What a stunning week this has been working in the Lake District delivering two Mental Resilience Masterclasses to the staff of Lake District Estates. I met CEO David Little when I delivered my Masterclass to a Vistage group led by Chair Peter Hills.
The session went really well and on the back of that David got in touch and asked me if I could run the session for his senior team of around 30 people. This I did in May of this year, and it was very well received.
On the back of that David booked me this week to run two sessions over two days in the Old House in Kendal to more of his staff. Both days were brilliant, and the feedback was excellent. We had a great time on both days learning how to cope with stress more effectively and how to live a happier more content life.
I want to thank David Little and George Kemp the Park Manager for putting Julie and I up in the most amazing accommodation not just for two days but for an extra two so we could have a mini holiday. The first was at the amazing Tewitfield Marina and the second was in the stunning Boathouse at the Hill of Oaks.
Last week I shared a story about Harry Houdini who escaped from an impossible situation. I wrote about how he kept stopping to receive applause from the crowd which gave him the enthusiasm to carry on.
This week is part two of the true story of Harry Houdini.
Enthusiasm is the key
I told you a story about an amazing feat by Harry Houdini in which he escaped from locked handcuffs before a roaring crowd—incredible stuff! He later admitted that he stopped repeatedly to address the crowd because he needed their applause to keep up his enthusiasm!
Two things set Houdini free: (1) his knowledge of what he knew to be true and (2) the cultivation of his own enthusiasm.
What an essential role enthusiasm plays in our lives! In many ways, it is the key ingredient that frees us from the cramping, dark, overheated confinement of a task.
When the odds are against us, the hours are long, and the end is not yet in view, enthusiasm rescues us from the temptation to quit—or run away—or complain.
It takes the grit and grind out of boredom. It calls in fresh troops when the battle gets long and the body gets weary.
Athletes feed on it. Salesmen are motivated by it. Teachers count on it. Students fail without it. Leadership demands it. Projects are completed because of it. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s motto is as true today as the day he wrote it:
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Few characteristics are more contagious, more magnetic.
Houdini had it right: Knowledge is essential—but knowledge without enthusiasm is like a tire without air . . . like a pool without water . . . like a bed without sheets . . . like a “thank you” without a smile.
Remove enthusiasm from a church service on Sunday and you have the makings of a memorial service at a mortuary on a Monday. Remove enthusiasm from the daily whirl of family activities and you’ve made a grinding mill out of a merry-go-round.
Enthusiasm acts as the oil on Saturdays in our home when it’s clean-up day and the family machine needs a boost.
Two men were in a military prison. One was sad and depressed. The other was quite happy. The sad soldier lamented that he had gone AWOL and was in for thirty days. His smiling companion replied that he had murdered a general and was in for three days.
Astonished, the gloomy GI complained, “That isn’t fair! Your crime was far more serious. Why am in for thirty days—and you for only three?” Still smiling, the other answered,
“They’re going to hang me on Wednesday.”
The difference? Enthusiasm.
Thoughts for the week
- How is your enthusiasm at work and at home?
- Could you do with more of it?
- This week make a point of encouraging other people around you this will give them enthusiasm to carry on. Do this enough and they will start to do the same to you.
- Visualise in your mind how it will feel when you have achieved the task in front of you. This is how I generate enthusiasm for myself.
- I visualise the end result and how it will feel, and this gives me the enthusiasm to get it done.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.