The Most Exciting Habit In Life- Do You Enjoy It Often Enough?
I was in the taco queue prior to the Bruce Springsteen concert last weekend when the guy behind me said something totally inspiring. It reminded me of what makes for an exciting life – and an awesome career. Do you have it?
My colleague R was frustrated last week. “I was sitting next to a dull man at lunch. There is just no excuse for dullness. DO SOMETHING! Stand for something! Believe in something! Fail massively at something! Have something to say!!! Just whatever you do- don’t be dull!” It struck a chord. Then while queuing at The Boss, an American voice behind me said to his queue companion: “Oh yes, I was here last night. In fact I travelled here from Hawaii for these concerts. I am a huge Bruce fan. Tonight is the 152nd time I have seen him live.”
And that is what inspired me. That Springsteen devotee had something in his life that we all need. It’s what R was looking for. Without it, we are dull- in life, at work, in everything. Here it is. How do you score?
Make sure you have ‘great enthusiasms’ in your life- always.
OK- maybe 152 Springsteen concerts is a tad too far for me…but then again, why the hell not! He loves Bruce. He knows every word, every chord. He travels the world. He lifts on the power and beat. He flies high. Good for him- go for it!
Toad of Toad Hall had constant ‘great enthusiasms,’ throwing himself deeply into something- … he’d get hugely passionate, obsessed, loving every second of it, shooting up like a rocket, crashing to earth a burnt stick. And that’s okay too. You don’t have to do the ‘152 live gigs’ with every passion- it’s fine to park them, and move on.
There’s an 11 year old I am close to. He’s like Toad. Huge waves of enthusiasm… Star Wars, Lego, football, cricket, Top Gear … whatever it is, he gets totally enthusiastic, buys the gear, downloads the apps, sticks up posters, knows all the names, all the fixtures, the songs. He moves from one to the other seamlessly- packs away one lot of gear, dusts off another, and away he goes. 100% raw, unadulterated passion- every time.
And then there’s Peter. He is passionate around every single event, every day. When he cooks pasta, he does it with Italian opera pumping out, olives to nibble while cooking, ice cold Peronis at hand, and a bold Chianti breathing for the main course. And all followed by a rip roaring Italian classic movie to stir the juices. You ARE Italian for those three hours. He taught me when I was 19 to dive head long in to the experiences of life, and to make even routine moments ‘special.’ It has been a priceless gift.
Dave loves surfing so much he has named his company ‘Third Wave.’ Jonathan has a spare room in his house devoted to, wait for it, his collection of sneakers- hundreds of pairs. Dean rides the Tour De France course before the professionals race it, every year. Awesome!
Apart from family, for me it’s all about making a difference and leaving a legacy of inspiration with people I care about, it’s about learning and growing (I read constantly and always with an eye out for the new learning), grand old Colonial style hotels, gardens, Leonard Cohen. The list goes on. I am always hugely passionate, but light on in my knowledge. Lots of passions, little depth in any. I like it that way.
And what about you? Do you have full-on, hard core, heart thumping, yelp out loud, goddam I just LOVE this stuff passions– passions that excite and fulfil, that grow and evolve? Go on- list them out now…write them down. Do you spend enough time enjoying and exploring them? Do you have enough of them?
Or are you the dull person R sat next to at lunch last week? Come on now- the truth…….
Alex and Anouk both shared this quote with me. It’s worth a read. I know what I want to be. You?
“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.”