Meaning of Zeal and How to Live With It

Life is an adventure.

I believe this to my very core. Every single day is a choice to embrace this mindset: to live with ZEAL.

Zeal. Zeal. Zeal. Fun to say and one of my favorite words because I truly believe it captures the essence of how I’m determined to live my life—with enthusiastic diligence.

Yes, folks. That’s the definition of zeal. Enthusiastic diligence.

I’m on a major definition kick right now, so let’s go ahead and define diligence, too. Why not? Diligence is: constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.

Okay. Now, as much as I love geeking out on definitions, the best way for me to know I really understand something is to put it in my own words. So, I did.

Zeal: passionate and persistent pursuit of a purpose

(Ohhh, yeah. I also love alliteration. But that’s a topic for another day.)

Silhouette of a woman crouching at sunset
Sarasota, January 2019

Pretty sure I’ve been an optimistic, goal-driven gal since day one. Literal, out-of-the-womb day one. Even at the earliest age I can remember, the simplest things brought me joy—and still do! I also have an auto-pilot-like knack for finding the positive in any situation. Pair that with my dream-it-do-it, driven spirit, and I’m basically the poster-girl for zeal.

Still, while this outlook on life does come pretty darn natural for me, I think it’s important to note that it’s also a choice. Always a choice. Our world is inundated with negativity, failure, fear, hopelessness—and it’s so incredibly easy to be dragged down by that. For me, zeal is a daily decision to take my thoughts captive and counteract the influence of all that darkness. Rise above. Overcome. Persevere.

Here’s the real deal, though. I know I don’t possess the strength to ALWAYS choose the positive route. I’m no superhuman spark of enthusiasm, and some days it just ain’t happening. But those days are a reminder that I need God. Without Him, even my best efforts at living with zeal would fall short. And you know why? Because they wouldn’t be rooted in a stable source of joy, hope, strength, or purpose.

When the source of my passion and persistence is God, then my pursuit and purpose are sure to be bursting with zeal. We all know love can be contagious, and even change the world—but, you know what? So can zeal.

Friends, I don’t want to waste a second of my life pursuing things that don’t matter. Specifically, things that don’t matter for eternity. We each have one great adventure on this earth. One opportunity to live with passion and persistence and purpose.

Silhouette of a person jumping in front of a lighted globe
Paris, December 2018

I turn 36 at the end of the month, and, I gotta say, zeal keeps me feeling young. Alive. Eager to pursue life instead of running from it.

Are you living with zeal? If not, come sit by me and we’ll start an epidemic.

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