Enthusiasm is life! But how to become enthusiastic?
Without joy, you are as good as a dead man walking. Harsh but true. You find yourself heartlessly doing your daily routine, breathing air, fueling your body – staying on life support, but not living.
What is the best path to joy?
Are we not already free?
Freedom comes in all shapes and forms. Look around yourself. This year has wreaked havoc, and some people are affected directly. They lost their jobs or someone, or they become ill themselves.
Most people haven’t, but are still walking around like empty gazed zombies. They lost their freedom to look forward to the future and replaced joy with fear. How to become enthusiastic in such an atmposphere_
Freedom is the absence of fear.
“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear. I mean, really, no fear!”Nina Simone
Ms.Simone was probably referring to the fear present in the day to day life of a black person in a profoundly racist society, but it can apply to anything.
Turning fear to joy is not easy, but you can get there in small steps.
How to become enthusiastic in 7 steps!
REPLACE FEAR WITH GRATITUDE
Being thankful may seem challenging. Often it comes more natural for people who have less and are aware of how bad it can get.
Others dread losing what they have and hence have a harder time being joyful.
This year with all of its twists and turns made as conscient how quickly we can lose a lot. Some have faced mortality and uncertainty for the first time.
We became fearful.
But you know what, nothing is assured. The virus just shed some light on it.
So instead of fearing a scenario which most likely won’t happen, try to be thankful for what you already have—starting with your health, family and friends.
Ask yourself if you are taking the good things in your life for granted.
The future is uncertain. It always was, it always will be. Even tarot readers have different interpretations of the cards.
There are two ways to approach uncertainty.
To dwell upon the worst possible scenario, fear every phone call and email, lose sleep living imaginary realities that never happened and probably never will.
Or look at change and uncertainty as an opportunity. Be curious about what the future holds and discover how you can grow.
Only two facts are guaranteed in life: Everything changes, and we all die. How we use the time and adapt to change is the only thing we can control.
“The Past fills us with regret. …
The Future fills us with anxiety. …
The Present is the only time we have control.”
NOW is all that exists, and anything you can ever do is now.
So start with taking a deep breath and becoming aware of your body and sensations. Pinch yourself, touch your skin, feel your weight on the chair – this is you existing. It is the only thing that is real, everything else is a figment of your imagination.
If your future is a figment of your imagination, fearing it sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?
Give your future self the benefit of the doubt that they can handle the shit they will challenge. They are a different person with different experiences.
AVOID QUICK FIXES
Don’t be lazy about being joyful.
There is nothing wrong with eating a juicy hamburger, having one too many beers on the weekend, having sex with a stranger, or smoking a joint after work.
Unless you do it every day.
These things give you a temporary sense of fulfilment. If you rely on them, chances are you will forget how to feel happy without a pizza, a bar of chocolate, line of cocaine or the worse of them all – Facebook.
Internet overuse has the same effects on your body as sugar, carbs or drugs. Dopamine and serotonin levels go up quickly and down even quicker. Leaving you feeling empty and unmotivated.
Which takes us to the next step.
PLAY THE LONG GAME
A healthy body is a good starting point for joy. A regular exercise routine, nutritious diet and enough sleep is the first step in the enthusiasm marathon.
You are your body, and if your body and hormones are out of wack, your mind has no chance to become enthusiastic.
Now when you are free, fearless, and your hormones are balanced, permit yourself to take on a passion project. Invest some time during the day create something you love.
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones, and your actual job is your passion, but for most of us, our job is our job. And that is ok. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up doing something you love, as long as you dedicate some time in the week to get lost in your new instrument, novel, side hustle, photography course or whatever yanks your chain.
P.S. – Netflix is not a passion. Just FYI
CHANGE IT UP
Someone once told me – for the life of me I can not remember who, but it makes a whole lot of sense – that the ideal recipe for life is 70 per cent familiar and 30 per cent new.
It will be enough to do something new each week to start feeling excited. If you give yourself a new challenge regularly, even better.
Burnout at work is a common example of joy loss. It happens when work becomes repetitive and the worker craves space to grow and learn. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury to spice up their work life, so you mind as well spice up your life to become enthusiastic.
Let me just point out that I am not advising you to become productive, just to be excited about what you are producing. I am not a fan of productivity as a life goal.
Read more in my article about successful time-wasting.