What Is Zest For Life
Author: Byron Pulsifer © 2016
“Some people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.” Benjamin Franklin
What does it mean to die at twenty-five but not be buried until much later in life?
Does it mean that a person’s body is kept in cold storage until they are seventy-five and then buried? I doubt this is the case.
On the other hand, you may actually know somebody who is dead at twenty-five; dead in the sense that they have absolutely no zest for life; or that they have no purpose in this world whatsoever. There may be people like this in your own family, or at your place of employment, or in your social circles, or in your neighborhood. How do you know who they are?
Maybe It Is True
Let’s start by taking a walk; a walk through the family tree where all of your living relatives reside. Along the way, pay attention to each person and what they say, and what they do. Sometimes, a person’s speech is not the same as their actions and thus belies the issue.
Down the family street, you come first to a relative you are very familiar with; this is a relative that you see more than once a week. This particular person usually waits for you to come and see them. They never come to see you, or phone you unless you specifically extend an invitation, or only speak to you after you have initiated the contact.
When you delve into their everyday life by asking simple questions like’ ‘how are you doing?’, or “what are you involved in?’ their answers never vary. They respond to the first question with a word of response something like, ‘I’m okay’, or ‘same old same old’. When you ask the second question, their response echoes the same as the first with ‘not much’, or ‘the usual’.
In this case, you may have a relative who is more dead than alive. This person seems to say that by being okay is similar to saying that they are still in this world but laughter, happiness and an enthusiasm for life forgot to call on them. As well, their answer to the second question appears to indicate that nothing changes; the same old response means they are doing nothing that challenges them, inspires them, or contributes nothing to guide their footsteps forward.
Well, we didn’t walk very far, did we? I’m sure, however, had we travelled down the family tree, we would have found many whom are just the opposite. That is, they are full of life; filled with anticipation in looking beyond the next horizon; filled with enthusiasm as they extend their warmth and compassion to everyone they meet; or bubbling over with humor as they meet both the hills and valleys of life headlong. These are people who never see a roadblock but only a solution; these are people who will give their services to others before thinking of their own needs; these are people who you love to be around because it’s impossible to stay moody and blue in their presence.
Which one of these types of people are you?
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney
Have you ever taken a coffee break with a colleague and the same conversation takes place time and again? Some of these conversations recite complaints about every issue presence within the confines of the workplace.
The Real Issue
But, here is the really interesting thing about these conversations. Each topic focuses on problems whether that be with a boss, a co-worker, the workload, the temperature of the worksite, the short length of lunch periods, or even the location of the workplace. The trend should be obvious. Every complaint, although some may be more than valid, are limited to complaining and nothing said about a possible solution.
This trend, in these kinds of conversations, extends well beyond your colleagues, however. These same trends can take place at home amongst family members either to do with something that is bothering one of more of your family members, or something to do with an issue with one of their friends, or an issue with a teacher, or the classroom size, or issues around lack of financial resources.
Again, maybe each issue has some validity. But, again, there is a common denominator. The commonality is that these are vocalized complaints about or surrounding some issue but there is no discussion of any solutions.
So, now that we are clear on the common denominator, what do we do? Do we decide that we will eliminate complaints by banning any negative talk from taking place? Or, in relation to your co-worker cited above, do we avoid having coffee with them and meet with someone else, or take your coffee break at a different time?
Neither of the above solutions is viable, however. The real truth of the matter lies with moving from complaining to action. The inspiration for action comes not from accepting what is has to be but from knowing that what is can be changed. Change never comes from complaining. Change is born through action. Every social improvement may have started as a complaint but was altered only when complaining turned to action. One could argue that the process of complaining lead to change but this would not be reality. The real story is that complaints turned to change because someone or a group of people took action.
So, while you may have a valid complaint, or know someone or a group of people who with legitimate complaints, nothing will change, be resolved, or improve unless action is your first step to alleviate an problem or complaint.
Now we know what must be done. Action needs to be taken. The next step is part and parcel of action but is one of the most difficult or challenging aspects. That part is the decision of one person or a group of persons to accept the responsibility to initiate an action or a series of actions that addresses the issue, or at the very least, puts the action into play.
So, the issue has now has transformed from a complaint to the understanding that nothing changes without action to the acceptance of responsibility to put the action into motion.
Here is where the old adage comes into play that is ‘where the rubber meets the road’. If you are the one, or one of many who are sincerely concerned about the status quo and a need to change it for the benefit of you and others, it is time to decide whether you will be part of the solution or continue to be part of the problem.
If you believe that it is someone else’s responsibility to fix whatever needs fixing, you remain part of the problem, and, therefore, just a culpable as everyone else who believes someone else should shoulder the burden of initiating change.
If you have a burning issue to resolve, an issue that you know needs to be resolved, which role will you play? Will you accept the responsibility to engage in action, or will you remain stuck in the cycle of complaint?
What Is A Zest For Life?
A zest for life means that we live each day with a sense of excitement. We take action and change things rather than complaining. We look at the positive side of life and move forward despite challenges faced. Both of the examples above show us examples of how a zest for life can be life happier and more fulfilling.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“We can all be more than we are. Life is a process of improving oneself.” G. Mark Phillips
Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” Dale Carnegie
“I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.” Frank A. Clark
“We can choose to look forward to the day, or we can choose to moan and complain. It’s your choice!” Catherine Pulsifer
“Changing your mindset may change the situation.” Lisa Rusczyk
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