In The Way of the Bodhisattva, Shantideva singles out enthusiasm as an attribute that feeds our happiness. Enthusiasm for the work we need to do is a huge part of what he is talking about. As someone who grew up bribing her little sisters to do her chores, this has been a major "aha" of my adult life. Enthusiasm always brightens a situation. It feeds energy. It feels good.

When I was a seminary student, my teacher demanded enthusiasm. He taught us that four things would feed it: wanting to be enthusiastic; sticking with it; letting ourselves be happy; and being careful not to get too carried away because that could lead to having-to-lie-on-the-floor exhaustion.

Geri Larkin, Plant Seed, Pull Weed