Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. – Ralph Waldo Emerson  “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” is a great line from Emerson. If there’s no enthusiasm in what you do, it won’t be remarkable and certainly won’t connect with people on an emotional basis. But, if you put that magic energy into all of your work, you can create something that touches people on a deeper level. How can you bring MORE enthusiasm into your work? What do you have to think or believe about your work to be totally excited about it? Answer it now.  (Author: Mars Dorian)

This last week our family took a vacation to Colorado.  We actually didn’t choose Colorado.  My nephew did.  He and his now bride planned their sunrise wedding in beautiful Estes Park.  Hence, our vacation.
Tyler Shields comes down the aisle  to “This Is Why I’m Hot”.

As enthusiasm goes, I wouldn’t say I was enthusiastic about going to Colorado. We’d spent time there on other vacations. Been there. Done that. Read the book.  Now on to some place I haven’t seen yet.

Prior to this vacation, I didn’t do my normal thing which is to go to AAA and get a triptik and information book, as well as peruse the Internet for information about the states we’re headed toward. I do all of this so we know something about where we are going and what the attractions are.  My husband likes to wing-it.  I like to know a little about where we’re going to wing-it. 

Although it wasn’t stated I think my spur-of-the-moment family thought I’d come through with an information glut for them to choose activities from.  I didn’t. They did have a few ideas about where they wanted to go. I knew only one thing; I wanted to be in Estes Park on Saturday by 5 pm. Other than that, I was along for the ride. 

I learned something about my family and myself on this vacation. First, my family who says they don’t want everything planned out really does expect me to do some planning. Second, I enjoy a vacation much better if I have done some research ahead of time and come armed with some of it.
For me, enthusiasm has some of its roots in a process rather than a spur of the moment overwhelming desire.  Merriam-Webster includes as one definition: strong excitement of feeling: ardor (she did her work with energy and enthusiasm).  See, the only way I can do that is if I’ve done my research.  It’s a lot easier for me to be enthusiastic about something that I have some idea about. This is true throughout my life, in my work and vacation. 

While we were at the Denver Museum of Art we saw a painting by Daniel Sprick called Release Your Plans.  The painting has as its main focus a table that was draped with a white sheet, but the sheet is all tied up with strings.  On the table is a predominant white skull. The rest of the painting, though presented in stark realism, has an odd assortment of objects.  I have no idea what the artist wanted to portray in this painting.  I know what it means to me.  My plans can tie me up and be the death of me and others around me.

Back to enthusiasm. If you’re still reading, sorry for going around the corner to get to this.  I can be very enthusiastic about plans. I work from home so I set my own schedule. I can make goals and schedule appointments. If it is on my calendar, I usually will not forget. If it is on my to-do list, it has a fighting chance of getting done.  If it doesn’t make it on the calendar or list, it will not get done.  It does keep me out of impulsive decisions, but it also keeps me from in-the-moment times of fun.

At the art museum, we happened upon all kinds of hands-on activities. On the first floor my daughter and I actually sat down at a potter’s wheel and for the first time ever both of us threw a pot.  We both loved it.  You could say I am even enthusiastic about adding a class to my calendar.

My nephew’s wedding was a myriad of planned enthusiastic moments.  The rehearsal dinner included a planned time for anyone who wanted to talk about the bride and groom. My nephew came dancing down the aisle in his white groom’s suit, sunglasses and a baseball cap turned backwards.  His groomsmen in their gray suits also had sunglasses, as did the ushers standing with their bouncer poses at the end of the aisles.  Spontaneous?  To a degree.  Planned? For sure.

I think you get my point. It’s good to release your plans and not be so glued to them that you bog down the process. It’s also great to have plans to begin with.  The spontaneous moments add excitement to life.  The planning is a backdrop to helping make sure those moments exist. And that’s something I am quite enthusiastic about.