Good Thots: ENTHUSIASM/INSPIRATION

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1. “Every great movement in the annals of history,” said Emerson, “is the triumph of enthusiasm.”

It is derived, that magic name, from two Greek words: “en” meaning “in” & “theos” meaning “God.” Enthusiasm is literally “God in us.” The enthusiastic man is one who speaks as if he were possessed by God.

2. Then there is the true story of Madame Modjeska, the Polish Tragedienne, who was a guest at an evening party. The admiring company pressed her for a recitation from some play. She at first declined on the ground that memory might not serve her without the accustomed stage settings, lights, etc. However, the guests insisted so insistently that she finally acquiesced, announcing she would recite in her native tongue. Her hearers sat listening to her, spellbound. Some who were there were even moved to tears. When she finished she was asked the name of the touching story she had related.

She smiled & said, “I counted in Polish to one hundred.”

3. The famed naturalist, Luther Burbank, kept a guest book in which he invited all callers to write their names, their addresses, & their chief interests in life. When Edison autographed Burbank’s book, he wrote in the column headed “interested in”–with no hesitation whatever–the word “everything” & followed it with an exclamation point.

4. Beware of singing as if you were dead or half asleep! Lift up your voices with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, or more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sang the songs of Satan.–John Wesley

5. I would sooner risk the dangers of a tornado of religious excitement than see the air grow stagnant with a deadly formality.

6. We won’t go far without enthusiasm, but neither will we go far if that’s all we have.

7. Don’t worry about the job you don’t like. Someone else will soon have it.

8. The fellow who is fired with enthusiasm for his work is seldom fired by his boss.

9. Enthusiasm is contagious–& so is the lack of it.

10. We rarely support the things we support with the enthusiasm with which we oppose the things we oppose.

11. Enthusiasm is a good engine, but it needs intelligence for a driver.

12. There’s always a good crop of feed for thought. What we need is enough enthusiasm to harvest it.

13. He who has no fire in himself cannot warm others.

14. Enthusiasm is the propelling force necessary for climbing the ladder of success.

15. Years wrinkle the skin, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

16. An enthusiast is one who believes about four times as much as he can prove, & can prove about eight times as much as anyone will ever believe.

17. The road to failure is greased with the slime of indifference.

18. A fanatic is a person who loves Jesus more than you do.

19. It’s easier to cool down a fanatic than warm up a corpse.

20. Zeal is like fire; it needs both feeding & watching.

21. It is not doing the things we like that makes life happy; it is learning to like the thing we have to do.

22. Oh, you gotta have a glory in the thing you do;

Oh, you gotta have that somethin’ that thrills you through & through.

Cookin’ taters, washin’ clothes, or blowing baby’s nose;

You need that certain somethin’ that will see you through!

23. Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm; it moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, & truth accomplishes no victories without it.

24. Perspiration in preparation is the way to obtain inspiration in your presentation.

25. There is God within us, & we blow when He stirs us.

26. Lord, we cannot nourish others unless we ourselves are refreshed & nourished & can minister unto our babes of the strength which Thou dost supply. So help us to remember that we need rest & we need nourishment & we need refreshing & we need inspiration. We cannot feed them from empty shells, from an empty cupboard, from an empty over-burdened heart, from a strained body that has not even enough for itself, much less for others.

27. Help us, Lord, not to be so pressured that we put off our time with Thee. Help us, even as we go out this morning to bask in Thy sunshine for a little while & to breathe deeply the refreshment of Thy wonderful clean air, to put Thee first each day, spiritually to bask in Thy sunshine, rest in Thy arms, drink deeply of Thy Word & inhale of Thy Spirit!

28. Every day should be a new day, a new experience, a new listening to the voice of the Lord! Why just live on yesterday’s food. Why not have some fresh inspiration every day?

29. That tremendous surge of the Spirit that only the Spirit of God can give you is better than any drugs or any other highs or thrills that this World has to offer!

30. If it’s not worth putting everything you’ve got into it, it’s not worth doing it!

31. We are but organs mute till a Master touches the keys,

Verily vessels of earth into which God poureth the wine;

Harps are we, silent harps that have hung on the willow trees,

Dumb till our heart-strings swell & break with a pulse Divine.

32. The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, & Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day in his figures. They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration.

33. Be not afraid of enthusiasm; you need it; you can do nothing effectively without it.

34. Every man is enthusiastic at times. One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes–another man has it for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of life.

35. Enthusiasm & persistence can make an average person superior; indifference & lethargy can make a superior person average.

36. You must have enthusiasm for life, or life is not going to have a lot of enthusiasm for you.

37. Enthusiasm has a great cloak which can conceal lame talents, dwarfed ambitions, & mangy personalities. It has a sparkle like sunlight on rippling waters & can cause dedicated failures to be delightful.

38. Enthusiasm is the all-essential human jet propellant. It is the driving force which elevates men to miracle workers. It begets boldness, courage; kindles confidence; overcomes doubts. It creates endless energy, the source of all accomplishment.

39. All through the ages the most worthy characters have been those who were dynamically enthusiastic over some definite aim & end. The young man who is afraid to manifest enthusiasm lest his dignity suffer is not likely to have much dignity to lose by & by. Enthusiasm is the propelling force that is necessary for climbing the ladder of success.

40. An agency executive has compiled a list of fail-safe phrases, or comments, which automatically throw the brakes on enthusiasm. You’re feeling pretty fired up about some idea, he says, & then one of these phrases drops into the conversation like a policeman into a party. The list includes: “Might be better if”, “I like it–it’s just that”, “See your point, but”, “Let’s look at it this way”, “Our usual procedure is”, “How would we justify it?” “How would it look?” And also, of course, “Yes, but”, “No, but”, “Maybe, but”, & “Let me sleep on it”.

41. Apathy can only be overcome by enthusiasm, & enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal which takes the imagination by storm, & second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.–Arnold Toynbee

42. Both enthusiasm & pessimism are contagious. Which one do you spread?

43. I don’t know about having too much zeal; but I think it is better the pot should boil over than not boil at all.

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