A few months ago, I saw this graduation speech floating around in cyberspace. The headline alone was very catchy: “Don’t work. Be hated. Love someone.” It’s an ode to living passionately, whether it’s in your job or your relationships.
One particular part of the speech has haunted me since the moment I read it.
I haven’t been able to get that phrase out of my head: “restless enthusiasm”. So many mornings since then, I’ve woken up and searched myself for such a concept. Do I have an eager, somewhat anxious, but definitely smile-inducing anticipation about my day? Hmmm… the question has never left me.
It echoes something the lovely author Danielle LaPorte told me in an interview recently. I asked her why is it that most people we know are in jobs that they merely endure to earn a paycheck and nothing more. Why are people working and existing just notches below their potential and rarely rising above that “Eh, I’m okay” place?
“That’s a good question, because that couple notches down is where you live in that comfortable place. It’s good, but not great,” Danielle explained. “It’s so seductive, because you’re tickin’ along, right? But you still have that craving in the good zone to be living dynamic and on fire.”
She went on to tell me that people who want to be in the place of doing what they love are never content with good enough. They’re not on auto-pilot or sleepwalking through their career. They say, “I want to be awake. I gotta be awake. I have to live a shiny life, because the alternative sucks.” Now, that sounds like a life full of days that start with restless enthusiasm.
Of course, I don’t necessarily believe we must begin every day bounding out of bed, practically spinning with excitement. Life gets mundane, and thank God for it. You need bad days and boring days. They make the good days all the better. However, I agree that something about what you do for a living should make you grin like a kid on Christmas Eve.
My hope for you is that you’ll find that restless enthusiasm that everyone truly desires – to wake up with curious delight at what wondrous things you will get to do today.