People seem to gravitate toward those who are excited and optimistic about life—well okay, that’s not the case for all people, but even fellow pessimists will often prefer those who are animated and moved by their pessimistic viewpoint. We like to believe that our lives are being lived to their fullest, that this life of ours has some meaning and purpose, and it’s much easier to feel that way when we’re enjoying the company who lives that way because their vivaciousness seems to rub off on us. On the other hand, those that are unmoved and usually down tend to remind us about our own failings and our inabilities to create change around us. It makes sense, then, that vivacious people infect their own lives with energy and positivity and are more likely to find pleasure and fulfillment simply because their attitude and philosophy inclines them to look for it and create it in daily moments where it might not be readily expected. When you decide to become a more vivacious person, it’s not merely to make people want to spend more time with you, it is also for your own benefit as you will better enjoy the time you spend with yourself!

Liveliness and Vivaciousness are similar and often go hand-in-hand. Liveliness is more about having the energy and will to keep moving and getting things done, while vivaciousness is more of an internal well of energy spent on living for the pleasure of living. It can often be hard to have one without the other, although I think it’s more common to have liveliness without vivaciousness than vice-versa. In fact, if you are having trouble improving your liveliness what you might want to do is improve on your vivaciousness so you have better reasons to want to keep your energy up!

Vivaciousness is more about internal energy than simply acting or sounding up and energetic. The first step in becoming more vivacious is improving your attitude toward your life, mainly toward finding ways in being more-than-satisfied with your routine, daily activities. You also have to have a stronger sense of optimism about what you can accomplish and when you do fail, you should develop a sense of optimism about the value and potential your life still holds even in the wake of disappointment.

You also have to allow yourself to enjoy life, which is something some people have a hard time doing out of duty or guilt. Clearly you are never going to be a vivacious person if you feel it is inherently wrong for you to feel pleasure or to enjoy life. If duty or responsibilities are keeping you from "living" you life, then you need to find ways to make time for yourself as well. The danger here, of course, is the possibility of ignoring your responsibilities or causing other problems for yourself. In most cases it is possible to make time for your own pleasure and enjoyment without infringing on your important responsibilities. If children are your responsibility, for instance, you can find ways to spend genuinely enjoyable time with them in such a way that isn’t a chore for either party. If you spend a lot of time at work, there can often be people there you can develop closer relationships with, or you can perhaps try to develop an improved attitude of pride in your work in order to improve the pleasure you get just out of doing your job.

Other things you can do to improve your vivaciousness is to find causes or hobbies that can give your life a little more extra meaning. While the hobbies might not be vitally important to the well-being of anyone, working on personal hobbies helps by combining the pleasure of spending personal time with the satisfaction of doing work (without all that resentment associated with forced labor). Good causes can give your life more purpose directly by giving you something you can do in your spare time to make you feel like you make a difference in the world and have something positive to work towards. While families can be rewards within themselves, they can also help improve your vivaciousness in a similar way as they can improve your life’s sense of purpose (even as children can zap away all your energy and liveliness).

Finally, one of the most classic ways to improve your vivaciousness is to find a little romance in your life. Many if not most of you living without romance don’t do it simply because you’ve hadn’t had enough encouragement, but there are times we don’t make the time or the effort for this part of our life simply because we feel we are too busy with personal responsibilities or we have fear lingering from shyness or some painful experiences. If there were any reason to make time for yourself and to get out of your comfort zone, romance would be it. No matter how many times your boss says your life has been built around selling his widgets, many, many years of the biological imperative have been telling your body otherwise.


  • Come Up with an Activity List and Schedule it In: Some people make a list of so-many things they should do before they die. You, on the other hand, are going to make a simpler list of the 14 things you’re going to do over the next two weeks. Immediately. Include a lot of simpler pleasures and the "little things" as well as a couple of larger adventures you usually don’t make time for since you probably wont be able to take two weeks off from your responsibilities. Try to include things you don’t usually take the opportunity to do, things you’ve never done before, or things you haven’t done in a long time. Afterwards try to make it a habit to do something fun and spontaneous for yourself (and those you love).
  • Keep an Optimism Journal: Try to write a journal for a period of time where you focus on what you hope and plan for the future and the positive things you did throughout the day. If you did the activity up above, make sure you include your stories and thoughts about the activity for the day.
  • Tie a String or Do Something Else to Distract You: Trying to change the way you think is difficult since your thought processes come from years of development and habit. Doing something like tying a string around your finger, wearing new jewelry or a new watch, or something that will similarly distract your attention on occasion will help you keep in mind the fact that you are supposed to be thinking with a new attitude in mind.
  • Make More Time for Others: Other people are the easiest place to find purpose and meaning. If you don’t make enough time for family and friends, include them in your activity planning up above and make them a bigger part of your life in general. If you diminish the role of your family in friends for immediate goals (which is sometimes necessary), you may run the risk of getting in the habit of doing that all your life if you’re not careful.
  • Get a New Hobby or Cause: There is something you probably believed in or wanted to do that you never made time for before. Take a class or get involved in that cause and start doing it strong and work hard on doing it right. Read up on the hobby or cause repeatedly and keep up on it for weeks, months, and years to come if you find any satisfaction in it.
  • Make Time for Dating: You might not be excited about dating, but the whole romance thing is often so vital to what we are that we become depressed and/or under confident if we don’t make that some part of our life. Even if you don’t find a successful relationship right away it can be comforting to your pride and soul to know that you are dating.

Your Record

Whenever you fail to do something you truly love when the opportunity arose, and you didn’t have a god excuse not to, then mark yourself at "fault". If you find yourself wallowing in negativity over your worthlessness or pitiful situation, then mark yourself at fault. Choose some activities from the list above and make some goals. If you fail to participate in the activities or meet your goals, then mark yourself at fault.


Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.

Horace, Ancient Roman Poet

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese Born Amercian Philosopher, Essayist, and Poet

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

Emily Dickinson, American Poet

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein, Renown, German-Born American Scientist

Golden Mean

Superficiality, inability to focus

Recommended Reading

Going for the Max!: 12 Principles for Living Life to the Fullest — by Max Cleland

This book is a general, all-purpose, inspirational guide to living life to the fullest, including turning weaknesses into strengths. Great for those who want to lead a full life in spite of frustrating set-backs.

Love Your Life: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole — by Victoria Osteen

Written by a minister and mother, this book takes a (Western) religious bent on living a fulfilling, satisfying life, with the idea that living the life you want to lead takes work and must begin with your own effort.

The Good Life Rules: 8 Keys to Being Your Best as Work and at Play — by Bryan Dodge, Matt Rudy

This book intends to help you learn how to embrace your life and improve upon the life you lead at home and work.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

The delight of opening a new pursuit, or a new course of reading, imparts the vivacity and novelty of youth even to old age. Isaac Disraeli