Attitude Challenge - Savor Your Youthful Enthusiasm
By Roni Haas, MSW, LCSW
Remember when we discussed attitude is everything? A positive attitude is vital to maintaining health and happiness. As we age and learn to appreciate more things, our capacity for joy should continue to grow. Unfortunately, the ironic reality is that most people's attitudes do the opposite. As we age, attitudes naturally tend to decline. We lose our youthful enthusiasm and no longer take the time to do the things we used to enjoy. This attitude decline usually begins in the early thirties and can be so gradual that it goes unnoticed. Changing attitudes might even make us dislike things we once loved. We no longer do the things that filled us with joy. We make all kinds of rationalizations for stopping, such as being too old or not having enough time.
This month, I encourage you to think of the things you used to enjoy, and look objectively at the reasons you stopped doing them. Think about the things that once filled you with happiness and excitement. Write them down. Include whether you still enjoy the activity and, if you have stopped, give the reason. I want you to really think about the reason and avoid rationalizations. If lack of time is a reason, make sure you are not spending hours each night on the computer or watching television.
Here are a few examples of possibly forgotten favorite activities:
- Riding on roller coasters
- Jumping rope
- Going to concerts
- Taking an exercise class
- Taking a drive in the car
- Sleeping in on a Saturday morning
- Walking in the rain
- Calling a friend on the phone
- Changing plans at the last minute
- Holding hands
- Taking a long walk
- Writing a poem
- Reading a good book
After you have completed the exercise, you might be surprised that you cannot come up with a good reason why you have stopped doing some of the activities that you once enjoyed. Take the challenge to awaken your youthful joy by trying one or two of the activities again. Even better, share this exercise with a friend. Make a pact to work together and try some activities on each other's lists!