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Ever find it hard to get motivated? Ever feel stuck in second gear?

Maybe it’s time for a checkup from the neck up. Maybe instead of checking our LDL and HDL levels (cholesterol) we should check our L.O.L. levels.

No, not our “Laugh Out Loud” levels—our “Love of Life” levels.

As the great essayist Samuel Johnson said,

“The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking.”

And artist Marc Chagall said,

“To do great work you have to love life.”

It’s true. If I hate getting out of bed or hate my job or my situation, that will drain me of energy and probably make me less fun to be with.

Conversely, the love of life is a powerful energizer, a deep underground source of fuel that is always there whether we feel it or not, always waiting for us to tap into.

But how can I love life with all that’s gone wrong in my life? And with all that goes wrong in the world?

Valid question. But maybe what sounds like a problem is actually pointing us to a solution, a meaningful way to live in the world as it is.

After World War II, a Jewish man who had lived through the horrors of the concentration camps started an organization to provide humanitarian aid to others. He had been so badly beaten in the camps that he was crippled for life—and so were some who worked with him.

An interviewer asked, “Why are you doing this? You were all treated so horribly, yet you spend your time helping others. Why?”

The man thought about it and answered:

“Ultimately, it’s because we love life.”