New beginnings usually mark the inception of a new spark for a lot of people. It is invariably a blessing to experience new beginnings. Whether it’s a new birthday year, a new job, a new career, a new relationship, a new house, a new car, etc.—it is always a moment of happiness. For instance, experiencing the inception of a New Year is usually a moment of joy for most people! It is customarily an avenue to press the “refresh” or “re-start” button and begin things afresh. In this instance, most of us start by setting New Year Resolutions. We think up new ideas, set new goals and objectives of things we want to accomplish for the New Year! The spark is real, and we are all psyched to achieve a lot.
However, we see a lot of people lose that initial spark that they had at the inception of the New Year as Kelechi Agom-Eze of the “I Encourage Somebody” YouTube Channel states in her video below. That initial zeal and oomph of wanting to succeed and achieve our lofty goals and grandiose aspirations slowly die off. The enthusiasm dwindles, and suddenly, we give up on the goals that we have set for ourselves from the onset. We are once again right back to the drawing board, full of regret for failing to reach our desired goals and objectives. We are back to dreaming, hoping, and full of wishes that we never saw through to the end. Many people start off with the buzz of great expectations at the commencement of a new year. If not sustained, the buzz fizzles away. If sustained, it gains more momentum, birthing new opportunities replete with unimaginable potentials. Now, what makes the buzz fizzle away?
“Keep the flames of your enthusiasm blazing!”
Friends, the secret to accomplishing our goals is to tap into the depths of goal sustainability. The concept of goal sustainability is making that extra effort to push ahead even when we don’t want to. That goal is like a spark that ignites when we strike a match. When we sustainably fan that flame, it energizes itself as it gravitates towards becoming a raging fire. Accomplishing our goals and objectives lies in our ability to fan the spark that we ignite. The secret to achieving all your goals is “Perseverance.” This is the innate ability to stay on course. You must stay on it, pushing through the backward drag with every fiber of your being. As a flame yearns oxygen to become a raging flame; so, must you keep the spark of your passions and ideas alive by fanning your enthusiasm continually, which is the oxygen that keeps your zeal burning. When you fan the spark, it becomes a flame. When you fan the flame, the flame becomes a blazing fire that cannot be quenched. Your enthusiasm—your blaze—will sustain your New Year goals or any goal that you set and make you eventually achieve them.
Five Ways to Fan Your Enthusiasm
To be enthusiastic is to have an absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit. It is a lively interest. It is an invisible magnetic energy that the charismatic personality exudes, which has the potential of drawing people towards you. Ralph Waldo Emerson in one of his essays once said that “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” It is the flame that shines bright like a beacon, giving people view and guidance towards your shining presence. For this flame to stay on, we must fuel and fan it into a raging blaze. So how do you fan the “Spark” into a “Flame” that grows into a “Blaze”? How do you fan your enthusiasm?
First, stay excited. A lot of us come into New Year’s or new adventures excited. So many people start off new projects and adventures with fierce excitement. However, with time, like every burnfire, the flame will start to burn out. For a burnfire to stay burning, we must fuel it with logs or flammable materials. Failing to do so will lead to the eventual extinguishing of the flame. Feed that excitement. Feed the fire of your enthusiasm. Feed it with everything that gives energy to the enthusiastic spirit. Surround yourself with encouragers. Do not let “dampeners” be a part of your circle of friends in your new adventure. Do not let discouragers be part of your sphere of influence—they are enthusiasm retardants, and you must eschew them at all cost. Stay happy and experience every day with the same enthusiasm that you started with at the junction of your new inceptions.
Second, stay on track. I encourage you to tarry on course towards achieving your goal. Do not get sidetracked by taking on too much to accomplish at one time. In many occasions, we are so excited that we begin to take on more than we can handle. Because of this fact, we burn ourselves out too quickly. We become discouraged, and we soon abandon our goals. Do not inundate yourself with too many responsibilities from the onset. Do yourself a favor and start picking off your goals, one at a time. Tackling your goals one at a time makes the whole process manageable and sustainable. Focus on your goal. You cannot take your eyes off the mark. You must keep your gaze at it as your push yourself onward and forward towards the target. Do not get sidetracked by other people’s goals no matter how glamorous it may be. Focus on your own goal, it is your own mission that matters. It is your sole vision to accomplish. Stay on track.
