Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Opposite of Enthusiasm?

I was reading The Happiness Project Blog and the author wrote about her term "Drift." I thought her definition was pretty interesting. As I was discussing it with a friend, it occurred to me that this could be the opposite of enthusiasm.

Drift means "the decision you make by not deciding, or by making a decision that unleashes consequences for which you don’t take responsibility." Per the authors own words. I think that this is a very key understanding in looking at what enthusiasm is not. I know enthusiasm isn't a direct form of decision making, but it can motivate a decision. Here are some definitions of enthusiasm I found on google:
  • Enthusiastic - With zealous fervor; excited, motivated.
  • Enthusiastic - having or showing great excitement and interest.
  • Possession by a god; divine inspiration or frenzy; Intensity of feeling; excited interest or eagerness.
  • Enthusiasm (ἐνθουσιασμός enthousiasmos) originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus (inspiration) or by the presence of a god.
  • Antonym: Indifference.

There are many areas we are indifferent in our lives- and for good reason. It would sometimes suit us better to drift more. Like when the neighbors are crackling their left over fireworks for days after the 4th. Or, the person who lets the door slam in your face while your hands are full. Things like that. Maybe when a relationship is tense and making no move or being indifferent to the bad (for a bit) is more healthy. I think the author has a point with considering where we are drifting and understanding if it is good for us.

After just a few moments I realized my area of drift is with my connection to people who are not in my immediate surroundings. I am SO bad at sending cards, calling people and regular communication- even electronically (I'm a VERY lazy facebooker). Unless there is a specific reason for me to reach out. This is where I drift, and I have no idea how to be better. I have completely lost touch with some people because of this- isn't that sad? I've tried making lists, buying bulk cards, making reminders on my PDA phone etc. It seems that I only can remember those closest to me, and then sometimes they fall through the cracks. It is a goal of mine to work on this- but drifting is so much easier. Doing what I always have done is what I continue to do.

Are there drift areas (where you are just indifferent) in your life? Do you have a way of working through them? Do you use drifting as a positive tool?


A. said...

Hey, I think you're OK.

First, most people are bad at correspondence.

Second, Facebook is NOT a replacement for relationships/communication. (This coming from someone who doesn't Facebook, but I still believe it.) So, don't feel guilty there.

Third, I think it's also important to remember that Happiness (I believe Gretchen has even said this herself) comes from simplifying your life. Feeling guilty or pressured to keep up with people who aren't in your immediate surroundings (and hey, do they even keep up with you?) does not help you maintain happiness.

I think just the fact that you think about it makes you a sweet, kind person. But I don't think you have to work too hard to change. You're doing fine. And when those closest to you sometimes fall through the cracks, well they're closest to you because they love you. And they understand. :)

Anonymous said...

Guuuuuurl, are you crazy? You are one of the most upbeat, enthusiastic, determined, proactive people I know! I agree with Amanda. :)

Maega said...

You gals are TOO sweet to me. Thanks for the encouragement, and I will read this the next time I feel guilty about it.