Have you ever had zeal for anything? What about a strong emotion? As we look at the virtue of zeal I would firstly like to look at the definition and the benefits of having it.
What is zeal?
The Oxford dictionary states that zeal is the show of great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. An article I once read described zeal as the ability to continue in the midst of difficulty or challenges with a positive attitude. My very short definition of zeal is ‘passion in action.’ The passion that soars you beyond your very own imagination.
Now here are some of the benefits of having the virtue of zeal
- Dynamism – There is an element of dynamism in having a zeal for something. When one has zeal a kinetic energy is generated which produces a tremendous impact in one’s action which then creates a dynamic result
- Self-confidence– When you have zeal it will help to boost your self-confidence, and you will feel extremely confident in accepting the challenges of daily life or the tasks you need to carry out.
- Enhance Self-discipline – Zeal will enable you to have that passion for whatever it is that you are zealous about and help you to adapt the discipline needed for the ongoing journey.
- Inner Fire – Zeal creates that inner fire that can reignite you and push you beyond boundaries and limitations. This is the fire that you need to call back on when those moments of discouragement crop up.
- Leads to achievement – The chance of you achieving success and accomplishing your desired goals is a lot higher when you are filled with zeal no matter what you are zealous for, whether it be for sports, religion, education or relationship having zeal will enable you to have the element of success.
Can you have zeal for anything?
Zeal normally is seen when someone is doing something they feel emotionally attached to or love. However, the question I asked a few close friends of mine was, is it possible to have zeal when doing something that you do not love or have attachment to. The answer I received was a unanimous yes. An explanation was that one can have zeal to complete a task not because they love it but instead of what will be achieved at the end. This brought me back to a time in my life, when I was in my last year of high school and I was challenged by a statement my grandmother said.
I was studying chemistry for the last three years in my school leading up to months before my final exams and then they change my chemistry teacher and the whole class ended up falling behind because this teacher knew his stuff but was not effective as a teacher and so I decided to switch classes, something which was not normally allowed. However, I managed to convince my teachers I could make up for the lessons already passed in the previous years.
The subject I changed to was English Literature which I believed I could master as I loved reading but just didn’t have a feel for the subject. When I informed my grand-mother she was indeed livid. I was living in Jamaica and so you had to pay for your subjects that you were going to do in your exams and she vowed she would not pay for it and stated even further that I would fail.
Oh that did make my blood boil, I hated it when someone told me I wouldn’t be able to achieve something I thought I could.
The challenge came when my nan said I would have to pay for the subject from my own savings but would give it back to me if I indeed was successful. This is what created the zeal in me to pass my Literature exams. I wanted to prove her wrong so badly and I became so devoted in making it happen. I was the happiest person but also the most hardworking in class. I would ask for extra homework, record my lessons and listen to them everywhere, I think I became infatuated. The result? I achieved a distinction and it was so overwhelming to waive my result sheet in front of my nan’s face.
However, the most effective zeal I do believe there is, is to have zeal for what you strongly believe or love. As a Christian I have a zeal for the things of Christ and from that came the passion to help others which also gave birth to my vision and no matter the challenges that arises I will not give up because it has now become a part of me. I buried my passion for a long while and I was not happy at all, I was just living and settling for second best, whatever that came along. Having zeal for something somehow lights you up and fuels you with the energy that will keep you going. Many people always ask me how do I find the time and energy to do all that I do? I know that it is the zeal inside of me that keeps me ignited, hence the reason why I call it passion in action.
A few questions I would like to ask you as I conclude is
- Is there anything that you have the zeal for?
- What is it that you are zealous about – What drives you?
- Are you living it or are you settling for second best?
- Have you buried that zeal due to society or circumstances?
Whatever your answer is, it is not too late to have the zeal deal.