May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” ~Albert Einstein
“It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.” ~Oscar Wilde
“The greatest gift you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.” ~Yiddish Proverb
“The basic fact is that humanity survives through kindness, love, and compassion. That human beings can develop these qualities is their real blessing.” ~The Dalai Lama
“The art of healing comes from nature and not from the physician. Therefore, the physician must start from nature with an open mind.” ~Paracelsus
“The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” ~Edmund Burke
“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” ~Robert Urich
“Happiness is not something ready made; it comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama
“Indeed, the creators of the euro envisioned it as an instrument to promote political union.” ~Gerhard Schroder
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” ~Bhagavad Gita
Enthusiasm equals life. You feel it when you look at a small child who’s running around and laughing, or when you play with your dog. When we get excited we feel alive and apart from enthusiasm being the strongest motivational power in the world to get things done, we also just want to be happy in the here and now.
People have different ideas and plans in what they want to achieve for themselves, but we all pursue them for the same reasons: We want to feel good. We believe that when we reach a certain goal we’ll feel content and fulfilled, but this is not the case. Rather it will be a slight disappointment because the goal is achieved, yet nothing really changed.
The nature of goals
This is something that came to my mind as I was reading about the philosophy of having no goals. The idea behind it is that setting goals and achieving them creates more stress than happiness and that we don’t need to set goals in order to be productive. The reason why is because enthusiasm alone is the biggest driving force behind success and achievement and is a much stronger source of motivation than having a deadline or a goal on your to-do list.
This makes sense. I myself for example don’t get excited about things because they happen to be on my list of goals, but because I love doing them! The same applies to things I’d rather not do. Just because those things are on my list doesn’t mean I get more excited about them, but rather it becomes a source of stress and frustration. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you dislike, it’s also possible to rearrange your mental programming so that you can get excited about those things.
Pleasure and pain
What we like or dislike is not something that’s set in stone from the moment we’re born, but it’s something that’s programmed into our system in accordance with our experiences. Human beings are driven by the desire for pleasure and the aversion towards pain. What is pleasurable or painful is not a matter of fact, but a matter of perception.
Those who are into advertising know all about changing perception by linking pleasure to whatever they want you to buy. Because these processes usually happen on a subconscious level we’re not even aware of the huge amount of influence commercials have on us. So why wouldn’t we use this science to condition ourselves in a way that is beneficial to us?
What I’m talking about is basically NLP and it’s a very practical method for reprogramming self-limiting attitudes and systems of belief by changing the parameters and values of pleasure and pain. We will get motivated as soon as we link pleasure rather than pain to doing something that we didn’t feel so excited about before.
The supreme state of being
But to me that’s not enough. As far as pragmatism goes my mind also needs philosophical nourishment. I want to go beyond pleasure and pain and see what really drives me. The pleasure of getting a certain result is one thing, but the enthusiasm in the moment itself for doing what you love makes the result irrelevant. It is that feeling which everyone is trying to pursue as they set their goals and imagine their future achievements.
The illusion is that fulfilment is waiting for us in the future. Life happens in the present moment only and that’s why they say there is no way to happiness, but that happiness is the way. It is the passion itself that makes life worth living, because it’s in that state that we really feel alive. The proof that results and achievements don’t equal happiness can be deducted from the fact that there are many successful people who don’t feel fulfilled and happy.
In the end I believe happiness in itself is the biggest success of life and that it’s impossible to go wrong when you feel excited and enthusiastic about the things you do. The best thing is that apart from personal fulfilment it also creates a wave of upliftment that affects the people around you. Everybody likes to be around those who feel good, because it makes them feel good as well.
Be a good person
Our biggest desire is to be in that state of happiness, fulfilment, excitement and passion. I believe that is what life is all about, because it can only be lived in the here and now. Enthusiasm is something as profoundly beautiful as a blossoming flower and should be treated with care and love.
I find it really awful when people bash in each other’s enthusiasm and excitement. Would you ever do that to your child? I don’t suppose anyone would. At the very least nobody wants to be part of those who do. There’s definitely something to be said about a realistic approach, but that doesn’t mean that there is no space to let an idea grow into something that we can work with.
When we’re supportive then not only will beautiful ideas grow into realities, but also we will nourish the enthusiasm and passion that will blossom within ourselves and others to create even more beautiful things and live a fulfilling life. It becomes a productive cycle of happiness that other people will want to contribute to.