January 20, 2010

Enthusiasm as courage

I've written before about my affinity for The Happiness Project. Gretchen just published a book and is on tour with it now. I must admit, I do judge a book by its cover, and was disappointed to see that the cover was done in a very childlike, cartoon-y manner, which I don't think is befitting to the subject matter.

Gretchen writes:

Confidence has an overtone of posture; also it relates to the way I’m seen by others, or the way I feel about myself. Enthusiasm, on the other hand, has to do with the way I feel about something or someone else. Enthusiasm is a form of social courage; it’s safer to criticize and scoff than to praise and embrace.
I think she's got a great point here, one I never really considered before. This also goes along with my mantra of choosing happiness. You can choose to be enthusiastic. You can choose to be harpy. Which one of these is going to make you happier? I tend to evaluate the world with a critical eye, so I have to catch myself not to go too far that direction. Gretchen writes that she is not naturally an enthusiastic person, which surprises me, probably because I very naturally am. It's easy for me to be enthusiastic, so I should definitely use the traits I already have.

There’s a dark tendency in human nature to mock or attack other people’s enthusiasms.

This is so true. As I especially found over the past year, negative people only bring you down, and make you become a more negative person. I've cut those people out of my life now, and don't need to apologize for it. In wanting everyone to like us, we can be blinded to the quality of the people whose attention we are vying for, or relationships we are trying to nurture or salvage.

What about you? Do you have enthusiasm attackers in your life?

No comments:

Post a Comment