THE ENGLISH POET and clergyman Charles
Kingsley wrote, We act as though comfort and luxury were
the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us happy
is something to be enthusiastic about. He was right. When
you have something to be enthusiastic about, you can be in a
good mood almost all the time.
If your job doesnt make you enthusiastic,
youre probably stressed or tired when you come home and
just want to watch a little TV and relax. But relaxing will never
make you feel happy and fully alive. Naturally, you could make
plans to do something this weekend, and you might be thoroughly
enthusiastic about it all week. But then Monday comes and back
in the grind you go.
What you really need is something ongoing
to be enthusiastic about. What you need is a challenging and
Up until a century ago, simple survival
provided just such a purpose for most people, and thats
still the case in much of the world. But for most of us in this
country, its no longer a challenge to merely survive. We
have tamed our world. More than likely, the only way you will
ever be challenged by a compelling purpose is if you create
one deliberately. And if this purpose is going to make you truly
enthusiastic, it needs to be something that personally
compels you some subject or task you think is fascinating
or feel is vitally important.
Pursue your purpose with vigor and you
will be in a good mood most of the time. Things that bother most
people wont bother you as much. Youll still have
your ups and downs, but they will occur in a higher range. Youll
still have to deal with problems, but you will handle them better.
And your improved attitude will make your relationships happier
and more harmonious. When you have something ongoing in your
life that you are enthusiastic about, the quality of your
life is better.
Pursuing a purpose is not comfortable,
restful or easy. But its great fun! It makes life deeply
enjoyable. Watching TV is enticing, sure. It calls. It beckons.
But it wont fulfill you or make you happy. A purpose will.
Find a purpose youre enthusiastic
and get to it.