Word Of the Week #52: Zeal

April 22, 2009 by  

Zeal: impassioned eagerness and enthusiasm for a person or a cause.

You’ve heard the saying, “Practice Makes Perfect?” Is there something that you want to do well?

Dr. Daniel Goleman, in his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ states, “Studies of Olympic athletes, world-class musicians, and chess grand masters find their unifying trait is the ability to motivate themselves to pursue relentless training routines.”

And the earlier they start, the better. The top violin students at the best music academy in Berlin, all in their twenties, had put in ten thousand hours’ lifetime practice, while the second-tier students averaged around seventy-five hundred hours.

Now don’t let this discourage you. The point is, that enthusiasm is a key component to being able to achieve what you want. You need to be able to stay motivated in the face of defeat.

Your emotions get in the way of or enhance your ability to think and plan, to pursue training for a distant goal, and to solve problems.

This week focus on your personal and/or professional plans or goals. What level of enthusiasm do you have for them? In what areas of your life do you feel zeal?

Reader Responses

“This is the best one yet! “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!” Many years ago, I had a meeting with a Disney Executive, when I lived in Orlando and we were talking about motivation, and the passion for excellence and so forth. In our conversation I told him that I believe practice makes perfect. He said; “That isn’t correct.”  I was perplexed with his reply, because this is what I had always believed, but he shed a new paradigm on my belief, he said that “PERFECT PRACTICE, MAKES PERFECT!” If you practice and your level of practice isn’t the best or perfect or at the highest level, then you will never achieve the level of excellence of the greatest or highest level.  From that day forward, I changed my belief and that it is only when we practice at the highest level, can we achieve at the highest level. Good stuff! — Don Vance