We all start out our lives blessed with an unending wellspring of inspiration. It’s easy to stay excited about being alive because everything is new, unknown, and therefore an adventure. We are inspired by all of the lovely possibilities that life presents and we can’t wait to get out there and try our hand at the great Game that is our birthright. We come out of the chute, guns blazing, full of fire and zest, certain that all that we can imagine for ourselves is easily within our reach.
Then, somewhere along the way, that fire gets extinguished and inspiration dries up. Life is tough and much that we have imagined for ourselves doesn’t turn out the way that we expect. It’s easy to fall into a deep depression about it, because life now feels like drudgery, meaningless and empty. We are going through the motions but the passion for living is gone. Why feel excited about being alive when life is so hard and full of misery?
The answer to that question is simple. As long as you have chosen to stick around on this planet and live your life, you may as well enjoy it. What point is there in spending your life miserable? Unless you’re a masochist, none.
So how do we stay excited about being alive in the face of all the challenges that life presents? We build ourselves a bag of inspirational tricks, that’s what. Here are a few to get you back on the track of a life lived well - full of joy, enthusiasm and excitement.
Take Inventory of Your Enthusiasm Thieves
If you can’t say the words, “I am excited about living my life!” and really mean it, your first step is to take note of all the reasons that come bubbling up about why you don’t/can’t/shouldn’t be enthused about what you’ve got going on for yourself. Maybe you’re bored or unhappy with your situation. Maybe you feel stuck, as if your ability to enjoy life is out of your hands due to your circumstances. Maybe your perspective has gotten so jaded that you can’t see “good” anymore. Whatever it is, take note of all of the stories that you are telling yourself about why you can’t be happy and recognize them as the enthusiasm thieves that they are. Being happy with your life is a choice. These thieves are attitudes that you have adopted which do nothing but rob your vitality and inspiration!
Foster Wonder and a Fresh Perspective in Your Day-to-Day Life
One of the biggest reasons why our lives are so exciting when we are children is that we greet every experience with a sense of wonder. We have no preconceptions about what or how something is going to be and so we approach it with openness and curiosity. As life goes on and our experience grows, it is easy to lose that openness and curiosity because we start to feel like we’ve been there, done that, know what to expect, and therefore have no reason to be excited about it.
This attitude robs us of the day-to-day pleasures that are there for the taking. How foolish would it be, for instance, to see one sunset and then never bother to watch or appreciate another one because you figure, “seen one, seen ‘em all.”? Thinking that we know what to expect, or that we know all there is to know about a given subject limits our ability to be here, now, appreciating all that is before us. Give yourself the gift of breathing life and magic back into your world by approaching every day as if you were seeing the world, and yourself in it, for the very first time. You’ll be amazed at the level of joy and enthusiasm that spontaneously starts to bubble up.
Breathe Life Back Into Your Dreams and Possibilities
Another part of what makes us feel so excited about life when we’re kids is that our heads and hearts are full of hopes, dreams and possibilities. The sky is the limit and we are not afraid to reach for it. It’s not until adulthood that we put aside our secret heart’s desires in favor of “more practical” endeavors. Here’s the kicker though: it’s choosing to pursue the things that are seemingly more practical over the things that we really want to be doing that is perhaps the single largest drain on our enthusiasm for living.
Those secret urgings in your heart are actually the signposts that you should be following if you are ever to be deeply satisfied with your life. Remove all limitations from yourself in regard to what you can do in this lifetime. In your heart of hearts, you know what would make you feel more enthused about the life you are living. Follow those urges and confront your fears. Push yourself to try something new every day. Denying ourselves the opportunity to realize our full potential only leaves us sad and bitter people in the end.
For Greater Inspiration, Lighten Up, Think Positive and Learn to Forgive
There are three more inspirational tools worth mentioning before wrapping up today's message. The first is thinking positive. How can we be enthused about our lives if everything we are thinking is negative? Start noticing your negative thought patterns. Reframe the message that you’re telling yourself so that it is positive and supportive of your health and wellbeing. Recognize that every time we have a thought, it is like water carving a deeper and deeper path in our beings. That water can always be rerouted to form a new path, but you must consciously decide to divert the flow elsewhere in order for that to happen.
The second tool is to learn to lighten up and have a sense of humor about yourself in all of this. We all take ourselves and our problems entirely too seriously. Keeping a light heart and a sense of humor about ourselves is a discipline that needs developing. It is much easier to be enthused about living when you can laugh about it!
Last but not least, a critical tool to stay inspired and enthused lies within our ability to forgive ourselves and those around us of all trespasses. We are all perfectly imperfect humans, doing our very best to live a good life. Holding a grudge or beating ourselves up for our own failures does nothing but atrophy our joy and enthusiasm for living. Forgiveness is the ability to let go of all of the things in our systems that pull us down. It is freedom and strength, and a sure path to joy.
As a child, enthusiasm for life is a given. As an adult, it must be fostered, protected, chosen. Do you have more suggestions for how to stay enthused and inspired about your life? Share your favorites with the community in the comments below!