Have you ever been in a meeting, a martial arts class or a family gathering where one person positively changed the dynamic of the interaction? Meetings become motivating. Conversations change from indifference to interesting. A martial arts class trains with increased fervor.
Enthusiasm is contagious.
A few examples:
In college, I majored in psychology/political science. I attended a school with a strong science program. Since science was not my forte, I waited until senior year to fulfill my requirements. I signed up for Intro to Geology. My only expectation was the credits I needed for graduation. Geology turned out to be one of my favorite college classes. Not only did I enjoy the class, I retained what I learned. The reason is simple. The instructor was passionate about the subject. The geology instructor’s enthusiasm was contagious.
A few weeks ago, I was in the dojo teaching karate class. I do not remember what we were working on or who was in the class. The end of the first class was approaching and students were arriving for the next class. The door opens and a black belt instructor came inside. I should probably rewrite the last line to read…“a black belt instructor made an entrance”. The reality is that he walked inside the door. The difference was that he looked enthused to be arriving at the dojo. I stopped in the middle of class and said, “We should all walk into the door like that and be enthused to be in the dojo”. It changed the dynamic of the class. The black belt’s enthusiasm was contagious.
In the previous examples, the enthusiasm emanated from the class instructors. My final example will show how the newest and youngest karate student inspired me. It was one of those super long days and I was anticipating a long night. My daughter had a full backpack of homework. I was running late for the second class and to be honest I was a bit grumpy. I reached for the handle of the dojo door and took a deep breath in an attempt to leave the stress of the day behind. The youngest white belt in the dojo was in class. In addition to learning like a sponge, he loves karate and not just certain aspects. It does not matter what being taught in class…he loves EVERYTHING. On this particular day, he was excited about tekkos. The class instructor promised to show the group tekkos at the end of the class. His mom shook her head and I told her I appreciated her son’s interest in Okinawa Kobudo. His enthusiasm reminded me why I was an instructor. The young white belt’s enthusiasm was contagious.
We all have the ability to inspire.
Tuesday Tip: Enthusiasm is contagious.