It has recently dawned on me that life is very fleeting. Every new day is a blessing from God. We should make life count. Observing the demise of a father, an inlaw, a coworker, a friend, can make one reflect on the transience of life. People are not going always to be there. The constant thing in life is change. Here are my top ten tips on how we can make life count.
Tip 1: Learn To Forgive
It is almost impossible to physically truly forgive. Some people hurt us leaving us damaged for years. It may be an ex-boyfriend, a parent, an old friend, someone who has a piece of you with them. Forgiveness they say, is actually beneficial for us more than for them.
Tip 2: Eat small portions
Many of us are in our forties or approaching forty. If that is you, we need to start doing little things to control the bulge. If you cannot do the minimum 6,000 steps a day, perhaps reducing your food portions is a good way to start. It costs nothing to eat less, but if you can keep this up, your bulge could begin to reduce.
Tip 3: Drink water
I read once that when you are hungry, drink a lot of water first. The water fills up your tummy making you eat less. Water is very good for the body. It keeps you hydrated. Drinking water as a substitute for the sugary beverage is a plus. Water is also good for the skin, it helps to keep the skin moist and fresh.
Tip 4: Let the past stay in the past
So what you did this, that and the other? Many of us have skeletons in our cupboards. We have all been there and we have the t-shirt. The point is there is no point killing ourselves over what we did yesterday or what happened. It is today, yesterday no longer counts. Let yesterday remain in the past where it belongs and move on.
Tip 5: Smile more
The ability to smile comes from a mental attitude that dares and conquers. The grace to smile is a measured one. It is one that puts life in perspective. After all, every day is a blessing. To no one is tomorrow certain. No matter how much we worry, stress or fret, we cannot add a single hour to our lifespan. In the grand scheme of life, there is only so much we can do. Many things are out of our control. What is within our power, is the ability to smile. Let’s try that. Together. Smile. It does not have to be picture perfect.
Tip 6: Be grateful
A thinking mind is a grateful one. Most of us have thousands of things to be grateful for. We can be grateful for another day, the strength to read this, the presence of mind to think through things, a warm bed at night, warm food, family, healthy children, friends, the ability to feed ourselves, the grace to lift a glass of water to our mouths, breath, the ability to see and hear. Should I go on? We all have things in our lives we can be grateful for. We just need to see to open our eyes and see.
Tip 7: Keep a Journal
Recently, I was going through my journals from a decade ago and something I wrote there in, gave me some insight for a present situation. The Bible teaches that there is nothing new under the sun. It is good to keep a record of your thoughts. Especially as we grow and mature through situation after situation. If the first hindrance is what if my spouse finds my journal?, you can try journalling with an app and safe guard it with a password or pin. Several apps are available online. Two excellent apps are Day One Journal and Reflectly.
Tip 8: Exercise
You would be amazed at how good you feel after a five kilometer walk. There is something about exercise that is linked to our self esteem. Most people are rejuvenated after a swimming, karate, tennis session. Any exercise will do. While Nelson Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island, he wrote in his book ‘Long Walk to Freedom‘ that exercise was his way of keeping his mind and body alert. Exercising a little every day for a start, works.
Tip 9: Communicate your love
No man is an island. We all need each other. If there is someone in your life who needs to hear those words ‘I love you’, please make sure they hear it and them some. The people who power our lives need our appreciation. Find time to leave notes (an old fashioned text could also do) for your wife, mother, daughter, husband, mentor, pastor. People who feel appreciated give more of themselves. Dont be shy, communicate your love.
Tip 10: Spend time Alone
My favourite movie star is Wentworth Miller and if there is anything he says that I appreciate is the need to have ‘metime’. We all need to recharge our batteries. We all need the space to reconnect to our core values. Spending time alone allows us to get to know ourselves again. There is nothing to be afraid of being alone. You are not going to bite yourself. Learn to love and care for you. No one else will.
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