Can People Have Too Much Enthusiasm?

Prompt: When people are very enthusiastic–always willing and eager to meet new challenges or give undivided support to ideas or projects–they are likely to be rewarded. They often work harder and enjoy their work more than do those who are more restrained. But there are limits to how enthusiastic people should be. People should always question and doubt, since too much enthusiasm can prevent people from considering better ideas, goals, or courses of action.

The answer to this question depends on the type of person you are. I am always more enthusiastic when I am more successful, and vice versa; I am more successful when I am more enthusiastic. If I start struggling I tend to lose interest quickly. I have started practicing violin consistently four different times over the last few years, but after a few days or weeks or months, I stop seeing the fast flow of improvement and I usually start doing other things that I find more enjoyable or productive. However, for some things, like writing, I have creative spurts. I will write heavily for a few days until I finish a large part of my story, then take a break for a while. I have never lost enthusiasm for my book, but some months I get more done than others. I usually start writing once I have a great new idea, and then my enthusiasm keeps me going for a while.

Without my enthusiasm and inspiration, I would never get anything done. Like it says in the prompt, I do work harder and enjoy my work more when I am enthused.

But for others, I can imagine that this is not the case. Many have a far better work ethic than I and find that they work better on a schedule, whether or not they are enthused about their work. Of course, too much attachment can hinder your sight of what you need to get done, but I don’t think that that is the same as enthusiasm. Yes, you need to be able to look at what you are doing objectively, but that is not connected to your enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is also sometimes my downfall. I prioritize working on the thing I am most enthusiastic about at the moment, then switch my focus once something else fills that space. Still, I think that it benefits me far more than it harms me. I find work without enthusiasm very unmeaningful, and it takes a lot away from my life. I would far rather be poor, and love what I am doing, than rich, and hate my job.

So in conclusion, I work better, quicker, and enjoy it more when I am enthusiastic about my work. I have a habit of losing interest without enthusiasm and inspiration. Others have different ways of working, perhaps favouring being more detached and objective about their work, as that allows them to be consistent without the emotional attachment. They may stop one task because they objectively determine that it would be best to change tracks. That’s hard to do for someone who simply completes or leaves work based on enthusiasm alone. For people like me, enthusiasm is one of the most important things for getting work done faster and more completely.

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