There is one simple thing that separates those who succeed from those who don’t. It is not knowledge, it is not talent, it is not trickery or dishonesty,…it is Enthusiasm! Enthusiasm,…about and concerning,…the very work and effort that any person is expending towards the achievement of a clearly decided accomplishment.
Whenever you learn enough to know how to combine your developed enthusiasm with some plain old showmanship when working with other people, you become unstoppable as concerns your achieving your desired success….in any arena of performance!
One example from recorded history bears out what I have just said better than most others. It is a true story that occurred in England in 1904. Permit me to share this story with you. Learn from this story and then apply what you learn in the same arena in which you are presently performing in your efforts to achieve your own success.
“Mr. Ehrich Weiss was truly a most remarkable man. By the time of his death he had become famous all around the world. Do you remember reading or hearing about this great man? He was definitely a very unique individual. Allow me to tell you about him. He was born of Hungarian-Jewish parentage in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1894. He went on to become the highest paid entertainer of his day.
Mr. Weiss had a rough start in life, but kept working and struggling through preparing and readying himself for a life of entertaining other people. When he finally got his act together, Weiss adopted a stage name: Harry Houdini. The master showman, a distinguished flyer, a mystifying magician, and–most of all–an unsurpassed escapologist.
A major event occurred on March 10, 1904. The “London Daily Illustrated Mirror” challenged Houdini to escape from a special pair of handcuffs that had been built specifically for this event. Each of the cuffs contained six locks with nine tumblers in each lock! The following week, over 4,000 spectators gathered in the London Hippodrome to witness the outcome of the audacious challenge that Houdini had accepted.
At 3:15 P.M. the manacled showman stepped into an empty cabinet that came up to his waist. Kneeling down, he was out of sight for a full 20 minutes. He stood up smiling as the crowd applauded thinking he was free. But he was not. He asked for more light and the lights were turned up to a higher intensity. As the lights came on more brightly, Houdini again knelt down out of sight. Fifteen minutes later, he stood up to his feet. Applause broke out–again premature. He was still handcuffed. He explained to the audience that he just needed to flex his cramped knees.
Down into the cabinet again went the great magician. Twenty minutes passed slowly for the murmuring crowd before Houdini stood again to his feet with a broad smile. The roaring applause quickly stopped as the audience again saw that he was not yet free. The bright lights had by this time made the heat so intense, he leaped from the cabinet and contorted and twisted his manacled hands in front of him until he could reach a pocket knife in his vest. Opening the knife using his hands and teeth, he then bit down on the handle and held it tightly in his clenched teeth. Houdini then bent forward from his waist to such a degree that the tails of his coat fell over his head. He then grasped the coat, pulled it entirely over his head, and then proceeded to slash it to ribbons using only the knife clenched in his teeth. He then threw aside the strips of his heavy coat, and jumped back inside the cabinet box as the audience roared its approval and cheered him on.
Down went Houdini, but this time only for ten minutes. With a most dramatic flourish, he jumped up from the box–wrists free–waving the bulky handcuffs over his head in triumph. Pandemonium exploded in London! Once again the master showman had achieved the incredible–almost the impossible!
Afterward, Houdini was interviewed. Everyone wanted to know why he had to interrupt the process of his escape so many times. With a twinkle in his eyes, the magician freely admitted that he really didn’t have to interrupt the process. He repeatedly explained that his ability to escape was based on knowledge.
He boldly and confidently stated, “My brain is the key that sets me free!” Then why did he keep standing up before he was loose? He confessed it was because he wanted the audience’s applause to keep up his enthusiasm!
Two things, then set Houdini free:
(1) his Knowledge of what he knew to be true, and
(2) the cultivation of his own enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm truly plays an essential role in our lives!”
In many ways, it is the key ingredient that frees us from the cramping, dark overheated confinement of a work task. When the odds are against us, the work hours are long and difficult, and the end is not yet in view, enthusiasm rescues us from the temptation to quit–or run away–or complain. It takes the grit and grind out of boredom. It calls in fresh troops when the battle gets long and the body gets weary.
Enthusiasm…Athletes feed on it. Salesmen are motivated by it. Teachers count on it. Students fail without it. Leadership demands it. Projects are completed because of it. And Successful Achievement is accomplished by use of it!
Ralph Waldo Emerson was totally correct when he wrote so many years ago: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Few characteristics are more contagious or more magnetic than is enthusiasm. I completely believe that one of the greatest reasons God gives us so many personal promises in His Word, The Holy Bible, is to stir up our individual enthusiasm–to build a bonfire in the steam room of our souls.
Harry Houdini had it right: Knowledge is essential–but knowledge without enthusiasm is like a tire without air…like a pool without water…like a bed without sheets…like a “thank you” without a smile.
Remove enthusiasm from a church service on a Sunday morning and you will have the makings of a memorial service at a mortuary on a Monday afternoon. Remove enthusiasm from the daily whirl of family activities and you will have made a grinding mill out of a merry-go-round. Enthusiasm acts like the required lubricant on a Saturday in our home when it is cleanup day and the family machine needs a boost.
Enthusiasm really does make the difference between success and failure…….
A story please…….
Two men were locked up inside a military prison. One of them was sad and depressed. The other was quite happy. The sad soldier lamented that he had gone AWOL (absent without leave) and consequently had been incarcerated for thirty days. His smiling companion replied that he had murdered a general officer and was being jailed for only three days. Astonished, the gloomy GI complained, “That isn’t fair! Your crime was far more serious. Why am I in for thirty days–and you for only three?” Still smiling, the other man answered,…“They are going to hang me on Wednesday.”
Peace and Love to All of You………………Poppa Bear