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Templates & Enthusiasm

29/03/2013 08:52

Please take a moment to think about the most inspiring, humble, beautiful, amazing people that you know.  Next, let’s consider how in the world these incredible people became the way they are today.  As I think of the “lights” & unsung heroes that I have the blessing to have in my life, there is a common denominator within the group.  The trait that all the everyday heroes have in common is that each one of them lives a life of intentionality.  These Dear Hearts did not become the people of character that they are without making intentional decisions, choices & actions.  They behaved their way into becoming champions.

If someone is fit then it is very likely that that person has become fit out of intentionality.  The person is sure to have a commitment to his or her physical fitness & a routine or set of established habits that drive them in this direction.  When we see folks who are enthusiastic, positive, optimistic, people, the same concept of intentionality can be applied.  These are traits that people behave themselves into by establishing day in day out habits of thinking, behaving & believing & sharing.  Sure, by nature, a person may be more naturally inclined to either pessimism or optimism however inspirational people go way beyond that.  Folks that are everyday heroes make choices with their thoughts & behaviours no matter what the external circumstances of their world or the larger world is providing.  Out of hardship, we see the grace of countless folks who lived with such inspiring positive determination & intention.  These people saw the roadblocks yet they did not give up.  Why & how is this done?  The why is sure to be at the centre of each one of us.  The how is the intentional part.  The how is a system or set of habits or routine.  Every day no matter what, little by little, these champions have built the beautiful spirit evident within themselves. 

To be honest, my natural tendency is to be spontaneous.  Spontaneity still has a special place I find in my life.  It inhabits a much smaller space in my life though out of discerning choices.  Spontaneity, for example, when it comes to my personal development does not fit.  Let’s take exercise as an example.  What usually happens when we decide that it is time to begin an exercise program?  We may be gung ho for a while or maybe not at all.  The program may get started only to fizzle out or it may not get past the “I will start that soon” phase.  Once we choose the exercise that we best enjoy, there is a big step beyond that.  The step is to set up a system for our exercise.  The system may be a simple one like mine.  I identified my favourite exercise, then committed to it, found a person or 2 that I knew I would be accountable about the plan with, then choose a timeframe every day at the same time to exercise.  The same system works for me in the other domains in my life like continuous learning & spiritual growth  to name a couple.  Do I enjoy routine?  Not really.  Does it work for me as a system in making wee steps forward each day, absolutely. 

Do you believe that both enthusiasm & pessimism are contagious?  Over the years, I have had a number of people say to me that they find me to be consistently enthusiastic.  I will joke & say that it is contagious.  In all seriousness though, I do believe that it is contagious.  Why do I say this?  I have caught it “on purpose” or intentionally.  How do you catch enthusiasm on purpose?  I find that it is extremely contagious when we gravitate towards the people & activities that are positive.  Folks that are courageously genuine, kind & remain that way through both the low & high tides of life are unsung heroes.  Those are the people in my life that are a joy to share time with.  Through these “lights” I have learned that if I want to keep my enthusiasm that I have to “feed” it daily.  I do this through quotes & pictures & through reading uplifting books & music & spiritual time & time with unsung heroes.  I like to think of it as feeding the enthusiasm & safeguarding against pessimism.  It does not mean that when adversities hit that I am excited about them but rather that I face them with a spirit of determination & knowledge that overall life is incredible when looked at through the lens of gratitude.  My heart knows that life will improve even when a storm hits because that is the only possibility that I allow my mind to go in the direction of.  Once hope & positive action steps are added in daily, the storm does pass in time every time.

My mission is not to climb Mt Everest yet there is one that is exactly right.  We each have a mission that is exactly right.  Along the way, our system or habits or routines will help us to see the wee steps that we are taking.  We may not see the fruits of our systems, routines or habits day in & day out yet if we look back say on several months or a year; we just may be pretty thrilled.

The flip side to not having a system is to not live with intentionality or a bit of a template.  We may find ourselves making some steps forward yet not the lasting progress that we hope for.  Or we may stand still in the various areas of our lives & not move forward for a time on our missions.  And if you or someone you know is quick to say that enthusiasm or living to our potential is risky or finds fault with us for living with joie de vivre, then we may want to consider the wise words of Theodore Roosevelt.  The sage quote is:  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.  So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” 

When we think about how intentionality speaks to diabetes or 365 challenges, we are reminded that an enthusiastic template may again be what we gravitate towards.  Little, enthusiastic, positive steps day in & day out or a system, routine or set of wholistic health-building habits are a choice that we get to make each & every day.   Sure, there are bound to be days when even though we try our glucose numbers are “hairy” yet what is the alternative?  We get to face those days with either a critical attitude or the heart of a champion.  We get to choose to do something “with” every day.

My heart’s hope for you is that you live each & every single day in “the arena” of the champions who enthusiastically live with big time excitement.

Smiles, Saundie :)

Friday blessings & this coming Monday, Yay, Easter Monday, I will share, "Do We Have a Pulse."  Wishing everyone a joy-filled weekend!  :)