In How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling, Frank Bettger talks a lot about enthusiasm and how vital it is if you want people to go along with your message. Just because you’re not in sales doesn’t mean you’re off the hook; the reality is that we’re all selling someone everyday on something. Want a promotion? Sell your value to your boss. Want change? Sell folks on different. Want your spouse to stop something? Well, now you’ve got a real sales job on your hands.

Selling, really, is just convincing. We all need to convince other people from time to time in order to achieve and accomplish. The trick to doing so is enthusiasm.

People are born followers—we mean that in a good way. As humans, we’re most comfortable when we’re part of something bigger than ourselves, and it is the minority among us who can cultivate that sort of feeling entirely for themselves. The rest of us need a community element to help: church, work, school, sports teams, political parties—you name it, people get swept up in all sorts of things. It’s how we organize a vast and seemingly chaotic world into something comfortable and neat.

One of the leadership lessons we learn at a very early age is that whoever is the most excited, persistent and adamant usually gets his or her way. If you watch a group of kids on a playground, there’s always one or two that really determine which games are played, what the rules are, etc. It’s not because they’re “born leaders” per se; it’s more that they’re the most determined and willing to have fun. All the other kids are on board with that basic principle, so they do whatever the kids that seem to know about having fun do.

We’re the same way as adults. When we search for people to follow and listen to, we naturally gravitate toward those who are enthusiastic and “on course”. It just feels right, usually. After all, if something were really working, really true, wouldn’t it make you enthusiastic? When we see someone who acts so, we assume whatever they’re doing is working. We’re on board for that.

Question: How enthusiastic are you about the things you believe and are responsible for? How could you increase your enthusiasm?

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