Zeal is passion for a purpose we deeply value. We follow a vision of what is possible with enthusiasm and ardor. When we are zealous, we give our all. Zeal is fueled by our belief and faith. We do all that we can to serve a cause we believe to be real and true. We need tolerance as the ballast for our zeal when others’ beliefs differ from our own. Zeal is the fire in our belly. It illumines even the smallest task with joy.


Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work body and soul.

— Charles Buxton

 The Practice of Zeal

  • I have a deep sense of purpose.
  • I am passionate about what I value.
  • I give all I have.
  • I persevere in my enthusiasm.
  • I am considerate of the perspective of others.
  • I work with joyous energy.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™.

In Family Life

The virtue of zeal in a family is a radiant flame that fuels the collective spirit and drives members to pursue their family vision and individual aspirations with unwavering enthusiasm. Zeal is the driving force that propels family members to invest time and effort into strengthening their bonds, fostering open communication, and creating cherished memories. It thrives in an environment where everyone is committed to the family’s harmony, resilience, and continued evolution. It is an essential virtue that ignites the spirit of unity and shared purpose within the family circle.

Balancing Zeal

Zeal is a powerful virtue when harnessed correctly, but it must be balanced to avoid both overdevelopment and underdevelopment. To strike a balance with Zeal, several virtues can serve as guiding lights:

      • Tolerance: As mentioned in your description, tolerance is essential when our zeal clashes with differing beliefs. It helps us remain open to diverse perspectives and fosters harmonious interactions.
      • Wisdom: Wisdom guides us to temper our zeal with discernment. It reminds us to consider the consequences of our actions and whether they align with our deeply held values.
      • Patience: Patience is crucial in maintaining a balanced zeal. It reminds us that achieving our goals might take time, allowing us to pace ourselves to avoid burnout.
      • Humility: Humility helps us keep our zeal in check by recognizing that we don’t have all the answers. It encourages us to learn from others and adapt when necessary.
      • Gratitude: Practicing gratitude can help us appreciate even the smallest tasks joyfully. It reminds us of the importance of recognizing and cherishing the present moment.

By balancing zeal, we can keep the fire of zeal burning brightly while avoiding the pitfalls of extremism and apathy. Striving for this balance can lead to a more fulfilling and purposeful life.