10 Traits of a Positive Thinker: #2 ENTHUSIASM


Built upon the foundation of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s work, The Power of Positive Thinking, positive psychology author Scott Ventrella states that “Positive thinkers are tough-minded reality-based people who blast through problems with energy and zeal.”  Cynics and skeptics do not change the world.

Ventrella lists 10 traits of a positive thinker: 1. Optimism, 2. Enthusiasm, 3. Belief, 4. Integrity, 5. Courage, 6. Confidence, 7. Determination, 8. Patience, 9. Calmness, 10. Focus.

This blog addresses Enthusiasm in Leadership.  If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you may be a leader who exhibits enthusiasm…

  • Do I wake up feeling excited about the day ahead?
  • Do I thrive on finding needs that interest me and fulfill them?
  • Do I have and show energy about projects that excite others?
  • Am I energetic in pursuing outcomes?
  • Do I get a kick out of life?

Enthusiasm comes from Greek entheos, meaning “inspired.”  It literally means “possessed by a god” or en theos, “in God.”  So, essentially…What leaves you feeling inspired?  What has you ready to spring out of bed in the morning?  What contributes to having you feel like you have the Living Spirit in you?

Philosopher Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  This is not to say that you should give up your day job to become a NASCAR racer.  Nor does this suggest that because you love your work that you are immune to the politics and bureaucracy at work.  It means being able to stay focused on which aspects of your work from which you DO gain enthusiasm.  Losing the love in your work can be like a relationship…sometimes it’s tempting to pursue something new to rekindle that excitement.  Is what first attracted you to your assignment/relationship no longer there?

Examine what made your position attractive to you in the first place.  (See blog The Four Temperaments & the Organization).  Usually, you are attracted to what you can do and in which type of organization you can provide those services.  Organizations (not to mention supervisors) have “temperaments” as well, which may indicate a natural affinity or an opportunity for you to leverage yourself as a complementary necessity.


Which of the following suggestions inspire you to become enthusiastic?  Is it…

  • The intellectual challenge?
  • The involvement of others?
  • Learning something new?
  • The freedom to do what you want?
  • Accomplishing something worthwhile?
  • Experimentation and discovery?
  • Being creative or innovative?
  • Producing something others will enjoy &/or use?
  • The outdoors or nature?
  • Travel or adventure?
  • Planning and organizing?
  • Influencing or helping others?
  • Working or playing alone?
  • Having a peaceful, relaxing time?
  • Competing against others or a standard?
  • Spontaneous activity?
  • Meeting a personal goal?
  • Discussions or conversations with others?
  • Non-structured activities?
  • Physical challenges or activities?
  • Working with your hands?
  • Fantasy, drama, “Imagineering”?
  • Appreciating something beautiful, creative, or interesting?
  • Or, what?

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Virginia from my Nashville flight to Los Angeles responded to my length of service question, “17 years, and I’m the junior one on the aircraft.  Southwest Airlines is a nice place to be.”  Virginia found what she likes to do and with which airline.  She discovered her enthusiasm stems from her passion to travel and help others.

I consider Enthusiasm to be Passion.  What is yours?

Thank you.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator.  CorporateLookingGlass.com. 


Scott Ventrella, The Power of Positive Thinking in Business (New York, NY: Fireside), 2001. (pp. 15, 69-71, 112-113).

Virginia, Southwest Airlines, non-stop a.m. flight 332 BNA to LAX on 5.6.13.

©Rossina Gil, 2013


About Rossina

Thought Partner & Corporate Primatologist

Posted on June 9, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I really loved reading this blog. I was drawn to it because I consider myself a positive person in terms of my outlook on life. For me it is timely as well because a friend of mine is discerning entering a doctoral program in this specific discipline. From her, I learned it is a relatively new discipline in the area of psychology (my background as well). In conversation with her, as well, I learned there are areas in my life that are not so empowering. Your blog invites me to continue to engage the passion and enthusiasm I have for the following academic disciplines, theology and women’s studies in religion. I just graduated from Claremont Graduate University with a Ph.D. in these specialty areas. Now more than area I need to maintain a positive attitude with regards to securing a job that is (hopefully) compatible with me, my personality and research interests. For now, I look forward to reading your blog on “Temperaments,” as defined in the field of your discipline. Lastly, I also want to say that I loved learning that the origins of the term enthusiasm is Greek, i.e., “entheos,” and that it “literally means ‘possessed by a god’ or en theos, ‘in God.’”

    • Thank you, Theresa! Yes, finding your passion (i.e. enthusiasm) is linked to discovering your purpose in life. People are naturally drawn to those who are living a life of enthusiasm because the authentic passion is so unquestionably evident that others are inspired (Latin for “take in breath”) to follow their path(s) toward their purpose. I love Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist. Even though the protagonist’s “Holy Grail” was from right where he started, he wouldn’t have become the man he did were it not for the journey. Experience and happiness are often choices in this journey called life.

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