16: Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm unleashes enormous creative energy. The effect is like powerful music that inspires great numbers of people, loosening constraints and sprouting new opportunities. The power of enthusiasm is best symbolized by music and dance. It is guided more by the heart than the head. Good fortune can follow when an enthusiastic leader is a person of strong character—one who is able to guide this positive energy toward a favorable destination.

Enthusiasm, in a personal relationship or in a group, generates special electricity. For instance, when the crowd at a music festival is charged up, the singers scale new heights; and life—the shared experience of the moment—becomes its own reward. And who is not in awe of thunder? Who would fail to fill his or her lungs with refreshing air in the aftermath of a cleansing rain?

Arouse the passionate support of others while adjusting your ideas and plans to suit their needs. In this way, you can fill your sails with the mighty wind of popular support.

To arouse others, redouble your dedication, and dare to create an environment that is free of tension. Take joy in your work. Harness the power of song and dance in your own way.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Self-consciously flaunting enthusiasm invites misfortune. Those around you need to ignite their own flames. Turning up the jets on your burners will not help if those around you are out of fuel. If others cannot keep up, you may need to slow the pace. If your associates have fuel but no fire, your selfless focus on the work at hand can be the flint that ignites their enthusiasm. A sense of unity can result.

Line 2

When waves of enthusiasm take over a group, the wise person watches for small signs of misfortune, and tries to view the world free of illusion. When the first signs of misfortune appear, he or she withdraws quickly, not waiting even until the end of the day. In this way, you can advance your own position while serving the interests of the group. Clear headedness is vital in times of excitement.

Line 3

To paraphrase the old saying, “She who hesitates is lost.” In this situation, hesitation would bring regret. The right moment for seizing an opportunity or approaching a benefactor needs to be selected carefully; but when that time comes, action must be taken immediately. Giving your allegiance to a worthy cause or leader may be appropriate if such a move would further your interests and values.
Seize the day or watch your chances disappear. Rather than looking to some outside force, do your best to advance through personal effort.

Line 4

Great works spring from those who can awaken enthusiasm in others through their own self-confidence and decisiveness. A person who is sincere and without doubts attracts others naturally. The power of such a person grows by sharing power and responsibility with others. As a result, others are willing to cooperate, becoming trustworthy allies and supporters.

Line 5

If enthusiasm is blocked, you may be experiencing pressure and a feeling of psychological suffocation. If you feel restricted, bogged down, or lacking in the ability to express your ideas or to put them into effect, do not worry. It is this exact situation that will prevent you from wasting your energies and help keep you alive. Try to view your current circumstances as an advantage.

Line 6 (top line)

Even if enthusiasm is slightly misguided at this time, it’s not a big problem; everyone suffers delusions from time to time. The bigger problem would be an inability to dream at all. The sober realization that a false dream has run its course can be a sign of a fresh beginning. For those who are enthusiastic all the time, it’s essential to be able to separate the dreamer from the dream.