Wish you a Happy 18th Birthday, sweetheart! I can’t believe that my little rockstar has turned into a fine young man of 18. My heart overflows with pride, today, as I see how my zealous son has matured into an individual who is all set to achieve the best from life with his unceasing zeal and zest for life. This is my last letter to you in this series. I hope my letters have made sense to you. You said you liked the philosophical tone in my words when you read the very first letter. I was relieved to know that coz I felt you would probably find these heavy topics boring. The last emotion I am touching upon today is the zeal to live life. The dictionary describes the meaning of the word zeal as great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.
I’ve already stressed the importance of charting out our future goals and objectives in one of my previous letters. But to achieve those goals one needs to proceed with lots of enthusiasm to bring out optimum results from what we want in life. As we progress in life we tend to lose this zeal or enthusiasm to the rigors of everyday mundanity. You might probably not understand how this happens at this point in your life since you have so much to look forward to. New goals, dreams, and aspirations await you, hence your zeal for life is at your peak. But as soon as you start ticking off a few goals in a few years from now, you might notice that you’re no longer as perked up as you used to be about doing new things or even continuing to do things that you always liked. I’ve known the most vibrant of personalities turning dull as time catches up with them. The toll of responsibilities takes over. Domestic and professional liabilities take up so much space in their lives that there is no more space for any other zealous aspirations.
When I talk about having a zeal in life, it has more to do with enriching oneself with new interests, tapping into fresh resources to update one’s self and filling up time with meaningful activities to add value to our lives. This does not necessarily involve your professional and personal life. It is an extension of the childlike curiosity that we are born with to go digging for the unknown. The high of pursuing, discovering or creating something new is what keeps the zeal in our lives alive. Only, this particular zeal should be pursued to feed your soul and nourish it with renewed energy that these feel-good activities pump into your being.
I have addressed this topic in my letter to you on quest. Today I repeat it again. Coz to pursue a quest it is important that you have the zeal and enthusiasm to do so. Have you noticed how you feel after playing a new game or solving a puzzle that really challenged your wits? If you ask first-time marathon runners on how they felt about it before participating in the run and after they were through with it, you might get to know two versions of their experiences. The first version would be about how difficult it was for them to make time for or build up stamina to participate in the marathon. And the second version would be about how absolutely invigorating and fulfilling the whole experience felt. This holds true for any new activity that catches your interest. You’ll notice from the spark in someone’s eye if they have been up to something new that they’ve thoroughly enjoyed. That adrenalin rush is the best part about having a zeal in life.
As long as we are naturally zealous, which we normally are in our younger days, it is not a problem. But over a period of time when that enthusiasm starts to decline, one can consciously work on it by making certain lifestyle changes to charge ourselves back into action. A lot many people have trouble even identifying that they have lost that spark in their life.
Today you turn all of 18. My heart swells with pride to see the evolved adult that you have grown up into. Your proactiveness and a healthy interest in enriching yourself fill me with hope for your wonderful future. My only wish for you is that I never want to see your brightness ever getting dim in the rush of everyday life. Before you start assuming the responsibilities of a professional, a spouse and a father in future do not ever forget that besides these new roles that you don, you have an independent personality of your own which should not dissipate in the whirl of worldly responsibility. Nobody but you, yourself, are responsible for keeping that fire within you burning. Make time for yourself without feeling guilty about it. Do things that you’ve never done before if they strike a chord with you. If it tickles your senses go for it without a second thought. Do not care about what others have to say about it unless what you’re doing harms someone in some way. Dare to be different and do not fret if you’re not different. Sometimes ordinary traits can also yield extraordinary results.
I have observed some of the most successful people in the way they have evolved by the sheer magic of their zealousness. Some of the most out of box thinkers have turned into innovative entrepreneurs, making their success stories unique. They wouldn’t have reached where they are without nurturing their enthusiasm and passion. Such people are always on a lookout for the unexplored. I’ve listed some of the things that could help you maintain your zeal in life below:
Taking risks – You can only discover treasures when you dive deep into the sea. Take the plunge.
Doing new things – Developing new interests keeps the boredom from setting in.
Surrounding yourself with a wide variety of inspiring people – I say wide variety coz there’s so much out there to learn from different kinds of people. Don’t limit yourself to only one kind.
Not confirming to the set standards of society – Be your own person. You’re doing this for yourself and not for social acceptance.
Not over-analysing every minor detail of your life – Sometimes we spoil the magic of the moment by thinking too much about it. Go with the flow and let it pass without much thought.
Traveling by yourself – Take off on a solo trip once in a while. Traveling on your own gives you new insights and wisdom.
Reading voraciously – Try reading different genres. They help you broaden your perspective in a big way.
Savoring the present moment – Being mindful of the present is the key to truly squeezing out the best out of each moment.
Ever ready to learn – The lessons never stop if you seek for them. It is the seeking that makes you wiser.
Keeping yourself flexible – Routine is boring. Being flexible gives you the opportunity to break away from routine.
Every now and then, sit and retrospect. Make a note of what you have achieved so far and what is it that you would like to go for in the days to come. A bucket-list comes handy in this case. Make short-term plans on how you’re going to make your life interesting in the coming days. These plans are like tiny doses of treats that you give yourself to keep your zeal in life alive. I’ve done my bit by getting you into this world and trying to raise you with the right values infused with the right amount of zeal. Now, the responsibility of carrying the values forward in a healthy manner lies with you. Rise and grow, first of all, in your eyes, and the rest will fall into place. Keep the zeal in your life always shining and polished coz that’s the way I wish to see my seeker son dig out the treasures of life. Infinite love and hugs. God bless you, my child.
Read the other letters from this series on the links below: