We looked out over the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean from New Jersey’s southernmost shore. Cape May Point’s white sand beach was beautiful, and despite the cool breeze my two youngest children removed their shoes and socks to feel the sand between their toes. We looked around for a few minutes, picking up some shells and enjoying the sound of the surf.
Nearby, a man dressed in hip waders and a sweatshirt was fishing from the shore. I wandered over to where he stood and asked a few questions about our surroundings. I soon discovered that Mike is a veteran charter boat co-captain and avid fisherman who loves to teach. He readily shares the knowledge he has gained during a 30 year career on the waters off of Cape May with anyone who is interested.
My family joined us and participated in the conversation as Mike pointed out schools of fish swimming offshore, a pod of dolphins, and the Delaware shoreline. He hooked and landed a skate, and he turned that event into a biology lesson before he released the unharmed shark-relative back into the ocean. He rooted under water in the sand, found a sand flea and placed it in my enthralled son’s hand. In the course of just a few minutes, Mike thoroughly acquainted us with the beauty and mystery of our surroundings.
Mike mentioned his fishing charter service in passing, explaining what he offers in broad terms, but quickly returned to orienting us to our Cape May Point surroundings. His enthusiasm was genuine, and his interest in us, his work, and the local ecosystem was nearly boundless. He enriched us with his knowledge and single-handedly made our visit to the shore a spectacular success. We were so engrossed by his presentation that we forgot to take pictures, much to our disappointment when we later realized this oversight.
Enthusiasm is contagious
As Mike illustrates, enthusiasm pushes us to share, to empathize with others, and to help them see the world as we do. It helps us close the distance that separates us. In business, it prevents us from slipping into ego-centrism and focusing solely on the “bottom line.” Wherever others see enthusiasm in us, it is magnetic. They wonder, “Why is this person so obviously alive?” It is contagious. When we communicate it to others, they want to share it.
Because it is so uncommon, enthusiasm provides a platform to tell others why we are so passionate. In fact, enthusiasm demands explanation. In the case of our fisherman, he offered information and a nearly priceless experience of the Atlantic shore. As a result, I was curious about him, and this enabled him to explain a bit about what his business can do for those interested in an offshore fishing experience.
Mike’s enthusiasm is why I’m sharing this post with you, and it’s why I can offer an unsolicited endorsement of the fishing charter service he provides aboard the Cape Queen.
What are you enthused about? Are you sharing it?