several months of observing Joyce at work and home, I wanted that energy
and happiness for myself. Not knowing where to start, I asked her one day,
full of curiosity, “Joyce, do you always wake up this happy?”
burst out of her mouth like an uncorked bottle of champagne. “Mary, I
can’t wait to jump out of bed every morning and feel my feet hit the
ground! And I hate going to sleep at night because there’s just so much
life to live. Honestly, I can’t get enough of it!”
was stunned. While I loved being an entrepreneur and found my work as an
image consultant immensely satisfying, I wasn’t hopping out of bed eager
to start my day. And I had never heard myself belly laugh like she did,
much less laugh out loud without looking to see if someone might think I
was acting inappropriately.
response left an indelible mark on my heart. Her example set me on a path
to capture and bottle that enthusiasm for my life.
years later, my search intensified. My mother’s five-month battle with
ovarian cancer and subsequent death gave me the opportunity to experience
first-hand how short life can be. And it showed me the importance of
“going for the gusto” as often as possible…in whatever ways
possible…with as many people as possible now. She reminded again
and again before she died:
is short. Life is Precious.
with Enthusiasm is about
going for the gusto now. It is filled with inspiring people,
powerful lessons, and practical positive strategies that I’ve discovered
on my journey. It will help you take daily action to bring more joy,
excitement, delight, passion, love, or whatever you define as enthusiasm
into everything you do.
days you simply won’t feel enthusiastic. You’ll even forget you can
make more joyful choices in the moment. That’s natural. But when you
catch yourself out of sync, pick up this book and read even a few
sentences. I promise you’ll find a story, quote, question, strategy, or
activity that will be exactly what you need to shift your funk into fun.
people believe enthusiasm is a superficial effort to gain approval, deny
reality, mask sadness, or avoid having deep conversations. In some
situations, this may be true, but enthusiasm is also an expression of
love, joy, and deep caring about a person, idea, thing, or experience.
With all the issues we now face –
global terrorism, neighborhood violence, increasing weather disasters,
environmental illness, and just day-to-day stress, I believe the world
needs all of our enthusiasm, optimism, ideas, and compassionate support.
the past year, I’ve had the privilege of speaking around the country for
Speaking of Women’s Health events on the topic of “Brighten Up and
Smile: Your Self-Esteem, Your Smile, and Your Health,” sponsored by
Proctor & Gamble’s Crest Global
Business Unit. When preparing for that program, I was amazed to find a
huge body of research on the power of a smile. A smile impacts your
self-confidence, health, relationships, success, and overall zest for
living. A smile really can change your life.
“21-Day Smile Diet” idea came to me in a creative flash following a
conversation with Laurel Green at a Speaking of Women’s Health event in
Kansas City, Missouri. Laurel is a women’s health hospital administrator
and a wife, mother, and volunteer. She told me about her system for losing
50 pounds and it inspired me tremendously. She didn’t go on a formal
diet, yet still her weight melted off over a year’s time. She attributes
this to three actions she took – 1) Eating a little less every day, 2)
Exercising a little more every day, 3) And most importantly, committing to
doing a fun activity every day – just for herself. After we talked, I
could not get out of my head the idea of losing weight through a daily
commitment of fun.
plane home to San Diego, I started comparing the contradiction of the
words “diet” and “fun.” If the two were human beings, their
relationship would never last. This idea made me laugh. Out of the blue
popped the words “Smile Diet.” The more I thought about it, the more I
realized this could be a great format for living with enthusiasm.
all of my years in leading seminars on stress management and personal
change, I knew that it took a minimum of 21 days to make or break a habit.
I also knew that people function best when they have a system to follow
that also allows for fun. Yes! A “21-Day Smile Diet” was exactly what
was needed to make enthusiasm a regular part of anyone’s life.
or not weight loss is your goal, the “21-Day Smile Diet” format feeds
and nourishes your body, mind, spirit, heart, and soul. As you begin doing
more things for yourself that feel good, the unhealthy behaviors begin to
fall away. This diet is fun and doesn’t require denying yourself
chocolate! It is a system to help you create more energy and delight in
your daily life, not just on vacations or when the Universe surprises you
out of the blue. I know from first-hand experience it will increase your
zest for life and give you a program you can follow forever.
organized into 21 readings within five chapters that cover: what
enthusiasm is, why enthusiasm is important, characteristics of
enthusiastic people, the secret to daily enthusiasm, and how to keep
enthusiasm alive during challenging times.
learn about the latest research on enthusiasm and how it impacts workplace
hiring decisions, healing, and relationships. You’ll be coached on how
to appreciate and celebrate yourself more often without guilt. And
you’ll discover principles that give yourself permission to say “no”
to the good and “yes” to the great.
with Day 1, you’ll greet each day with a question, inspiring quotations
and life-changing stories about people who have discovered how to create
and sustain enthusiasm in their lives. At the end of each day, there will
be an action step for you to take that will increase your pleasure,
additional tips to help you create more enthusiasm, and questions to ask
yourself that will enhance your self-awareness. I’ll encourage you to
share your renewed passion with others. If you wish to deepen your
knowledge of a particular topic, go to the resource section at the end of
book that includes websites, books, magazines, movies, and music.
end of each day, you’ll have the opportunity to record the fun, joy, and
“Oooh” or “Ah hah!” experiences you had during that day in the
way to use this material is to let your intuition guide you. Browse the
Table of Contents or open to any page for inspiration and ideas that might
put more enthusiasm into your life.
invite you to share this unique and personal program with a friend or a
group of friends or extended family. Encourage everyone to commit to the
program for the full 21 days for the greatest benefit. Or extend the
benefits and use the book for 21 weeks, focusing on one day’s
information for a week at a time. Do a weekly phone call with a friend or
get your group together once a week for reinforcement. Use this as a
catalyst for a self-help book club that will make every day happier for
all of you.
you do, remember: This journey is about adding more joy, excitement,
delight, passion, and love into everything you do. Let your enthusiasm
lead the way and share your results with as many people as possible. As my
friend Jana Stanfield writes and sings so beautifully, “The world needs
all the good that you can do.”
love to hear from you along the way and invite you to email me at email@example.com.
for miracles. They are on their way.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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2003 Mary Marcdante