No. 1246



When I was in the printing business many years ago, I remember working with some employees who moved about so slow that we had to line them up with a post to see if they were moving. To be sure, these employees were not in line for a pay raise.
The famous American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” This is so true. We are not going to accomplish very much on a job or in a lifetime if we do not have real enthusiasm in our lives. In this regard, have you ever wondered why some people act like a human “dynamo” while others are so lethargic that we wonder how they ever get out of bed? Well, believe it or not, the key word in this question -- and one that makes a lot of difference in our rewards and in our life -- is the little three-letter word “act,” as in the people who have enthusiasm act like someone who has enthusiasm.
While this may be hard to believe for some people, just acting like a person with enthusiasm can become, in time, a wonderful new habit. Having high energy is a wonderful thing if it is used and channeled in the right way. We have all kinds of energy in the world, but thankfully the source of human energy is known. It can be found in the little word “passion,” as our passion for something makes all the difference in the world in what we accomplish.
Please ask yourself this simple question, “What am I passionate about?” For me personally, I have come to realize that I am just passionate about life, and about serving other people and achieving true success.
It is here that I would like to share something with you that I have never shared in my columns before, and something that has motivated me more than anything ever could, because it had to do with my character. When I was in high school, I was a pretty fair basketball player and had an 18-point average my senior year. However, in one particular game I had a terrible shooting night – I shot 33 times (someone in the stands counted them) and hit only one of them. Sometime later a prominent member of the community, who was also a member of the school board, had some very disparaging things to say about me.
As luck would have it, my mother found out about his remarks, and as mothers will, she went and confronted him. He wound up by saying, “Well, I don’t care anything about Jim Davidson.” Again, as luck would have it, this got back to me, and his comment stuck in my “craw” for many years. At the time I said to myself, “I’ll show him.” He has been gone for many years, but with God’s help, and a lot of hard work, I believe I have shown him. Now, after living more than eight decades, I realize that God has blessed me far more than I deserve -- good parents, good genes, and tremendous opportunity --because I was born in the greatest country in the history of the world. This fires my passion and my enthusiasm.
Now, back to my earlier question, what are you passionate about? If you know, you are fortunate indeed. If not, you can learn by doing a mental survey to see what interests you. Where do you spend your time and your money? What is it that fires your imagination every time you think about it? Our bookcase project does that for me, and more recently my new book. This stems from my deep desire to be of service and to help other people. My prayer is that you have or will find something that causes you to want to serve others. It is the only way to succeed and be happy.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)