One of the things that many people want more of in their life is enthusiasm. It’s showing up with more fire, more excitement, and more energetic attention to whatever it is in front of you. We all know that person who just lights up a room with their energy and enthusiasm, and when we observe it, we want a little more of it for ourselves.
As I’ve learned through the Heroic program, the number one virtue most highly correlated with human flourishing is zest. That’s just another word for enthusiasm, and it’s not just something that would be nice to have, it’s a fundamental ingredient for a high quality life.
In order to add more enthusiasm to our lives, first we need to understand what it is. The root etymology for the word ‘enthusiasm’ is ‘en-theos’, where ‘theos’ means “god” and ‘en’ means “full of” or “within”.
Without making this a religious conversation, what does that mean?
To be “full of god” is analogous to saying you’re “filled with spirit”. Our spirit is the deepest essence of who we are, without the conditioning or expectations of the world imposed on us. It’s the purest form of our unrestrained, uninhibited, unlimited being.
When we think of living with enthusiasm, we connect it with being active. You can’t have latent or potential enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is something that is actively being expressed in order for it to be labeled as such. Which means essentially, to live with more enthusiasm, or to do something with more enthusiasm means to infuse more unrestricted spirit into whatever is actively happening.
The reason I bring this up is because many people aren’t tapping into their most enthusiastic self. They’re not being their quirky, spunky, most authentic version of themselves because they’re afraid of what that would do for their life - How it would be perceived by others, that they might embarrass themselves, how it would hurt their self-confidence, and how it might change things in unpredictable ways.
If you want to live a more enthusiastic, zesty life, here are a few recommendations:
1) Reframe judgment. The forces that seem to come from other people, keeping you from being yourself, only hold weight because you allow them to. So recognize that it’s your own perception of judgment and not others’ opinions that’s holding you back.
2) Get moving. It takes energy to make energy. When you get your physiology properly supporting you, you’ll find that you naturally put more energy and spirit into whatever it is you’re doing.
3) You’re not the only one who has no idea what they’re doing. When you approach things through the lens that you don’t know what you’re doing, and it’s okay because no one knows what they're doing, you approach things from more of a learner’s mindset and it allows you to immerse yourself in things without holding yourself to a certain expectation of result.
Let’s find ways to get that spirit within, your enthusiasm, your zest, out into the world so that it can make a difference in the lives of others, including your own.