Something to Be Enthusiastic About

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about."

-- Charles Kingsley

I've never experienced much luxury in my life, but I grew up with parents who were prime believers in the Gospel of Comfort. Everything was done to make life as comfortable as possible, even though that goal went largely unacknowledged.

Enthusiasm, on the other hand, was met with a bit of skepticism. If you were too enthusiastic about something, anything, you violated the other twin pillar of my parents hidden religion -- moderation. Moderately comfortable was what they were aiming for. Not mansions and yachts or even the biggest TV on the block, but nice everything.

The problem is it's hard to get very enthusiastic about "nice." Enthusiasm, which comes from the Greek en theos, i.e., God within, is about passion excitement and internal fire. Nice just doesn't quite cut it.

For most of us, it's hard to get very jazzed about the idea of living a nice life. We need something more. We need something to both draw energy from, and invest energy in, something that makes us really want to get up in the morning.

If we have that, as Chuck points out, we're happy. We're happy to be alive. We're happy to live another day and do that thing, or pursue that goal, that really sets us ablaze with the energy of life.

So, forget trying to make your life one giant La-Z-Boy showroom. It's OK to be comfortable, but don't make the pursuit of comfort your number one goal in life. And luxury should receive even less of your attention. It is in fact totally unnecessary and a waste of planetary resources to fill your life with luxuries. And, even more important -- those yachts, mansions and Mazarattis won't really make you happy.

Instead find something to be enthusiastic about -- one thing or many things -- and pour yourself into it or them. Give whatever you love, all you've got, and lo and behold, happiness will be your blessed byproduct. The God within transforms both your external world and you at the very same time.

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