Thirdly, don’t let failures stop you. I encourage you never to allow failures, whether big or small, to hold you back on your journey to accomplish your goals. Failure is the hallmark that shows that you tried; that you tried in the fight to achieve your dreams and ambitions. An unknown author once said that “It’s nobler to try something and fail than to try nothing and succeed. The result may be the same, but you won’t be. We always grow more through defeats and victories.” There is a badge of honor that you wear when you fall and rise and keep moving forward. It gives you a story to tell. It helps you encourage others who may be facing similar situations. Confucius once said that “Our greatest glory is, not in never failing, but in rising every time that we fall.” That is usually the biggest challenge that we face when we begin a new journey. We fail when we remain where we have fallen. We are ashamed that the world will say that we failed, and we stop there. The act of settling where we have fallen is the worst failure of all. Rise up! Fan your enthusiasm and continue to forge ahead.
It may seem that I am dwelling on the fact of failure for a while. The reason is that it is one of the greatest retardants that quenches the flames of our enthusiastic spirit. Sometimes, failures can lead to our flames going out. When people fail, it crushes their will to want to achieve anything. We must fight failure by staying persistent. Failing does not mean that we have failed, it just means that we have not succeeded yet in the interim. Failure is a grand opportunity to learn something from the effort that we just put in. Failing and having the will to continue forging ahead does not make you a fool. It shows that you have a lot of faith in your ability and that you believe that you will actually make it at the end of the day. If a failure causes the fire of your enthusiasm to go out, rekindle that flame and fan it to a blaze again. My advice is to get another idea matchstick and strike it anew. Re-ignite that flame. However, this time around, pour some igniter-fluid on the logs of your ambition so that your flames can burn even brighter.
There is a multitude of individuals who have failed and have turned around to become grand successes. Did you know that Steven Spielberg was denied by University of Southern California’s (USC’s) prestigious film school not once, but twice? How did he turn out? He will go into the annals of movie history as one of the greatest movie producers of all time. Did you ever know that Emily Dickinson in her lifetime, published fewer than a dozen of her 1,800 poems? How did she turn out? You cannot talk about poetry today without talking about the poetry of Emily Dickinson. She is a legend in the poetic macrocosm. Did you ever know that Michael Jordan as a sophomore was rejected from his high school’s varsity basketball team? How did he turn out? He will go down in history as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Did you know that Dr. Seuss’ first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was refused by 27 publishers? How did he turn out? Hundreds of millions of this book ended up selling. Did you know that Oprah Winfrey was fired from Baltimore’s WJZ-TV for being too “emotionally involved” with the stories she reported? How did she turn out? She is currently one of the wealthiest billionaire women in the world. One thing is evident with all these failures turned successes—they never gave up on their ventures and dreams. They all fanned their enthusiasm and kept on moving forward.
Finally, always celebrate little victories. I encourage you to celebrate small successes on your way to your more transcendent goals. As you continue to work hard on your goals, always remember to celebrate small victories on your way towards accomplishing your goals. A lot of people forget this important fact. Make your little successes a festival for you to feast on. It rejuvenates you and gives you a boost of energy to continue forging forward. Give yourself a treat and tell yourself, ‘Job well done,’ as you accomplish one milestone after the other. I love what a Democritus of Abdera once said that “The life without festival is a long road without an inn.” Not celebrating your successes every now and then can lead to burn out. Minor celebrations can be likened to a man on a long journey that stops over at an inn for the night to refresh himself. Remember, you have one life to live, so have fun when you win some of your life battles. Reward yourself as you forge on forward to achieve your next set of goals. This will motivate you towards higher achievements in the long run.
People, the secret of making your future New Year resolutions and life goals a reality all rests in your ability to sustain your enthusiasm. We have elaborately looked at five things that you can do to fan your passion. First, you must stay excited. Don’t allow that initial excitement to leak out of the cauldron of your passionate press forward. You must stay motivated and elated as you forge ahead. Second, you must stay on track. Don’t lose focus. Stop paying attention to the goals of others. Don’t get distracted from your locus. Stay on track always. Thirdly, don’t let failures stop you. We saw a litany of reasons why we should never let setbacks to quench our will to want to accomplish our goals. We also saw several successes today who rose like phoenixes from the ashes of their failures. Finally, always celebrate little victories. Celebrations revive our will, courage, and passion to succeed. It gives us the confidence that we are doing something right. Therefore, I encourage you to find time to celebrate your achievements as you forge ahead towards your goals and visions. To accomplish our goals, we must persevere. I encourage you to fan your enthusiasm and see your dreams come through and true!