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7 Different Ways to Savour Life

By Ellesse

Are you one of those people who tend to overlook things around you? You’re so deeply entrenched in the daily buzz, commuting to and fro your office or school, working hard at each and every goal you’ve set, that you didn’t really spend time savouring the different flavours of life.

The ups. As well as the downs. The good and the bad.

Is it really because you’ve no time? Or rather, because you didn’t make an effort to, since they seem so insignificant compared to the magnitude of your goals? But is it really insignificant? Or is it because you’ve never given thought to its importance? More often than not, sadly, it’s only when we lose it before we realize that.

Don’t wait for it to happen. Direct your life with goals. But remember to complement it with these 7 different ways to live life to its fullest.

(1) Converse

Call a close friend you’ve not met for a while to catch up. Or have a hearty talk with an aged family elder, member. As they recap their experiences, you literally melt your existence into their lives. Getting furious with what they’re angry about. Jumping for joy on something which seems exhilarating for them. Feeling jittery about what they’re uncertain of.

Although it may sound absurd you’re subjecting yourself through these roller coaster emotions, but it’s through such that you get more involved in their lives. You’re no longer a spectator. You’re a participant. You’re there to lend a crying shoulder for their woes and there to celebrate their achievements. As you endear yourself to their experiences, you’ll start treasuring the wonderful moments with them. You’ll begin cherishing their existence, realizing that they’re a magnificent part of your life.

Now, who says life is a lonely struggle?

(2) Reflect

You can do this while meditating, chanting, praying or simply lying down on the bed. Recall how you handled that nasty customer at work. Or having bumped into that guy or girl of your dreams on your bus ride home. What did you learn from that experience? What are you going to do? Most importantly, how can you improve on it without wishing and hoping that you’ve never done what you did?

As you relive the scenes and start asking yourself such constructive questions, you’ll appreciate different aspects of your environment and yourself that you’ve never noticed before. “Geez, my boss’ really fair to have investigated the issue before checking with me…”, “Wow, I didn’t know I’m that cool…!”.

You look at your life as if you’re a movie critic, giving yourself good ratings for a job well done or useful pointers that could make a better movie next time.

(3) Experiment

One of life’s greatest loss is to give up something without even trying for it! Want to be a movie star but don’t know if you’ve got the material for it? Play with that thought and go for an audition! Got a great business idea but didn’t know if it’ll work out? Test the market demand. Survey your friends. Do some useful research.

Even if you’ve decided eventually that that may not be the right course for you, at least you can tell yourself “Well, been that done that. No regrets whatsoever!”

(4) Read

It’s no coincidence that out of 500 rich entrepreneurs interviewed previously by Forbes (the article was taken down), almost all of them read. The activity itself feeds the seeking mind with answers that he may not be able to obtain from people around them or experiences he had personally gone through. Want to know the details about the Jewish holocaust, read “Schindler’s List”. Need to understand more about the Law of Attraction and how it has helped people change their fortunes, find out in “The Secret”.

(5) Play

To your heart’s content. Be it your favourite sport or simply, a much loved pastime, do it with 100% conviction. The sweat and fun you’ll earn in the process makes you even more enthusiastic about life and more often than not, makes you even more productive at work!

Who knows, you’ll get a chance to develop certain qualities! For example, a friend who was very passionate about mountain trekking was recently roped in to lead a group of friends up Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia’s highest mountain. Who would have thought that a hobby could turn out to be a leadership training opportunity?

(6) Travel

You’ve read or heard all about the wonderful sights and unique culture in a particular place. But nothing beats going through it yourself!

Some of my most inspiring experiences came from travel. In Pakistan for example, I learned how to stay motivated despite stranded for 3 hours in slow moving traffic caused by monsoonal rains. In Cambodia, I was nearly lost while taking a shortcut cycling around Angkor Wat. And for the first time of my life, I camped overnight in the train station in Rome, ltaly while waiting for earliest train to Venice. I also recalled flying to Dallas, Texas on a 20+ hour flight only to depart for home a day later.

