A meaningful life depends on inner serenity, self-honesty, and engaging with the world with genuine enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm is defined as a strong excitement or a strong feeling of interest in something we like or enjoy. The word actually comes from two Greek words, Fr (sense in) and Theos (sense God) and evolved to mean “manifest the inner spirit.”
Enthusiasm is expressed through our voice, our gestures, our facial expressions, our words and our actions. Whether or not we feel inspired can be revealed by simply smiling or frowning, standing tall or slouching, being kind to others or being distant.
You may feel like you’ve been excited about a job, relationship, or activity before, but lately you feel like you’ve lost your enthusiasm. It can be a sign that what you are doing today may no longer be aligned or connected to your inner spirit or psyche. If neglected, this disconnect can lead to increasing stress and anger and ultimately manifesting in physical ailments.
If you’ve lost your enthusiasm and this feeling has been with you for some time, you may want to talk about it with a loved one or a professional to better understand the root of this dissatisfaction and the actions you can take to remedy it. Maybe it means looking for a new challenge or a new goal, maybe it means doing more activities that give you energy and less activities that drain your energy, maybe it means does it look for people who lift you up instead of surrounding you with people who pull you down, or maybe it just means you need to remember the positive impact you can have on life? life of others.
Recently I saw a T-shirt graphic that said, “Sorry, I’m late, I didn’t want to come.” Sometimes we feel like we have to pretend to be enthusiastic to be accepted by others.
This can be especially true in the workplace. Organizations want fully engaged and enthusiastic employees, especially for jobs that require employees to perform their roles in public, such as waiters, cashiers, teachers, and service workers. Pretending to be enthusiastic when we’re not really feeling excited or passionate can be part of the job expectation. But false enthusiasm can take us further and further away from ourselves until the day we wake up and ask ourselves: “Who am I?”
Seeking to please others can be a perilous trap. We have to ask ourselves: is this a short-term challenge or is faking enthusiasm going to be a long-term necessity for me to excel at this job? What effect does false enthusiasm have on my mind? Do I lose confidence in myself and do others lose confidence in me if they feel that I am pretending too often? Will the disconnect between the image I project and who I really am lead to increased anxiety, stress and other problems in my life?
Authentic enthusiasm is the expression of our true or genuine spirit and emotions. Expressing our “self” is an important part of our innate humanity, inspiring not only us, but those around us. Being honest with others leads to more transparent and authentic relationships.
In order to kiss authentic enthusiasm, consider:
- Acknowledge what your emotions are trying to tell you, as these are important signals of what you may need to address.
- Even if you don’t feel passionate about your life or your work, look for the positive – look for one, two or 10 things that are going well in your life.
- Seek more alignment with what interests and inspires you. Bring more of this into your life. Choose a job or focus on the parts of your job that best match your true nature.
- Find people who understand and support you and above all, in turn, support them. Enthusiasm is contagious, spread it around you.
- Choose exercises, movements and music that improve your mood.
When we engage in activities that we feel meaningless, feel we are not living authentically, are overwhelmed with excessive worry and resentment, or constantly complain and have a negative attitude , these are all signs that we lack enthusiasm. When we engage in activities we enjoy, feel like we matter to us, and have an optimistic and positive attitude, these are signs that we are living with genuine enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is essential to living a meaningful life. It’s not what we do in life (what job or relationship do we have) but how do we do it counts. When we are inspired, we are open to new connections and have new thoughts and ideas. By engaging in life with genuine enthusiasm, we can interpret the people and experiences of our lives with new meaning, which, in turn, can make a big difference in the overall quality of our lives.