Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Vikings and a Very Good Life

Do you know the word “enthrall”? It means “to captivate or charm, spellbind.” I like the sound of that.

In your life, of what are you enthralled? One of the things that enthralls me is the concept of being a Tar Heel. I know, I know, it sounds silly, but the things I perceive as the spirit of Carolina, and what Dean Smith referred to as The Carolina Way are wonderful concepts on which to base, not just an athletic program, but a life.

OK, no more preaching, let’s get back to “enthrall.”

It isn’t always a good thing. For instance, I love beer. In fact, at many times I have been enthralled, captivated, by the feeling I get after a few beers. In all honesty, though, there have been times when I have been too captivated by that feeling. Get the picture?

So, here’s where this get’s interesting. The secondary definition of enthrall is “to enslave, to subjugate.” The word enthrall is Viking in origin, from the eighth century. A “thrall” was a slave to Viking family. Prisoners of war might be enthralled to Vikings as slaves. A homeless person might voluntarily “enthrall” themselves to a family so they would have a place to live and food to eat.

Here’s the question: Of what are you enthralled? What ideas, habits…people…enthrall you in such a way that they are positive influences in your life? You’ve probably modeled some areas of your life on mentors of whom you are, or were, enthralled.

However, look at the other side. What ideas, habits, and people enthrall you in such a way that they are negative influences? Look around your workday and your life. What’s slowing you down? Are you enthralled by a habit that seems comfortable, but just isn’t working anymore?

Is it time to step out of enthrallment, out of bondage?

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