Years ago, when I started looking for my first job, wise advisers urged, "Barbara, be enthusiastic热心的,热情的! Enthusiasm will take you further than any amount of experience." How right they were.

Enthusiastic people can turn a boring drive into an adventure, extra work into opportunity and strangers into friends. "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is the paste糊状物,浆糊 that helps you hang on there when the going gets tough. It is the inner voice that whispers, "I can do it!" when others shout, "No, you can't!"

It took years and years for the early work of Barbara McClintock, a geneticist遗传学者 who won the 1983 Nobel Prize in medicine, to be generally accepted. Yet she didn't let up on her experiments. Work was such a deep pleasure for her that she never thought of stopping.

We are all born with wide-eyed, enthusiastic wonder -- as anyone knows who has ever seen an infant's delight at the jingle叮当声 of keys or the scurrying急跑,短距离赛跑 of a beetle甲虫. It is this childlike wonder that gives enthusiastic people such a youthful air, whatever their age.

At 90, cellist Pablo Casals would start his day by playing Bach. As the music flowed through his fingers, his stooped shoulders would straighten and joy would reappear in his eyes. Music, for Casals, was an elixir万能药,不老长生药 that made life a never-ending adventure.

As author and poet Samuel Ullman once wrote, "Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." How do you rediscover the enthusiasm of your childhood? The answer, I believe, lies in the word itself. Enthusiasm comes from the Greek and means "God within." And what is God within is but an abiding sense of love -- proper love of self and, from that, love of others.

Enthusiastic people also love what they do, regardless of money or title or power. Patricia McIlrath, retired director of the Missouri Repertory Theater in Kansas City, was once asked where she got her enthusiasm. She replied, "My father, a lawyer, long ago told me, `I never made a dime一角硬币 until I stopped working for money.'" If we cannot do what we love as a full-time career, we can as a part-time avocation嗜好,业余爱好: like the head of state who paints, the nun who runs marathons.

Elizabeth Layton of Wellsville, Kan., was 68 before she began to draw. This activity ended bouts of depression that had plagued折磨,困扰 her for at least 30 years, and the quality of her work led one critic to say, "I am tempted to call Layton a genius." Elizabeth has rediscovered her enthusiasm.

We can't afford to waste tears on "might-have-beens." We need to turn the tears into sweat as we go after "what-can-be". We need to live each moment wholeheartedly全心全意地, with all our senses -- finding pleasure in the fragrance香味,芬芳 of a back-yard garden, the crayoned以蜡笔作画 picture of a six-year-old, the enchanting beauty of a rainbow. It is such enthusiastic love of life that puts a sparkle in our eyes, a lilt in our steps and smooths the wrinkles from our souls.

 


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