I only had 2 goals when I went to college:
- To live on my own and be away from my family
- Smoke weed in dingy bars as I recite poetry
The minute I arrived on campus, I added another goal to my list: become a Goth.
The last goal just sort of happened and it kept happening for 2 years, until I decided to dye my hair orange.
Getting a degree and being employable weren’t even on my list of things to accomplish in 4 years.
At this point you may be getting the picture that I was the least enthusiastic person about life or adulthood.
If you came to that conclusion – you would be right.
Why enthusiasm matters
After graduation – I was hit with a brutal reality – I couldn’t spend my life smoking weed and sneering at everything.
To create the life I wanted, I had to get people to buy into my vision and for people to buy into my vision; I had to be passionate and enthusiastic.
In fact most of my adult life has been about learning to be happy and learning to be enthusiastic.
How To Cultivate Enthusiasm
1. Be authentic
Have you ever noticed how pretending to be something you’re not doesn’t make you excited about life or the situation you’re trying to hide?
All that energy you use pretending and telling half lies is draining you of your enthusiasm for life.
When you’re authentic and living in line with your values and your life’s purpose you actually want to get up in the morning and live.
2. Remain present
Often we’re so busy creating stories about the future or the past that we forget to just be in the here and see the beauty in this moment.
So take a few moments a day to just marvel at miracle of you and your existence – the fact that you breathe and you can read this.
3. Laugh at least once a day
Put this on your schedule. Honestly laugh about your current money situation – find jokes or explore the absurdity of it all.
Just like the simple act of smiling makes you happy, then the simple act of laughing will make you happy.
According to the two factor theory of emotion – our behaviour has the power to impact our emotions.
We equate joy and happiness with laughter so when we laugh about something we automatically tell ourselves that we’re happy.
Stuart Brown at the TED Conference in 2009, spoke about the importance of play in stress reduction and problem solving.
Brown talks about how he started off interviewing serial killers and found that they didn’t get to play as kids.
He also interviewed 6,000 people and found that not being able to play in their childhood has stopped them from growing into happy adults.
So go out and play.
Gratitude is perhaps the most powerful emotion because it refocuses our thinking from lack to abundance.
When we feel grateful it’s because we’re aware of the blessings we have in our lives which makes it easier to be more enthusiastic.
What how do you cultivate enthusiasm in your life?
Let me know in the comments section below.