“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I was 11 years old, I began to use a secret power, setting events in motion that have taken me to places I’ve only dreamed of and beyond. It is a phenomenon that has continued to manifest positive outcomes to this day.
It is the power of enthusiasm
It all began when my father built a “dream machine” for my younger brother and me in our backyard. If you had seen it, you would have said it was a tree-house, but for me, it was truly a dream machine. I can remember climbing up, usually at dusk, as the stars began to twinkle across the big Texas sky, and dream of all that I believed was possible, leaving behind the reality of my life.
Looking back, I realised that even my parents used this power to visualise their dream for their sons: the education they could never afford.
To save for that goal, my dad moved us into the back of his tiny barber shop which was located in a small strip centre on the Eastside of San Antonio, Texas. I shined shoes and watched as he treated every customer as if they were the first patron of the day.
He wasn’t selling haircuts. He was selling an experience, spiced with enthusiasm.
After every haircut, for which my dad charged a dollar, I would run to the corner drug store and change the bill into quarters. My dad kept several empty cigar boxes inside a cabinet in the barber shop. Each one represented a fund. One was for rent, one for groceries, one for our education and so on. I can still see him placing each coin in the box and hearing the tiny clink it made. When I think of that now, I realise what he did to provide for his family, one quarter at a time. It was a sound and a lesson I will never forget. The sound of enthusiasm.
Fasten your seatbelt. I am about to tell you how I believe enthusiasm works, why it works and, most importantly, how it can work for you.
What is enthusiasm?
The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek word, enthousiasmos. En means in and theos means God or spirit. So, to be enthusiastic literally means, “to have the spirit within”.
It was that spirit that launched my vision of the future as I sat quietly in my “dream machine”, imagining all that I believed was possible. I’d like to humbly share three personal dreams that illustrate how the use of enthusiasm not only manifests abundance, but can also accelerate the positive outcome you desire.
Dream number one: Radio
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with the wonder of radio. I would listen to the “man in the speaker” and just know that someday I would be that man. When my head hit the pillow every night, under it was a transistor radio with the volume barely turned up so only I could hear the music, the banter, the magic.
I decided to create my own radio shows, using my small tape recorder and portable record player. While talking into the microphone in one hand, I played and changed the records with the other, producing my five minute “shows”. I would play these “pretend programmes” for my friends, one at a time, on the phone. That’s how badly I wanted to be the “man in the speaker”.
While attending the University of Texas at El Paso, I landed my first radio job, making a whopping $1.25 an hour. [I thought I had died and gone to heaven!] Was it possible to get paid for having this much fun?
Within six short years from the time I left home, my career had taken me to the airwaves of one of the top stations in the nation: KMPC Radio in Los Angeles. My unbridled enthusiasm and love of radio had brought me to where I knew I would someday arrive. The moment I dreamed it, I already had. While my microphone had changed from that small tape recorder in the back of my father’s barber shop to a 50,000 watt signal in one of the largest radio markets in the world, my reason for doing it had not: to share my joy.
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
Dream number two: Cartoons
At an early age I discovered an almost uncanny ability to mimic voices and sounds I heard. One afternoon, after school, I was watching my favourite cartoon show, Yogi Bear, and a little duck named Yakky Doodle kept following Yogi, saying, “Mr Bear, would you be my momma?”
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