“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”
Henry David Thoreau
If you are like I am you find that enthusiasm is contagious. I get invigorated when I am with folks who sustain their enthusiasm in everything they do. I am not talking about those you meet who are blindly enthusiastic, rather those who harness their enthusiasm by objectively viewing their options. These are people who sustain their enthusiasm through the productive outcomes of their efforts. They often will take on apparently insurmountable tasks and win because of the combination of their enthusiastic energy, perseverance, and experience. You don’t see too many of them wasting time tilting windmills.
I sometimes find it difficult to sustain my own enthusiasm and when that happens I remember what Dale Carnegie said, “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” Fortunately I seldom need to follow the advice for I find each day filled with things I can be enthusiastic about, not the least of which is communicating with each of you. I just can’t imagine what life must be for those who lack enthusiasm and spend their days in a drab grey world just getting by. I am glad you’re not one of those but if you do find yourself in the doldrums one of these days you might want to follow Ralph Marston’s advice and find your enthusiasm. Here is what he offers us.
What is it that excites you, and gets you fired up in a positive way, and makes it impossible for you to sit still? Whatever it is, fill your awareness with it.
Bright, sparkling, delicious enthusiasm will get you going in a powerful, purposeful direction. Enthusiasm will keep you going strong even when nothing seems to be going your way.
There’s something, some goal, some dream, some intrinsic purpose that will put you in a state of irrepressible enthusiasm. Get busy, find it and connect with it because when you do your effectiveness will skyrocket.
Let yourself dream your biggest, most wonderful and fulfilling dreams. Then reach in, grab the very essence of those dreams and you’ll have a handful of priceless enthusiasm.
The best that you can imagine is already within you. So bring it to the surface and let it positively infect your whole world.
Find your own unique, joyful and powerful enthusiasm. And let it carry you to magnificent places.
Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed at the fire of enthusiasm.
Norman Vincent Peale
A Western Buddhist woman was in India, studying with her teacher. She was riding with another woman friend in a rickshaw-like carriage, when they were attacked by a man on the street. In the end, the attacker only succeeded in frightening the women, but the Buddhist woman was quite upset by the event and told her teacher so. She asked him what she should have done – what would have been the appropriate, Buddhist response.
The teacher said very simply, "You should have very mindfully and with great compassion whacked the attacker over the head with your umbrella."
Stress is when you wake up screaming and then you realize you haven’t fallen asleep yet.
Excerpted from her Diary… For my birthday present this year, Phil (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my high school softball team (let’s say over 30 years ago and leave it at that), I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.
I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer I’ll call Bruce, who identified himself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. Phil seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started. The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
Monday: Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Bruce waiting for me. He is something of a Greek God – with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!
Bruce gave me a tour and showed me the machines. He took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. He was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to him in his Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Bruce was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!
Tuesday: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Bruce made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air –then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Bruce’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It’s a whole new life for me.
Wednesday: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Bruce was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Bruce put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Bruce told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other crap too.
Thursday: Bruce was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Bruce took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the men’s room. He sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine — which I sank.
Friday: I hate that bastard Bruce more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Bruce wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the *@*#$ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. (Which I am sure you learned in the sadist school you attended and graduated magna cum laude from.) The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
Saturday: Bruce left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing him made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the *$@# Weather Channel.
Sunday: I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year Phil (the Beast) will choose a gift for me that is fun — like a root canal or a hysterectomy.
Getting people to like you is the other side of liking them.
Norman Vincent Peale
A friend and I were lunching at a sidewalk cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. Our waitress looked like a real surfer girl: athletic with a great tan and blond hair. Mulling over the menu, my friend asked her if the roast beef was rare.
The waitress gave us a long blank look, and then replied, "Well, no. We have it, like, just about every day."
"I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with ‘Guess’ on it. I said, ‘Thyroid problem?’"
A little boy took his dog on a "take your pet to school" day. There were prizes for the smallest, the prettiest, the cutest, and the smartest pet. Determined that his dog win a prize, the boy put his pet through a whole series of tricks.
Finally the boy turned to the dog and asked, "Mindy, how much is two plus two minus four?"
The dog sat quietly, making no sound, remaining still and silent.
"Right!" exclaimed the boy.
His dog won first prize.
Don’t go for looks; they can deceive.
Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
Find the one that makes your heart smile.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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