwhelming like starting a business or launching an initiative, it’s easy to immediately exhaust our resources and resolve in the process.
We haven’t honed our sense of pace yet. We haven’t yet learned how to pull back on the reins of our enthusiasm.
But that comes with time. Like a guitar player training his strumming hand, eventually, we all locate our sense of rhythm.
Until then, we just have to make sure we don’t mess something up because we want it too much.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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