It doesn’t have to be a big thing; we can be just as intensely excited about everyday things as we are about big, important things. In fact we should be.
Excitement is one of my keystone emotions. It is one that I constantly pursue and use to gauge the quality of my life. I like to be excited.
Excitement can come in many forms and from many sources. When some people think about being excited, it is often in anticipation of some big event or trip. But if we only get excited during experiences that are designed to give us excitement, we are missing out on all the things that have the potential to be exciting if we pay closer attention.
With such an interesting world to live in and so many avenues to capture our attention, how can any of us be bored?
Some might say that boredom is not high up on the list of issues we have to address as a society. But consider that boredom can be related to obesity, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, laziness, bad posture, and, worst of all, failure to be in the moment.
Everyone, from Alfred E. Newman on, seems to offer advice about how to handle worry. But at some point or another, we all do it.
Nobody makes a conscious choice to worry. It’s a very unpleasant feeling, and it generally doesn’t fix the problem. It can also rob us of our peace of mind.
Everyone worries, but by recognizing it for what it is and acknowledging the effect it has on us, we can minimize those effects. In my experience, once I recognize and accept a negative feeling, it brings it out into the light of day, and this somehow makes it less scary.
What do we do when negativity rears its ugly head?
We can try to always be positive and optimistic, but we can’t control it when others are negative.
However, by categorizing others’ words or actions as negative, we necessarily attach our own judgments to them and actually contribute to those words or actions being negative. We feed their negativity.
But what about inconsiderate drivers, rude retail clerks, catty relatives, surly teenagers, arrogant coworkers (I could go on all day)? Aren’t these people’s words and actions inherently negative? Maybe, but it’s not that simple.
There can be a tendency, especially as we get older, to believe that we’ve done our best work: We’ve run our fastest race; we’ve written our symphony; we’ve painted our masterpiece. We might go so far as to base our identities on our past accomplishments rather than on our current lives.
It is interesting to think of the periods in our lives when we were (or will be) on fire. When is our heyday? If we think it was in the past or will be well into the future, that’s a sign we’re not living our lives the way we could. Why can’t our heyday be right now?