To top it up, I missed flight 3 times, a record that’s unbeaten among my friends till this day. Those sounded like undesirable memories, aren’t they? But to me, these were the same memories which helped me draw insights and develop perspectives I would never be able to if I continue staying in my sheltered haven. And it certainly spiced up the conversations with my friends, an added bonus!

(7) Volunteer

When you help others, you elevate your state of life. You’ll begin to lose sight of your own micro problems and channel that previous energy to working in someone else’s favour. You’ll also realize that seemingly insignificant things can matter so much to another fellow human being.

Many years ago, I took part in an adhoc community project to visit an elderly home and gave some of the old folks a much needed haircut. Even though I wasn’t a trained hairstylist, many gave me a toothless smile after I was done with their hair.

“These elderly folks were abandoned by their children and the volunteers make them feel loved.” one of the nurses explained.

From then onwards, whenever I get a haircut, the feeling was never the same anymore.

Comments

8 Responses to “7 Different Ways to Savour Life”

  1. Aldian Prakoso at 2:53 pm

    Converse… I haven’t conversed with my friends for a while including calling them, everyone’s been busy with their own life, especially since each has own family.

    However we usually meet 1-2 times a month and having nice meal together :)

  2. Douglas Woods at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for this great article, there is some great advice here. I’d only like to add one extra tip … give thanks.
    Thanks

  3. Ellesse at 2:33 pm

    Aldian, that’s a great effort you’re putting up. More often than not, people are always waiting for others to call them out. What’s a little initiative? Especially if they’re your old friends? Catching with friends for me is almost a monthly or bimonthly affair. Not only has it been very fruitful, they’re often the inspiration of my articles too! :)

    Douglas, how could I forget that one! Yes, giving thanks is very important. To yourself, your friends, your family, your boss etc. I should have elaborate that under ‘Reflect’ but thanks for the nice reminder!

  4. Aldian Prakoso at 3:05 pm

    Very true Ellesse! And having a nice delicious meal is another fringe benefit :)

    It’s not old friends but new friends. It seems that my old friends walk in different path so we can’t really connect.

    Give thanks… I wrote about it, too. Gratitude :)

  5. Ellesse at 7:35 am

    Aldian, I can totally understand that. As one’s experiences change, their perspectives gets moulded differently too. For example, there are many occasions when I go to gatherings only to find all of them talking about the best childcare centres in their neighbourhood or about their spouses. Though I can’t relate to that, I do enjoy the information. That’s sharing, my friend!

    But I do strongly agree there’s no point forcing yourself if you’re not getting comfortable. If you enjoy the conversation with a newer bunch of friends, by all means go ahead… After all, who says friendship is measured in terms of the years you know each other? In my point of view, what matters is you’re comfortable with them. That’s more important.

    Talking about gratitude. That day a few friends were having some discussion about “How to make someone grateful…” What do you think? I would love to hear your point of view…

  6. Aldian Prakoso at 4:52 am

    How to make someone grateful? It’s easy :)

    Just take out what’s precious from them and they’ll realize how grateful they are to have that precious thing before it’s taken from them.

    For example, for a kid. His mom is really precious to him. She always takes care of him daily. Once she gets sick and can’t take care of him. He’ll feel grateful at that time.

  7. Aldian Prakoso at 4:53 am

    PS. By taking out, I don’t mean to literally taking out. Just keep it away for a certain period of time :)

  8. Ellesse at 1:03 am

    Hey Aldian, nice insights. It’s interesting how I’ve the same sentiments. Whenever we need to encourage a particular behaviour, we can always use the Pavlovian conditioning of pleasure seeking and pain avoidance. Like what you were suggesting, relate to the kid the importance of being grateful of important things in life that he may be taking for granted i.e. the mum by taking it away temporary. That is pain avoidance. The kid learns to treasure whatever he has now that he’s been through the possible loss/pain. The other way is to educate him on the pleasure part. Teach him what’s the benefits of being grateful… tell him stories of people who’ve been grateful and became so admirable that stories of them were passed down. Encourage them to learn from them. Sooner or later, such wonderful stories will be embedded in the subconscious, always reminding him the importance and benefits of being grateful.

    Thanks for your sharing. Do keep the comments coming, loved it!

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