We don't always get the results we want. I read that a few years ago a Ukrainian businessman bought a pager for each member of his staff as a New Year's gift. He was returning from the store when the pagers caused him to wreck his car. Just as he was pulling up to his office, all 50 pagers on his back seat suddenly screeched. He was so frightened he let go of the steering wheel and the car plunged into a lamp post.
After he assessed the damage to his automobile, the businessman turned his attention to the message on the pagers. It read, "Congratulations on a successful purchase." The company's cheery greeting didn't create the customer satisfaction they were hoping for. But if nothing else, it proved something significant: folks notice your enthusiasm. And one way or another, they seem to respond to it.
A story is told about playwright and U.S. Ambassador to Italy Claire Booth Luce. She became a Roman Catholic late in life and, like many others converted to something new, she was zealous and vocal about her new faith.
A reporter once spotted her engrossed in deep conversation with the pope. He crept within earshot, all the while wondering what important issues the ambassador and the pope could be discussing. Finally, he was close enough to hear the pope say to Ms. Luce, “But I already am a Catholic!” You have to appreciate her passion. . . .
I'm drawn to people with passion -- people who live their lives fully and enthusiastically. As an insect is drawn to light, I am drawn to their energy and vitality. I actually FEEL alive around people who ARE alive. I want to be around them and hope that some of their verve for living just may rub off on me.
Maybe it's like the poet Rumi said: "Only from the heart can you touch the sky." I spend a lot of time living from the head. But when I go to that place where I feel my deepest enthusiasm and passion, I feel as if I can touch the sky. Anything might be possible. And the truth is that good ideas only go so far. It's people with passion that finally make a difference.
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) had a good idea about a new kind of children's book -- one that contains lively illustrations, wacky characters and humorous writing. His enthusiasm led him to write a poem that became his first book. But it seemed that nobody wanted to publish it. Seuss was passionate about his writing, but he realized that an equal measure of enthusiasm and energy would be required if his book were ever to be published. He relentlessly peddled his children's book to over twenty publishers before one took a chance on him. Having a great idea was not enough; his passion made the difference.
Charles Goodyear spent every last dollar over five years filled with experiments to try and develop vulcanized rubber. He suffered extreme poverty during those years and was sustained only by his enthusiasm. He eventually succeeded, not because he had the good idea that durable rubber products may have some important uses, but because of the energy he put into his experiments. His good idea was not enough; his passion made the difference.
If I were able to give my children any gift to sustain them in life, I believe I might give them passion for what they do. For if they can live from the heart, they will surely touch the sky.
-- Steve Goodier
Image: flickr.com/Natalia Medd