“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
How to cultivate enthusiasm? Own it! I know because I lost mine for a time, six years ago, in sunny California. Darlings, I was busy but unhappy with my busyness. I was endorsing a lifestyle that most women adore without enthusiasm. I knew I would survive but why should I continue to survive to feel unfulfilled? Why should I go with the flow and feel stuck? I decided I shouldn’t and I wouldn’t.
Last Friday I was once again on American Airlines with my Ultimate Concierge, and my pooch America. We were on our way back to sunny California. Six days before, we left California for a whirlwind trip to Chicago, New York, Chicago and back to sunny California. I listened to the plane’s engine roar lifting the jet high into the sky over Lake Michigan, I wave goodbye to my beautiful Chicago with its vitality and energy and settled into the fact that I was off to my tranquil life. To my serene home away from home, Rancho Mirage, California. My life with my Ultimate Concierge, my pooch, America and my friends was more or less tranquil but I felt enthusiasm run through my veins because I am content.
WHERE YOU LIVE SHOULD NEVER INTERFERE WITH WHAT YOU DO
Rancho Mirage is my home away from home six months of each year. It can be described as a very tranquil community. When I use the term tranquil it can best be described as a suburban community; not multigenerational. I walk outside my beautiful home and I can hear a pin drop. I am uncomfortable with the silence in this community but comfortable with the enthusiastic thoughts going through my mind. In other words, enthusiasm comes from personal desire. It does not come from your surroundings. It is an eagerness to live on your terms, to do what you love, to feel enthusiasm run through your veins.
HAVE A PLAN
And so, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Are you placing the blame on anything or anyone other than yourself?” If you are, I am afraid you are lacking a purpose and a passion and probably you are afraid. You need a plan.
Address your fear. Remember, if you let fear stand in your way you will never know how happy you might be. If you try you will fall into an answer. So, if you are feeling blah, unenthusiastic, it is time to get yourself back into the game and try.
Adjusting to something new is always difficult. Don’t panic. Motivate yourself for your new journey because a fresh passage in your life will be a breath of fresh air.
I want to share three true stories of enthusiastic and motivated people who made a life change through trial, error, and desire to change their lifestyle. These stories include: A girlfriend, a Monk, and me, Honey Good.
All of us made huge and positive life changes. How? We let our desire win over fear. We worked on a positive plan to lead a life worth living, on our terms.
The First Story: My Friend
The story of my older girlfriend is remarkable. I met her when I was in my 40’s and to this day she is one of my role models. My friend created an enthusiastic lifestyle that required a move across the United States from New York to Rancho Mirage when she was in her 70’s! Talk about motivation. Years later, her story helped give me the fortitude to take a leap into the unknown when I felt my own enthusiasm faltering.
My girlfriend was always a vibrant, warm and wise woman. However, while in her 70’s, she began to feel invisible as she walked down Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
Making a Change
She was determined not to grow old before her time and she knew why she was beginning to feel invisible in New York. It was age-related. She came to terms with her emotional side and realized she stopped feeling enthusiastic about life. She wanted to continue to kindle what she had always felt…enthusiasm, vitality, visibility and a strong sense of relevancy.
She made a dynamic plan to move with her husband to a smaller community where she would feel visible and enthusiastic. And, that is the path my girlfriend took.
She and her husband sold their home in New York and went West to California! This was a courageous move and her life changed overnight. She became visible, vibrant and enthusiastic once again. As well, she became a jewelry designer. She is now in her upper 80’s; her clear blue eyes sparkle and she is still going strong. My dear friend is filled with enthusiasm.
The Second Story: A Monk
The second story was told to me by a close girlfriend who spends a lot of her time in Greece. She loves to hike. One day she hiked up to a famous monastery where five monks make their home. There, she met Simon the Monk.
Simon grew up in Athens, spent his college years at NYU and then returned to Greece. He opened several restaurants in the city and found success at a young age. But then, he became critically ill with colon cancer. He was told he had a short time to live. He changed his diet, stopped drinking, sold his restaurants and moved into a monastery high in the Greek mountains to dedicate himself to the life of a monk.
14 years later, he is cancer-free! He is happy and he is enthusiastic about life and loves his lifestyle. Simon motivated himself into good health and action. He often speaks by phone to my girlfriend and hopefully will visit Chicago. I look forward to meeting him.
The Third Story: Honey Good
And now, my story… the story of HoneyGood.com.
Before HoneyGood.com, my life was filled to the brim. I was grateful and appreciative of my blessings. Including a devoted husband, a fruitful family, my mom, my pooch Orchid and a beautiful lifestyle.
I played golf, was involved in charity work, played cards, read, needle-pointed and on and on. However, as I entered a new passage in my life, I began to lack enthusiasm and motivation with my extra-curricular activities.
As most of you know, I met a writer who encouraged me to keep a journal for three months. I was challenged but decided to try, try, try, and see where my musings would lead me. As well, I was motivated to test the waters in an area I knew nothing about because I didn’t want to lose my enthusiastic nature. I did not want to fall into a rut because I wanted to continue to grow. My enthusiasm for living led to a writing career and the creation of a booming website… all accomplished in my 60’s!
ALLOW YOUR DREAM TO BECOME A REALITY
Not all of you are like my girlfriend, Joyce or Simon the Monk or me. Some of you are facing life hurdles that are sapping your strength. Or some of you are ill and some of you are afraid. Maybe you unable to try. Trust me, I understand. I have compassion. But I beseech you to value the word, enthusiasm.
One little step at a time. Perhaps reading novels about America, watching National Geographic programs, trying new recipes, taking piano lessons or computer lessons will help. Try planting a spice garden, rescuing a pooch from Paws or bringing home a ‘beautiful birdie’ and teaching it to talk.
The lesson for today: Without motivation, you cannot achieve an enthusiastic lifestyle. Without a feeling of enthusiasm, you cannot be happy. The two go hand in hand. Hold hands with these two words, dear readers of mine.
Because, in the wise words of another great man, Charles Kingsley, “All that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”
Where do you find enthusiasm? Do tell! I would so love to hear from you either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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