Over the last twenty nine weeks I’ve written about the importance of Acknowledging Accountability, Facing our Fears, and Owning our Opportunities. I’ve eXamined eXcuses and Disabled Distractions and Unpacked Uncertainty. But today’s topic may hold the most significance. Not only does it tie everything together, but without it, everything else that we may encounter on our goal-seeking journeys—the obstacles, the criticisms, the doubts—is just all the more difficult to overcome.
So, in this final installment in The ABCs of a Purposeful WIP series, I am encouraging you as a fellow purposeful work-in-progress to Zip with Zest. What do I mean by that? Well, have you ever seen someone who has a real zest for life—someone who lives with gusto and exudes joyfulness—and wished you could be more like that? Me too. The good news is, we can. It’s true that some people may just be more naturally sunny than others, but as it turns out, nature is only partially responsible for our demeanor.
Since the end of September, I’ve been writing daily in The Positive Journal and in the prompt for the first day’s entry, the author, Nancy F. Clark, states that only 60% of our happiness is determined by our genetics and circumstances. Which means we are in charge of the other 40%. So although heredity and environment do have a hand in our disposition, we also wield some power.
Trust me when I tell you that my natural 60% inclines toward negativity, so I know how difficult it is to put on a smiley face when you’re just not feeling it. But I also know that when it comes to accomplishing goals, when it comes to growing toward our best selves and living our best most purposeful lives, a positive attitude can lighten the load, making the journey easier, more meaningful, and just plain more fun.
So whether you start today or you set your sights on improving your outlook in 2020, I encourage you to at least spend some time pondering the shifts you can make in your daily life to move in the direction of zest. These shifts don’t have to be huge because even the tiniest adjustments can create a ripple effect of change. That might mean waking up thirty minutes early to work out or establishing a journaling routine or spending more time with that certain friend who always leaves you feeling energized (as opposed to the one who leaves you feeling drained) or volunteering or going to church or trading twenty minutes of screen time for an uplifting podcast.
Think about the things that give you the most joy. Think about the people who add richness to your life. Think about the habits and hobbies that bolster your energy. Each and every day is filled with a plethora choices and chances to improve that 40%, but we must be mindful, we must be diligent, we must be purposeful to make it happen.