Mindset – Enthusiasm (part 1)
“Your enthusiasm will be infectious, stimulating, and attractive to others. They will love you for it. They will go for you and with you.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Enthusiasm is an instant by-product if you impart knowledge on areas you are passionate about. Nothing is more important than having enthusiasm. If you are a teacher, the students will be excited about learning a lesson when you are eager and excited about teaching it. If you are a Parent, children will care about things when they see that they mean a lot to you and when it’s clear to them that you are energized by those topics. Same thing applies for trainers who conduct corporate programs.
Enthusiasm is Best when it serves a Purpose
Being a Professional Trainer myself, I’ve met teachers who super enthusiastic about being the best teacher. I remember once when I was in a camp that had a trainer during a Time-Out Program for At-Risk Students. This trainer was very enthusiastic. She was doing a lot of “rah-rah” and cheering to rouse the class into being very participative. But by the end of Day 1, she realized that all her energy somehow didn’t translate into the action she required of the participants. Not only did this drain her physically, the students failed to understand why or what she was so enthusiastic about, and it worked against her in this situation.
As an Educator, one of the first things we have to establish is our vision or goal for them. A lot of time, effort and energy goes into being enthusiastic and creative, but the outcome always makes it all worth it.
Enthusiasm must always be complemented with clearly defined goals and objectives. Goals that are challenging and beneficial. They are responsible to light a fire that will spark each and every student to reach their goals and attain the desired knowledge. I believe that as educators, we must set the bar as high as possible, and make it non-negotiable.
In all of our motivational workshops, we mention from the start that
“By the end of this lesson/semester/camp, I want you to be able to accomplish X (something that stretches your potential).”
This sets the frame and direction for the students. For example, in one of the camps I have coached in, I challenged my students to memorise 30 random words in 60 seconds.
Now, some students in that particular class had low self-esteem. I wanted them to accomplish something big, something great, so that they would have pride in their achievement. I wanted to stretch them from their limiting beliefs and empower them to believe they had the potential to achieve the feat.
When I first told the class what I expected of them, they were all shocked and said it was impossible. That is the exact response I wanted. I wanted them to consider this as an impossible task. That way, once they accomplish it, the confidence and pride they feel would be much greater.
Enthusiasm + High Standards
It is exactly in such challenging situations that the educator has to energize his participants with his enthusiasm. I used every tactic I knew of to motivate the students.
Walk the Talk
To help my students overcome the challenge, I had to learn the thirty words and say them in sixty seconds. Once I mastered it myself, I recited them with pride in front of the students, showing them it was possible. I gave them the impression that anyone who mastered this skill was a cut above the rest and that they were special.
Over time, as the students saw their peers being able to recite the words, not just below sixty seconds but below 30 seconds, the pressure was on. Everywhere they went, they would proudly recite the words and receive applause. Over a period of two days, the entire class was able to recite the 30 random words within 30 seconds!
In part 2 of this topic, I will share 1 detailed example of how enthusiasm helped me as an educator to motivate and inspire students who were neither keen in learning nor afraid of failure – to participating actively and putting in hard work and effort.