Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Enthusiasm is Contagious

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.


Sis said...

I believe I always create the positive vibe in our family gatherings. :)

FredInChina said...

If you can elevate the mood of those around you, you will always be rich.
(mind you, I am talking of much more than money here...)

Unknown said...

I just started following your blog. It's nice stuff.

A correct attitude, or corrects words can change the whole perspective of things.

Frank said...

Absolutely! My classes are on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Monday nights are the hardest, because after working all day, I'm just not "feeling it," but I leave that behind, when I enter the dojo.

The converse is also true: We have a young brown-belt in our class that has been taking karate since he was a young boy. I don't know if he's bored or just has a lack of energy, or what... His lack of enthusiasm is a real bummer, and it drags the level of the class down.

No matter how tired I am, whatever else I have going on in my life, the second I hit the doors of the dojo, all of it falls away.

And if, by my own focus and enthusiasm, I inspire others, then that's just the cherry on top. :-)

thatgirlisfunny said...

Passion and enthusiasm are so important. I make sure I manage the people around me to make sure that the sad sacks don't bring me down. Make a "happy" entrance! I'm adding that to my list of practices. Happy to meet another female martial artist :D

Michele said...

Sis: Do you think?!! Actually...I would have to agree. :)

Fred: Well said!

DrGradus: Thank you for visiting! I appreciate your comment.

Frank: I am sure you are a source of encouragement!

You make a good point about the opposite. A negative attitude can pull the class down.

Cheryl: Thank you for stopping by my blog! You have an informative site and I enjoy reading your posts.