I believe in enjoying every day. That means having fun. But when I say fun I mean true fun-the kind you get from getting involved, having the right attitude, stepping outside your comfort zone, and diving into your life-the kind of fun that would give you satisfaction if you were to reflect on it on a later date.
Early in my life during elementary school, I joined Hollander’s Taekwondo. However, during most of my training I was so focused on getting a black belt that I forgot to have fun and enjoy the journey. Often when I competed in tournaments, I was anxious instead of savoring the moment. But now that I have pursued other interests, I regret not enjoying my time more.
My baseball career started out the same way. After my friends encouraged me to play, I wanted to play as well as they did. However, I failed miserably. I paled in comparison to them and this made me nervous. Soon I wasn’t having fun. But later when I began playing on other teams, I relaxed and made an effort to relish the experience. Only then did I begin hitting better and start to really look forward to games instead of anxiously waiting for them.
Now, I make a conscious effort to enjoy every day and enjoy everything I do. For instance, last summer I chose to enjoy my time by attending Governor’s School instead of accepting what I thought to be a rather high paying internship. Impractical as this may seem, the fun that I had at Governor’s school more than paid for the sacrifice of not earning money. I thoroughly enjoyed my summer and increased my overall morale.
If you have to strain to enjoy something, then reconsider if the activity is worth performing. Take mowing the lawn for example. 20 years later, you won’t get satisfaction or inspiration from your experience with cutting grass. You would get more satisfaction if you hired a lawn service and invited friends to play tennis with you instead of working. Here, you receive the satisfaction of maintaining a friendship that may very well last twenty years while simultaneously having fun and increasing your overall morale.
Enjoyment depends on attitude. When in a group, simply try smiling and making a cheerful outside appearance. This often subconsciously brightens your mood and the mood of others around you. Even during activities that you dislike, if you possess the proper attitude or find a positive way to put it in perspective, you can learn to appreciate anything. Now assume that you must mow your lawn and cannot find a lawn service. Instead of viewing this seemingly dreadful task as an obligation, view it as an opportunity to exercise and burn off calories. Suddenly, with the right attitude, mowing the lawn doesn’t seem like such a daunting task.
No matter what you’re doing or how busy you are. Just remember to enjoy every day.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.