Putting more excitement in your life.

The excitement of life.

Excitement.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

What makes your life exciting?

Excitements can contribute a lot to the quality of your life. By excitements here we are not talking about the kind of excitement you might experience watching a close sporting event where what someone else is doing excites you. What I mean by excitement are those times in your life where what you’re doing excites you and you become fully absorbed in the activity. When what you’re doing excites you, time passes before you know it.

Excitement is not the same thing as pleasure. Though experiencing excitement can bring you a great deal of pleasure. Pleasures are consumption, whereas excitements are creation. Creating these excitements is engaging and requires an investment of your time and energy.

The exciting life grows out of a life which is based on meaning and purpose. If you find your meaning in life, find that your life has a purpose, getting up every day can be a joy.

Some psychologists describe engagement as flow.

Flow is that state in which you lose all sense of time. Someone who loves to play music will sit down to practice a piece only to realize that hours have passed. Have you ever engaged in an activity you were so into, that it seemed as if hours had passed in minutes? That’s the state of flow.

What makes a task exciting and creates flow?

Researchers have discovered specific characteristics of activities that create flow when matched with people who were into those activities. If you can design activities that take you into this state, the time you put in will always feel too short. People who regularly engage in activities that create the flow state describe their lives as full of meaning and purpose.

It requires skill and is challenging.

To routine, an activity can become dull over time. An activity that is challenging and requires you to develop ever-increasing skill can quickly put you into the flow state. This activity should not be beyond your abilities but only at the edge or limit of them. Many people rapidly reached the state of flow when playing video games and can become so engaged in them that they lose all sense of time and forget other activities.

When you concentrate you enter a flow state.

While easy tasks may be enjoyable, maintaining a state in which you are excited in a pleasant way requires that the task be challenging enough that you need to concentrate. The more you focus on this preferred task the more the rest of the world seems to disappear.

Tasks with clear goals are more enjoyable.

The more well-defined the goals the more likely you are to feel enjoyment as you accomplish them. This is one reason why video game players become so engrossed in the game. As they play the game, they are able to achieve increasingly difficult goals. Each time they reach a goal the activity there engaging in is reinforced.

Challenging activities provide immediate feedback.

While there are few people who can work for years on a project not knowing if it will be successful, most people are much more motivated when the task before them provides immediate feedback. When the task is set just a little harder in the last thing you’ve accomplished there’s an incentive to continue to learn and practice. The more immediate feedback the more likely you are to continue with that activity.

Exciting, flow state activities provide deep, effortless involvement.

What you get into the activity you get carried along. Your concentration improves as you become more and more focused on the activity. Seems an amazingly simple solution that many people who say they suffer from ADHD find no difficulty in continuing to pay attention to and engaging tasks such as video gaming or a sports activity.

Challenging experiences should include a sense of control.

When an activity feels out of your control when no matter what you do results seem to be dictated by someone else it rapidly moves from being enjoyable to being unpleasant. If you want to achieve that ultimate feeling of engagement look for opportunities to challenge yourself.

Our sense of self vanishes.

When you get really into any activity you lose yourself in what you are doing. As you move along in this exciting and enjoyable activity is stopped being self-conscious or worrying about what others think about what you’re doing. You continue the activity for the pure pleasure of accomplishment.

Time stops when you’re in a flow state.

Once you find an activity that really engages you and provides this level of excitement and passion there never seems to be enough time to engage in this activity. Hours can pass in what seems like only minutes. When you have to stop you feel like you have just barely begun.

I know I’ve interchanged some terminology here. But I’ve come to believe that happiness involves a lot more than not being depressed. I genuinely happy life reaches far beyond temporary bursts of pleasure. Engagement or flow is one of those ways that people reach genuine happiness.

Have you found something which adds excitement to your life? Is your life full of meaning and purpose? How would your life be different if you found your passion?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Zest.

Zest. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Zest.

 “to teach without zest is a crime.”

― Virginia Woolf

“Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating, by them.

― Ray Bradbury

“It requires the feminine temperament to repeat the same thing three times with unabated zest.”

― W. Somerset Maugham

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Zest.

Zest. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Zest.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Whether they be young in spirit, or young in age, the members of the Democratic Party must never lose that youthful zest for new ideas and for a better world, which has made us great.”

― John F. Kennedy

“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars

“the enormous zest for science that I see in first-graders and the lesson from the remnant hunter-gatherers both speak eloquently:”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

What gives your life meaning, and purpose?

What gives your life meaning and purpose? Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Have you identified your life’s meaning and purpose?

People can go through some incredibly challenging times if they have a good enough reason to do it. But even the simplest tasks may be overwhelming if you don’t see a good reason to do what you’re doing. Another name for your meaning or purpose might be your passion. Is there something that you are passionate about?

A few people are fortunate; they discover their meaning and purpose for life early on and then devote the rest of their days to pursuing that purpose. Some people find their life purpose after a series of trials. I think it’s sad when I see people who have lived their whole life and never discovered anything that gave their life meaning or purpose. If you haven’t put some time into thinking about this, I would encourage you to do so.

The work you do may give your life its purpose.

For some people, the work they do is their life’s purpose. Other people work a job, so they have enough money to support themselves and their family, and then they spend every available moment pursuing their passion. Your life’s work doesn’t necessarily have to be the same thing you do for your paycheck. Just make sure that what you devote your life to doing has some meaning.

Relationships are an important source of meaning and purpose.

Caring for others can give your life its meaning. This can be a child, a pet, or an older person. Caregiving, loving, and being loved are significant sources of meaning. Few relationships will be with you your whole life. Make sure you put effort into maintaining your relationships with partners, family, and friends. However long that relationship is a part of your life, it needs to be nurtured. When you look back on the life you’ve lived, ask yourself, “have my relationships been a source of meaning and purpose?”

Religious or spiritual beliefs can guide you to life’s meaning.

For some people, the anchor that holds them to a purposeful life is their spiritual beliefs. If this life is all there is, then it’s essential to live it well. But if you believe in a life after death, then this life should be a process of growth and perfecting yourself. Do your best to live your life in a manner that is consistent with your spiritual beliefs. Feeling connected to something greater than yourself is a significant contributor to a life full of meaning and purpose.

More things don’t equate to a more satisfying life.

In this era of rampant consumerism, it’s become apparent that having more things does not equate to more happiness. Having more resources certainly provide you with more options. But money and things do not equal happiness. Every day you hear about some rich and famous person whose life was empty and meaningless. It’s not the things you have but what you do with those things that matter.

These days people are focusing more on getting rid of things, decluttering, than on accumulating them. Once a year, our city has a citywide cleanup day. On that one day, the city residents pile all their unwanted items out onto the street to be hauled away to the dump. One curious feature of this free trash removal day is at the piles of refuge are higher and wider in the poorer parts of the city. The pleasure you get from buying things is temporary.

Volunteering can be better than having.

Doing for others can be a significant source of life’s meaning. Being of service to others pays dividends long afterward. The things you buy can end up owning you, but the acts of kindness you give away will be with you forever.

Have you found your life’s meaning and purpose? If not, don’t you think it’s time you started your search?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Enthusiasm.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Enthusiasm.

“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”

― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

“Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

“Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto”

― Dale Carnegie

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration