Ever wonder why so many people are complaining about being caught in the rat race and no time to do what they would love to do.
They are always struggling to achieve a balance among many priorities, their work, family, relationship, health, etc goals & grinds in life, without ease and grace.
Are they not intelligent? Not enough time or money or simply lose focus on what matters to them most?
One of the better definitions of Zest In Life is the one I read in Wikipedia.
“Zest is one of the 24 strengths possessed by humanity. As a component of the virtue of Courage, zest is defined as living life with a sense of excitement, anticipation, and energy. Approaching life as an adventure; such that one has “motivation in challenging situations or tasks”. Zest is essentially a concept of courage, and involves acquiring the motivation to complete challenging situations and tasks. Those who have zest exude excitement and energy while approaching tasks in life. Hence, the concept of zest involves performing tasks wholeheartedly,whilst also being adventurous, vivacious and energetic.”
More from these websites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zest
Is having Zest In Life so elusive?
I would like to explore the various facets that hold us back from doing just that, Zest In Life with ease and grace.
I will start off with a Question?
Is this what humanity is all about, in order to achieve our dreams, we have to struggle throughout our existence on this earth? Or are we able to do that with amazing grace.
I defined Ease and Grace as follow:
To do things well with ease and grace, certain conditions need to be satisfied.
1. You need to know Thyself. What you can do and what you can’t do. One way is to know your strength, weakness, opportunity and threat (SWOT). By doing more of your strength, mitigate your weakness, looking at problem as opportunity for growth and scenario planning of likely threat, desired outcome is more likely to happen.
2. To do well in any undertaking. You need to know the stuff inside out. Be a master/expert on the subject matter. Start of by being a good student on the undertaking. Continuous improvement is the key to success. Rehearse and practise until you excel in it.
3. Expect and manage change. Change is a constant in our lives. Expect change to happen that will upset your plan. It can be resources, time, people that pull a brake to your progress. Be prepared to make the necessary adjustment to your undertaking but do not lose sight of your objective. One way is to follow the Plan-Do-Check-Action cycle.
4. Positive Mindset. There will be a time when the going is tough. Don’t lose faith in your undertaking. Keep on moving in the direction of your goal. Be patient and plough on. Take every problem as opportunity for personal development. To learn new things and unlearn those that do not work. Attitude is everything
5. Enjoy Your Undertaking with Ease & Grace. Accept that there are the good, not so good and bad experiences along a way. Always look at the bright side of things. Have fun and joy while pursuing your goal. Success in your undertaking is more assured this way. What’s the feeling if you could do that.
Attitude Is Every Thing
Jacob Lund Fisker, author of “Early Retirement Extreme” proposed the following three pillars:
1. First, reduce waste and increase efficiency. It’s possible to live with the same benefits as the rest of society for one quarter of what the average consumer spends.
2. Second, having significantly reduced expenses, invest the difference in businesses or investments that bring in passive incomes. Aim for financial independence as soon as possible.
3. Third, find something meaningful to do instead of work for money.
Tim Ferris, author of “4-Hour Work Week, escapes 9-5, live anywhere, join the New Rich”, suggested D-E-A-L, to achieve mini retirements at any age.
D for Definition, determines the overall lifestyle design recipe.
E for Elimination, kills the obsolete notion of time management
once and for all. Increase your per-hour results ten times or more with counterintuitive New Rich techniques for cultivating selective ignorance, developing a low-information diet, and otherwise ignoring the unimportant.
A for Automation puts cash flow on income autopilot using geographic
arbitrage, outsourcing, and rules of non-decision.
L for Liberation is the mobile manifesto for the globally inclined.
it is about forever breaking the bonds that confine you to a single location.
Why should you take charge of your life?
If not you, who? If not now, when?
All of us had read many self improvement books, listening to motivation tapes/CD/DVDs and attending self development seminars, in the past, on how to live a “successful” life.
Why are we still looking out for more tips, insights or strategies on how to do that?
Do we have the tools, skills and knowledge to get started and achieve our own goals?
The goals are from our own making
Yes. We have.
