Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.

What's the meaning of this quote?

Quote Meaning: This quote highlights the distinction between enthusiasm, which is often abundant and easy to come by, and endurance, which is a rarer quality. It suggests that while many people may start with enthusiasm, the true test of success lies in the ability to endure and persevere through challenges and obstacles. It's a reminder that sustained effort, resilience, and perseverance are often required to achieve meaningful results, and that mere enthusiasm or initial excitement may not be enough to overcome the inevitable obstacles that come along the way.

Who said the quote?

The quote “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” was said in the book Grit (Summary / Quotes) by Angela Duckworth. Angela Duckworth is a psychologist and author who studies grit and resilience.

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What's the quote's message?

The quote, "Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare," delves into the fundamental difference between initial excitement and sustained commitment.

Enthusiasm, in this context, refers to the initial energy and excitement one typically feels when embarking on a new venture, challenge, or idea. It's a vibrant emotion, easily visible and contagious, often giving us the momentum to start something new. Indeed, enthusiasm is quite common. You find it at the starting line of marathons, at the launch of new projects, and in the eyes of someone starting a new hobby.

However, endurance is what truly matters in the journey towards achievement and success. Endurance is the capacity to keep going when the initial spark has dimmed, when challenges emerge, and when progress seems slow or even stagnant. It's the determination and grit to stick with a task until it is completed, regardless of the obstacles faced along the way.

While enthusiasm can get you started, endurance ensures you reach the finish line. It is the unwavering commitment to a cause or task, even when that task becomes difficult, tedious, or less shiny than it initially appeared. This quality is indeed rare. Many can start a journey, but fewer can endure to its completion.

Thus, the quote serves as a reminder of the importance of endurance in the face of adversity. It invites us to look beyond the initial thrill of starting something new and focus instead on developing the resilience and tenacity necessary to see it through to the end.

Is there a historical example that illustrates the message of the quote?

One historical example that exemplifies this quote is the Endurance expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. In 1914, Shackleton and his crew set out on a journey to cross the Antarctic continent. The expedition faced numerous challenges, including treacherous weather conditions, ice floes, and ultimately the loss of their ship, the Endurance, which became trapped and crushed in the ice.

Despite these setbacks, Shackleton displayed remarkable endurance and leadership. He managed to keep the crew motivated and maintained their spirits throughout the ordeal. Shackleton and his men endured extreme cold, hunger, and the constant threat of death for over a year. They lived on drifting ice floes before finally reaching Elephant Island, a remote and desolate landmass in the Antarctic.

From there, Shackleton and a small crew embarked on a perilous journey in an open boat named the James Caird to seek help. They faced treacherous seas and storms for over 800 miles before reaching South Georgia Island. Shackleton then organized a rescue mission to save the remaining crew members stranded on Elephant Island, successfully bringing everyone back to safety.

The Endurance expedition exemplifies the message of the quote as it showcases the stark contrast between initial enthusiasm for a grand expedition and the incredible endurance required to overcome the unexpected challenges and adversity that arose along the way. Shackleton's leadership and ability to endure under incredibly difficult circumstances demonstrated the rarity of endurance in the face of extreme challenges.


* The editor of this interpretation made every effort to maintain information accuracy. This includes the source and any key ideas or meanings conveyed in it.

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Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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