Spice Up Your Life!
I don’t have many vices – I’m pretty clean living – but there is this one thing… chillies. I love chillies and spice … in fact you might say I’m something of a spice girl … when I need a little pepping up, spare me the chocolate, put away your cookies, you can keep your coffee, just hand me the pickle jar and a nice pack of crisps and … you know, leave me alone for a while. I’m such a spice aficionado, that I actually make my own Indian pickle. On what I have lovingly called ‘Pickle Sunday’- any Sunday I choose to make pickle – the smell of spicy pickle wafts down the street and has the less hardy of those who call at our house buckling at the knees.
Well, this time around, I’d made a huge batch of mango pickle, fresh and dried, chilli hot and no chilli – for the kids – and our long-suffering cleaning lady walked in the door, just as I was finishing labelling the jars. “Here, taste this, I just made it!” I enthusiastically offered and handed her a spoonful of the ‘not hot’ variety – just spice. “Mmm!” she said politely, which was quickly followed by coughing, and spluttering. Then, still aflame, she managed to gather up her broken English and say “I like water!” which I quickly produced, to put out the fire. We both laughed, and I quipped “Now you work fast!” Ok, so I’ve got a mischievous streak. I used to dare my school chums to taste green chillies – only to have them running for the taps to wash their tongues … I guess some things never change!
It got me thinking though … what lights a fire under you? It’s different for everybody, and of course there can be more than one thing, depending on the situation. If you can work out what drives and excites you, and make a habit of bringing it into your life, then you have more fun and you get all the energy in the world to make things happen! Just like any plain old food can be woken up with the addition of chillies, if you’re having difficulties getting something done, because it doesn’t inspire you, what could you add to it, to give it that spark?
So here’s a challenge for you: Make a list of things you think you ought to be doing, but aren’t.
Now take a good hard look at the list. Some of those items you aren’t doing because they actually belong on someone else’s list and they just managed to offload them onto you, or guilt you into it. Strike those out – time is short enough without having to do other people chores as well as your own. Now of what’s left, some of those items will be things you really don’t know whether you actually need to do or not, or couldn’t much care about. Personally I’d sideline those too – if they’re not important enough to motivate you at all, why bother. That will leave things that really are important, that you really want to get done, but can’t seem to find the gumption for.
Then you can ask yourself the big question: What could I do to spice this up?
If you find exercising boring but you really want to make it a part of your life, what could make it more enjoyable and fulfilling? Listening to music? A new route to run every day? A variety of different types of exercise to do on different days of the week? What about housework … would blaring music get you going? Or perhaps getting your kids to compete and see who gets their chores finished first? What about getting up early to get a good start on the day – would a nice mug of hot chocolate help? Or allowing yourself a 15 minute stint on Facebook before you do anything else? A pair of cosy slippers? Or perhaps porridge with chillies in it … whatever floats your boat…
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself things that you like, and lots and lots of reasons to do what’s important to you. Judge yourself favourably and give yourself every chance to succeed. You want to get the most out of yourself? Treat yourself well. It’s often said, when dealing with other people that ‘you catch more flies with honey’ – i.e. that you get further with people by being nice to them. Well the adage is just as true with regard to yourself. Figure out what ignites your passion and get more of it – here’s to your success!
Ps: If a spoon of pickle will do the trick, just let me know…