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Enthusiasm: The Fuel in your Tank

Yesterday we talked about the origins of the word Enthusiasm, it used to mean “Divine Inspiration” and nowadays it means “Lively Interest”… Both definitions work pretty well for our purposes here, which are as always to live our lives with the most joy and happiness possible, and when it comes to experiencing Happiness, nothing will get you there quicker than good ‘ole Enthusiasm!

You see, when setting out to accomplish any goal, whether it be large or small, our results are always limited by the amount of energy, effort, and dedication we put into that goal… Quite literally, Enthusiasm is like the fuel in gas tank that allows everything else to work.

Unhappy Child

I’d like you to imagine something for a moment here, dinner! Yes, dinner. We’re not talking about getting into the college of your dreams, or building that business you always wanted to create, for right now we’re just looking at a simple home cooked dinner.

I’d like you to imagine yourself preparing that meal, but you don’t want to. For whatever reason you’re not in the mood to make a meal and you’re rushing through it half heartedly. In the end, how does it taste? How did it turn out? How does it make the people who share it feel?

Same example, just a simple dinner, except this time you’re excited about preparing it. This time you’re singing, or humming to yourself as you dance through the process of making the meal. Everything smells good to you, the steam from the stove feels warm and refreshing, the knife you cut with feels sharp and moves elegantly, and even as you place the food onto the plates it looks beautiful to you, somehow radiant and vibrating with life and vitality… How does it taste? How does it make the people who it feel?

Same meal, same recipe. One prepared with enthusiasm, one not. And the results (eating it) turn out entirely different, and more than that the after results (how it makes us feel) also turn out different.

Enthusiasm is Vitality!

The meal made with love and enthusiasm fills those who eat it with a sense of vitality, joy, a lightness of being… While the meal made with contempt fills those who eat it with a sense of despair, lethargy, emptiness…

Odd example? The Bhagavhad Gita is one of the three most widely read religious books on the whole planet. In it, the Lord Krishna explains,

“It is the love and enthusiasm placed into the making of a meal which nurtures us, the food itself is merely a vehicle for the sharing of these vital essences.”

One meal, made without enthusiasm, the other made with enthusiasm… Made with enthusiasm the preparation is a joy, and the meal is a joy which invigorates those who partake of it… Without enthusiasm, the preparation is a burden, and the meal itself becomes dull to the senses…

Happy Child

If a tiny bit of Enthusiasm can transform something as simple as making dinner into an experience of pure joy, imagine what it can do to the rest of your life! A job worked with enthusiasm, a relationship loved with enthusiasm, school work done enthusiastically…

Enthusiasm transforms the task into a pleasure, and the results into a pure delight. Of all the traits, nothing can do more for your life more immediately than a little sprinkling of pure enthusiasm.

As the week progresses we’re going to be learning how to build Enthusiasm into situations where it might not come naturally, but for today’s exercise I’d like you to think about those situations where it does come naturally…

1. Try to write down five situations where enthusiasm comes naturally to you.

2. Pause a few times today and try to vividly remember what those situations felt like…

Note: Don’t just try to remember the situations, try to feel what it felt like to be in those situations… You might close your eyes and imagine yourself being in one of those situations right now!

Next Day: Enthusiasm Day Three: “Finding Yours!” >>

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