I have a Problem with Enthusiasm



Enthusiasm can be dangerous to your well-being. I have been a supreme enthusiast most of last eight years. My enthusiasm has come in my way in more ways than one.


Mind Your Talent


One area we are most enthusiastic about is exercising our beloved craft. It's a deep self-expression and the surest way to bliss. Contrast this with what Lao Tzu, the founder of one of my favorite philosophical paths - Taoism says:


Do not display your talent to the world or you will find yourself occupied for a lifetime.


From my teenage, I was a very talented public speaker. I would do exciting speeches in our local Lions Club. My talent was not just lauded but also deeply remembered. So much so that I was now invited to compere merry functions at homes of our family and friends. I wasn't always excited but how can one gather the heart to say no to earnest near and dear ones?  Few months down the line, it all became a burden.


Spontaneity On Demand


Your craft is fun only when it is spontaneous.




How can you come up with your craft on demand and yet keep it fun every single time? Only the performer knows how big a burden performance can become. Particularly when you have to match or better your own standards every single time. I am a trainer by profession and I know the agony of getting myself to speak the same curriculum a dozen times. Luckily for me, I find my own ways of spicing it up for myself and the audience, but it doesn't mean it's all rosy.


I can't do without the fulfillment that comes through exercising my talent but that doesn't mean it is not a trap. I sometimes crave for a simpler life where I would have never nurtured this time-consuming talent but done a hundred other smaller things that would have been equally heartening to the soul.


Curb Your Passion


I often advise my students to curb their passion.


Beyond doubt, unfortunate are those who haven't found their passion. Equally unfortunate are those who have gone overboard with it.


While the former have boring professional lives, they inadvertently make it up through richer personal and interpersonal lives. Time saved from indulgence in a painful occupation is wisely invested in soul-enriching hobbies, leisure, travel and key relationships.


The passionate have an advantage of a thriving day at work. But just like anybody else, they do not have enough of a grip on sensual gratification. To me, there is no higher sensual gratification than working passionately for hours together. Not having mastered our selves, we indulge in this delight to extremity just like the bored day-worker drudged to extremity. This end of the spectrum is no better either.


All Gain Is Pain


What this person gains through long hours of passionate work, he loses out in the form of the simpler joys of life that come from hobbies, leisure, travel and relationships. Possibly his health too gets compromised at the hands of too much toil.


I have learnt this lesson the hard way. Enthusiasm can be as detrimental as boredom can be. Think twice every time you find yourself spending long hours enthusiastically following your passion. Remember that life pines for you from many fabulous nooks and crannies that you have ignored to explore. And that you might miss all that fun at the hands of too much of ONE good thing!

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