Even the best advices from guru will not help us, if we don’t dedicate effort to do it, and do it well ourselves.
We have the choice to make the change.
We can, We will and We are.
Take charge of your own life. Make consistent SMART actions to achieve your dream goals.
Every effort counts.
It adds up.
E. L. Doctorow said, writing a book (or doing anything substantially important, that have many unanswered questions), is like driving a car at night. “You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
You need to see enough light to get moving.
You will be surprised with the results after sometime of prodding on.
Your destiny is your own hands.
The time has come for you to make the first big move. To take charge of what you want to do next.
- Be your own Boss, by starting your dream business
- Change to a new job with better prospect, personal growth development opportunity, monetary gain, etc. etc.
- To reduce your over-weight body with a new recipe for success into trim and fit body
- Seeking your ideal lifetime partner
- Writing a book you have been talking for ages and never get around doing it and so on.
Instead of being excited of this opportunity to make the change for the better, you may freeze on making the necessary decisions and moves. You procrastinate on your decision to act and worry about what could happen next negatively. You are looking for perfect timing, situation and sign of guaranteed success before you take the plunge. Why?
You have no confidence of your ability to achieve success in it. You perceive one or more of the following way of thinking/emotions:
- Your lack of knowledge or skills to manage the change
- Your fear of uncertainty and unknown following the move
- You need more resources, man, time, materials, etc to manage the change
- You’re unsure of your abilities and passion to cope following the change
- You are too comfortable or accommodating in one’s life condition (even unpleasant ones) to make the change
- You worry of all the possible things that can go wrong, shame of failures and loss of something you already have. The list goes on, the pains rather than the pleasures of achieving your goals are your pre-occupation and prime emotive forces. You wait for the perfect timing and circumstances which have never come. The opportunity for success in it has just passed you by.
You have the choices.
You could choose happiness over sadness. You could choose decisiveness & courage over indecision & fear of failure. “Success” or “Failure” in life is not determined by your circumstances but by the way that you think in your own mind. Many a time, if you are aware of what is the problem in your hand, you could solve it more easily with critical thinking and facts.
Difference between Winners and Losers in Life
When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong”. When a Loser makes a mistake, he says, “It wasn’t my fault”.
A Winner comes across a problem, he takes it as a opportunity to solve it and providing value add service to others. A Loser goes around it, and never get pass the problem.
A Winner says, “There ought to be a better way to do it:”. A Loser says, “That’s the way it’s always been done here”.
Every situation/problem demands a decision on your part. To act or not to act in a certain way.
You can take initiative to keep it going and making a success out of it or you can make excuse/s for why thing could not been done.
The Choice is Yours.
Choose to be a Winner!
Living Life 101
1)Define your situation/problem that need to be solved. Make sure you invest enough time and effort to define it concisely. This will ensure that you focus on the “real” problem in hand. It is better to have it written done on paper, in the form of a problem statement, for ease of reference. A well defined problem is a problem half solved!
2) Your mental state. You should maintain a positive mental attitude, a “Winner” mindset throughout your pursuit in achieving success in your undertaking.
3) Your Desired Outcome. What you want to achieve at the end of your pursuits, the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic Time Based) Goals.
4) What You Could Do. What are the things that you could do by your own effort. Know Thyself, use SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Technique.
5) What Other People Help You Need. Outside help you need to achieve your goals. Seek up and get support on this as soon as possible.
6) Visualize Achieving Your Goals. Mentally rehearse every facet and feeling in your pursuit, to obtain your desired outcome. This exercise if done it on a daily basis, will improve your chance of attaining your goals even much faster and easier.
7) Take Action. All the well-thought through plan will not help you if you have never get it started and get it going until completion. Have a PDCA (Plan Do Check Action) Cycle work plan, to keep you on track. Monitor Progress and made the necessary adjustments, but do not lose sight of your final destination/goal. Success is more assured this way.
Live A Happy and Abundant Life
Bye from now.
Reuben H C Ong (a.k.a Reubeno)
Writer’s note: In view that it is impossible to capture all insightful thoughts from various sources in one seating, it is my intention to update this post, from time to time, when there is a need.