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My philosophy has always been “work hard, play hard” and don’t do one without the other. The key is to get the work done first. Play is much more fun when you have nothing hanging over your head and carefree fun is exhilarating! You don’t have to be a thrill seeker and you don’t have to have a ton of money to lead an exhilarating lifestyle. Here are a few basic factors that can launch and maintain your exhilaration levels.

Always say yes. I get invited to do a lot of fun things because my friends know I will always say yes. If you say no, they will take you out of consideration. Remember to reciprocate. Get four tickets to a concert and invite three of your music loving friends.

Live somewhere that inspires you. If you like a fast pace, live in Chicago, New York or San Francisco. These cities have a heartbeat and they are filled with ambitious, sophisticated and vibrant people. If you prefer nature, live in or near the country. Daily hikes, dodging snakes and getting your hands dirty can be exhilarating. Live near the ocean if water and sand are your inspiration. Whatever you do, don’t settle for a place that holds no excitement.

Laughing is exhilarating, and it cures what ails you. Find funny friends and hang onto them for dear life! Go to comedy and improv shows. Follow Bill Murray on twitter. Watch funny TV. However you get your kicks, it is important to laugh every day.

Use both sides of your brain. My left brain is for work but my right brain is what exhilarates me. Learn to play an instrument. Take an art class. Go to concerts and live theater. Surround yourself with objects that visually make you happy. Be in a movie, even just as an extra. Seeing yourself on screen is exhilarating!

Exercise and sports can be exciting. Train for and run a half marathon. The accomplishment of crossing the finish line is so rewarding. Golf, water sports, snow sports, beach volleyball, ping pong, even a walk through the forest can be exhilarating.

Travel! Explore new cultures and cities, experience new foods and smells. Plan trips that involve activities you’ve never done before, like sailing, rafting, scuba diving, hang gliding, driving a racecar, the list is endless. One of my favorite things to do is go to New Orleans and be in a Mardi Gras parade. I highly recommend it!

Set Goals, save money and plan. Knowing you have something fun to do in the near future is exhilarating.

Here is my favorite story about an exhilarating experience. It incorporates my theory of always saying yes. I was fortunate enough to be in the Bahamas for a friend’s 40th Birthday celebration (because I said yes to the invite). We were at a bar and a large man approached us and bet $10 that he could flip us over and we would land on our feet. We all said yes! One by one, he would tell us to remain stiff as a board. Then he would grab us around the waste and flip us backwards and we would land perfectly upright on our feet. The feeling of being flipped around was absolutely exhilarating! Even better was sharing an exciting experience with a bunch of good friends. I’m so glad I said yes!