Enthusiasm: The best weapon in the battle against procrastination.

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Enthusiasm is what makes the difference between reaching our goals and giving up before we get started. Henry Ford said, “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 knew that enthusiasm is the fuel that propels people into action, and it's a powerful weapon in the battle  against procrastination.

I have learned that my level of enthusiasm has nothing to do with my feelings; my feelings wake up on a different side of the bed every day. To take control of my day, I choose the way I feel-I can't let my feelings control me. I have discovered that it’s up to us to shift to a positive frame of mind when feeling discouraged.  So, how do we keep ourselves motivated? How do we stay focused when a task is boring? How do we handle failure when our plan isn't going well?  Staying in the right frame of mind is no easy task.

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I have found useful to maintain a high level of enthusiasm; they may help you along the way.

  • Associate with positive thinkers; their self-confidence has a way of rubbing off on us.  Stay away from negative people. There’s nothing like meeting someone in the elevator first thing Monday morning and they already wish it was Friday.  I can’t wait to get away from them. Attitudes are contagious-negative people infect us with their negative attitudes. 

  • Schedule difficult tasks for the time of day when your energy is highest. If you haven't determined the best time for you to tackle the day's least appealing jobs, try doing them as early as possible.  For instance, I find it much easier to go out for a 15-mile run on Saturday mornings at 6:00 am rather than at 3:00 pm.  My body functions better earlier in the day.

  • Develop a mindset that no problem to too big for you to tackle.  Tackle the problem that's been a thorn in your side for a while. When you get in the habit of making things happen, your enthusiasm goes through the roof.  Delaying the task before you only lead to depression and anxiety.  You will feel energized and full of life once you have made what seemed impossible, possible.

  • Identify the time of day when you are usually most efficient, schedule some of your least enjoyable tasks for that time.  When you breeze through a task with ease and competence, make a note of your frame of mind.  And ask yourself what factors might have contributed to making you more productive. When you start to discover a pattern, you will have found how to operate at a higher level every day.

  • Stop holding yourself hostage to your failures of yesterday. Perhaps, we didn’t handle a situation as good as we should have.  That was then, and this is now.  We must continue to learn new things as if we were going to live forever, while living each day as if it were a new beginning.  Regardless of the task before us, we must give it our best because it could very well be our last day on earth.

 Always remember that enthusiasm is a choice. Mark Twain said, "Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain."  Make the choice to be a person of action; get things done no matter how small or big the task.