When people ask where I get my enthusiasm, I share my secret – ‘Plan your work and life, as you plan your vacation!’ I think this is a great advice for people who are overwhelmed by all the different roles they must play! We all want harmony in our lives and we long for just the right balance, but most of us don’t know how to get it. No one plans to fail; but we do fail to plan. Well, here’s the good news – it’s never too late to start! First, decide on what you want; then, write down your goals. Next, develop a plan of action, and finally, set your life in motion!
That’s not as huge a task as it may sound, once you learn to break down bigger goals into manageable tasks. Attempt to concentrate enthusiasm and effort on each day’s goals – set the goals, then follow through. At the end of each day, write, in order, the four most important things you want to accomplish the next day. Ensure you don’t sleep at night until this list is done – this way you accomplish more, and also feel empowered checking things off that list!
Next, follow through. The best list in the world is useless unless something gets done. Years ago, I began rising an hour earlier than usual each day, giving myself an extra seven hours each week. No matter how tough it is to answer that early alarm, I’ve come to zealously guard those precious and productive hours, which prove to me that one intense 60-minute stretch is worth a day of dreaming! Different people have different priorities in life – some want to be on top of the Corporate world, some may want to be home makers and enjoy looking after their family; some are struggling to get into shape, etc.
Whatever your goal, break it up into what you want to accomplish the next day – that’s 24 hours, all yours, to plan things into compartments and tick off each accomplishment. Hours before sunrise are best for meditation, prayers, contemplation, yoga or any other esoteric part of your life which nurtures your soul. Immediately after that, energize the body with exercise, walks, gymming or whatever suits you. During the rest of the day, take some time out to help another – try to put a smile on someone’s face. Talk to a lonely person, cheer up a sad person, talk of music, poetry and art to those who appreciate such things. This act of altruism will benefit you more than them!
When the day’s tasks are done, make time for recreation… catch a movie, go for an evening walk, have tea at your favorite club or coffee at a coffee-shop. Meet people. Talk to them. Share each other’s stories. Everyone has a story to tell but share ONLY positive stories. Don’t burden others with your problems and more importantly, don’t get burdened by others’ problems. Give a sympathetic ear and move on from people who are always complaining, whining and are negative. The bottom line is, be with happy and cheerful people and be happy yourself, no matter what your outward circumstances! Everyone has problems but talking about them all the time to others won’t solve them. Rather, focusing on other happy areas of your life will lessen the burden!
So get out of your chair and off that couch! Get out, meet people, share stories and get yourself a positive life. No one is perfect – we all have our own ‘flaws’ and that’s what makes us unique! I’ll end with the words of Apolo Ohno, “It’s about having an active lifestyle, staying healthy, and making the right decisions. Life is about balance. Not everybody wants to run a marathon, but we could all start being active, whether you walk to work or take an extra flight of stairs!”