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Something Amazing

“Life is never what one dreams. It is seldom what one desires, but for the vital spirit and the eager mind, the future will always hold the search for buried treasure and the possibility of high adventure.” — Ellen Glasgow

The very idea of l’élan vital, the vital spirit, of living each moment with rapt attention and the eager anticipation of what comes next is a bold, some might say extravagant, way of moving through our days. But what is the alternative? Practical living? Skating our lane to the last? Give me something amazing, thank you. Give me adventure and the search for buried treasure hidden in the moments to come. Give me joie de vivre. Give me l’élan vital.

But Glasgow also pointed out that this vitality has a shelf life in the moment:

“No matter how vital experience might be while you lived it, no sooner was it ended and dead than it became as lifeless as the piles of dry dust in a school history book.” — Ellen Glasgow

The thing is, an active, vital life isn’t meant to be a singular moment, but singular moments stacked one upon the other, lifting us to a higher level of engagement with the world. What’s done is surely done, but something of it remains within us, a hint of something betrayed in the sparkle in our eye. Those who acquire enough of it emanate a magnetic energy that attracts others. We’re all walking swarms of electrons looking to dance with life.

I’ve surely lost the physicists with my blog today, but nonetheless, there’s something to being actively engaged in living that increases our vitality. The hunt for the buried treasure in the next moment is a mindset. It reveals a zest for life and a reach for boldness. Aspiring for something amazing in our next moment isn’t setting us up for disappointment, it’s setting us up to find more of what we seek.

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