Great Enthusiasms

Sorry Ernest, I stole your line on this one.I’m in a coffee shop in Boston (Massachusetts not Lincolnshire, sorry) and the young woman who served me is lovely. She has purple hair, braces and an ace of hearts patch sewn into her jeans. Another customer asked how she is, to which she replied “Amazing!”Roald Dahl wrote “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He [Uncle Oswald] taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.” I’m stealing lines left, right, and Chelsea today but what great, wise words.The young woman at the coffee shop is on her first day and seems delighted with her new job. The passage of time may take the sheen off a bit but I believe she has what it takes to live life with passion.I keep mentioning the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss because it is bloody amazing. Truly life-changing shit. Anyway, one of the people in it is a guy called Jocko Willink. He’s an ex-Navy SEAL and general badass. One of his pieces of advice is “If you want to be tougher, be tougher.” This sounds slightly childish, a bit like saying if you want to fly, just fly, but he goes onto say “Don’t meditate on it. Do the next tough thing, make the tough decision.” I’ve really taken this to heart and have tried my hardest to follow this advice. If you’re on a diet, don’t eat the doughnut. If you’re getting fit, get out the door for your run. If you’re writing a book, write one page.Sorry, I’m jumping around a bit. Jocko’s words can also be applied to frankly anything. In this case, enthusiasm. It’s really easy to be worn down by the world. The world responds to the enthusiasm and energy that we put into it. Remember your teacher saying “You’ll get out what you put in”? That’s life. It is literal. Be enthusiastic. Throw yourself into life right now, do something with enthusiasm. Do some press-ups. Sing. Dance. Write. Kiss someone (with permission). Whatever it is, just do it (well-played, Nike).We can’t absolutely love everything we do, at least I don’t think so, it sounds exhausting. But we should be either doing what we love or working our way towards it. If you’re doing neither, stop, look yourself in the mirror and seriously reconsider what you’re doing with your life. If you’re nodding and saying “Yup, got it, I’m doing what I love” great, good for you. If you want to stop reading or you’re thinking “This guy’s a dick” and this all makes you feel uncomfortable, you probably need to have a major readjustment. We owe it to ourselves to do what we love and it is the only way that the world will reach its fullest potential.

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