An article, some questions, a discussion; all centering around one aspect in life: Zing! Everyone in the room had their say. Some were honest some were not about the status of their lives. Granted, they had the right to share or not to disclose. However all admitted it was often a case of found-lost-found-lost, with only some enlightened ones springing with sustained zing. Some of us have it and have sustained it, while some never got around to a toe-hold and others just let it fizzle out and die. So much has been written about it, so much spoken about it. So many well thumbed self-help books stand in the book shelves worn out and wearier than the hands that turned its pages. Where is the zing?
I speak from my own experience when I say that to have the zing and sustain it in life, one must first learn to 'be happy'; appreciate life and be grateful in the valley and on the mountain top. It's something that grows from the inside to the outside. Having said that zing can be acquired through organization and practical applications. These are some of the things I've followed, though at times I admit I did fall through, but that's how I learned that to have that inner joy, peace and zest for life some 'must haves' and 'musn't haves' have to be there or discarded as the case may be.
Quality Sleep: Lack of sleep, a good night's sleep, is the No:1 enemy of zest and zing in life. Don't short change yourselves with short naps at odd hours, to make up for a good night's rest. It never really does. This practice is a short term benefit but a long term disaster. I learned it the hard way! With circumstances the way they were, getting the ideal eight hours of night sleep was difficult, or so I thought. But the hard way knocks some sense into you if you're looking for improvement and are willing to change for what's beneficial in the long run. I found going to sleep before the clock struck twelve (the magic hour) gave me a restful, rejuvenating sleep even if it was for only five and a half or six hours! I'm not recommending less hours of sleep only sharing what I found helpful in difficult situations.
Keep the Kid Alive: Observe little children. Have you noticed the zing in their lives? They wake up raring to go, full of energy and thoroughly excited about the day! Be a child as often as you can...play. Take up some games and if you aren't the sporty kind, there are indoor games. Play to enjoy not to compete. Do something simple or even silly perhaps. Anything that makes you laugh, share some joy. Let your hair down and just be you. Laugh at slapstick jokes, crack some corny ones if you may. Romp with the kids, go on picnics, have pillow fights even with your spouse!! Go ice-cream hopping to as many ice-cream places as you can. Just be a kid.
Set Goals: Dream your dreams; even the wildest ones, then separate the goals from the fantasies. If you haven't set some SMART goals, do so. If you have your goals drawn out, check them out to see how many are still relevant. How many can be replaced with goals that are more meaningful and achievable. Draw up a path with small steps to reach them. Keep it practical, and let your ideal be the North Star in your journey. Sometimes we confuse our dreams with our goals.
De-clutter: This is so, so important. Like our homes our lives get cluttered too, with unnecessary and unimportant things we store, refusing to throw it out even though we know we should. So clean out the drawers, cupboards, basement, attic in the house and in the mind, from time to time. Trust me, it will contribute to a lot more organisation and storing space for better things. Most importantly clear out the people who pose as friends or well wishers but add negativity to your life. They are unwanted baggage and drain you of energy and positive life force, thus weakening you in your will and resolve.
Prioritise: You have to get your priorities right. Each of us has multiple roles in life; at home, at work and socially too. We have to work out a balance between our responsibilities and duties on all fronts. Prioritising sets things in the proper order. Quality time in the right proportions between home and work helps a great deal to tide over the unexpected situations when one encroaches on the other.
Mind set & Focus: Maintaining a positive attitude means being in control of your emotions and feelings. This is important for focus. Getting carried away by emotions shifts focus. A positive mind set keeps you in the right frame of mind to make better decisions; be more responsive; less aggressive; better able to handle conflicts and focus on the task in the now.
Humour: Humour they say is the best medicine. A panacea for all ills. Well, it does not literally cure all ills in society or in our bodies, but it does keep us in a lighter frame of mind, it acts as a valve to release all our pent-up pain and miseries, and emotions that do not contribute to our well-being. When we laugh we take our focus off the offense; off bitterness and resentment and so it contributes to a healthier mind and body. Joyce Meyer says, "Where the mind goes, the man follows." This is applicable to habits good or bad. So if one habitually moans, groans and harbours grouses the person is bound to go down the wrong path. I have found that being able to find something funny in a situation, even when the chips are down, eases things a lot. It applies even to the workplace. I found something humorous almost everyday at my place of work. So how did it help? I enjoyed what I was doing, I didn't endure it...and that goes for the times when the boss was a meanie and a grouch. You know what, humour keeps you young!
Trust In God: Hard for many, I suppose. But a wise thing to do. Your worst day with God is better than your best day without Him! That's my experience. At the most hopeless of times He gives you hope; when you are weak, He gives you strength; when you feel alone, He is your friend. People will fail you but He never fails; your family and friends might be fickle but He is loyal and true; He responds to all your needs and wants...sometimes the answer is 'NO' because He has other plans for you. If you don't get in the way you get what's best for you.
If you have lost the true ZING in your life, reclaim it now. It could be easier said than done, but it's not an unconquerable mountain either!
Life is God's gift to you. It comes with an expiry date. Enjoy it while it lasts. Have a surprising, challenging, fulfilling day!