ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Enthusiasm – The Key to Creativity and Innovation

Posted by Plish on March 10, 2010

I just saw the movie Percy Jackson & The Olympians – The Lightning Thief.  It’s a story about a teen who is the offspring of the Greek god Poseidon and a human.  Percy is a demi-god.   The story follows Percy’s growth in realizing who he is is and the powers he has. 

So, what does this have to do with creativity and innovation?

One word:

Enthusiasm

What is enthusiasm?

The word is from the Greek and it means to be possessed by or inspired by a god, to have god within.  Synonyms for enthusiasm are: activity, ardency, ardor, avidity, boldness, conviction, craze, dash, devotion, eagerness, earnestness, ecstasy, emotion, energy, exhilaration,  feeling, fervor, fever, fieriness, fire, flame, flare, frenzy, fury, gaiety, glow, heat, hilarity, impetuosity, intensity, interest, joy, joyfulness, keenness, life, mania, mirth, nerve, oomph, passion, pep, rapture, red heat, relish, snap, spirit, transport, vehemence, verve, vim, vivacity, warmth, zeal, zealousness, zest, élan.

If you have dabbled in Greek mythology you’ll notice right away that the list of synonyms reads like a description of the attributes of varied Greek deities.    The question is:

Do some of those words describe you?

Henry David Thoreau said, “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”

It is a chilling thought to imagine a society where people might age more quickly per Thoreau’s observation than physically.   Yet, this might be happening.

Recent research shows that only 45 percent of people in the workplace are happy with their jobs.  In other words, enthusiasm is indeed in short supply.  If enthusiasm is in short supply then you can bet that creative work and innovation is also lacking. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ““Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Well, then, how do we get enthusiasm back?

Enthusiasm means to be possessed or inspired by a god, to have god within. So let’s do a thought experiment.

What if you were taken over by a god of whatever skill or talent you use on a regular basis?

Whether or not you believe in God or gods is besides the point,  just imagine what it would be like.  What would you change?  How would you behave?  What is now possible for you?  What do you have to be afraid of?

“Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. 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.” -Henry Ford

Now, seize those feelings and thoughts!  Don’t listen to the negative voices that say you can’t do something.  Listen to that whispering voice within that is leading you to great things.  When you act on enthusiasm, you become enthusiastic.

This isn’t about being religious, it’s about being human – being passionate and excited about life!  It’s about recognizing that spark within, about seeing yourself as a power for good, about  appreciating and authentically sharing who you are.

So, look for that spark within and be enthusiastic.   If people work for you, empower them to be able to be enthused participants in life.   Do this and the creativity will flow, innovations will happen, and perhaps more importantly, we will all be better people.

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5 Responses to “Enthusiasm – The Key to Creativity and Innovation”

  1. Thanks for this great article. You have pinpointed precisely one of the major components that need to be present for anything or anyone to really succeed in life. And I’m not just referring to external success, worldly success. Because even if you achieve that yet have a dimmed light inside, you will find it a pale and shallow success.
    I’m grateful to people like you who keep reminding everyone – AND me, how important it is to keep the fire burning inside!

  2. Plish said

    Steven, thank you for your kind words and prudent guidance. Please come by and share your thoughts more often.

    All the best!

  3. […] Enthusiasm – The Key To Creativity & Innovation […]

  4. Thanks Plish for your blog.
    I have been thinking of Enthusiasm myself lately too.
    It’s the result of so many things on a personal level. Hope, meaning, love, progress, confidence. The list goes on.
    But the fact that it is infectious is the amazing part. When you create something with Enthusiasm, people notice. I have even heard that effective marketing is the act of Sharing Enthusiasm!
    So apart from the personal & emotional advantages, Enthusiasm is essential for creative and professional survival.
    Steve Supple

  5. Plish said

    Steve, the infectious aspect is so so powerful! I love the definition of ‘effective marketing’ – very apropos. Enthusiasm as essential for creative/professional survival-DEFINITELY!

    Thanks for the comments!

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