Have you ever been to any of the world’s top carnivals in Rio, Trinidad or London? What would your life be like if everyday was a carnival?
Over the last 2 days, I joined thousands of others revellers at the Notting Hill carnival in London, Europe’s largest street party. It was a really event with the hot sunny weather drawing bigger crowds than ever. If you have not yet been to this particular carnival, then do so next year – you can. And if you are on Facebook, you can see my carnival images here.
There are always stories of crowd congestion and crime but I personally think these are rather exaggerated – one just has to take sensible precautions.
I took some friends along for their first ever visit to the carnival and it was wonderful to see how much they enjoyed it. There was a special magic at the carnival, life seemed joyous and people were generally much happier and friendlier than usual. At the end of the day, it felt a little sad to think that we had another year to wait for the next carnival.
However, have you noticed how some people always seem to be happy, smiling and full of sunshine, carnival or no carnival?
Today, as I rest and recover from all that partying, and look forward to next year’s carnival, I am wondering what it would be like for one to live their life like it was a carnival everyday?
Here are my tips for doing just that.
1. Go all out for it and grab life. Do not let the doomsayers hold you back. Life your life fully and create moments of fun and joy everyday.
Accept that it is okay and normal to be happy and joyful. Do not see being happy as being unduly selfish, or materialistic, or self-centred.
Live your life with positive optimism. Negative thoughts and worry zap your energy. Thinking of the good and positive things in your life generates feelings of warmth and appreciation, and draws even more positive things to you. Spend more time with positive people – limit your input of negativity such as through the media.
2. Take sensible precautions as you go through life. Being joyous and having fun does not mean that you become reckless – do think of your safety and take due care and pay attention to what is going on around you.
Avoid trouble spots and just be careful of who you associate with. Also, if it gets too noisy in your life then find a quite zone for yourself.
At the same time, listen to authority – rules are usually established for the greater good, so follow instructions though at times it might challenge you to do so.
3. Show gratitude to those you meet and for all the gifts around you. Just take a second and appreciate that you are alive. Be happy with what you have got – not what you want. Focus on what is right in your life rather than what is wrong. Appreciate what you have – though your life sometimes might seem chaotic, crowded and noisy, it is actually not that bad.
Appreciate the nature around you. Literally stop and smell the roses. Every now and then, look at a sunset, cloud formation or trees. We are all too busy – become present to the beauty of nature and continue to do so.
4. Get a roadmap for your journey. Otherwise you will end up feeling rather lost amongst the thousands of people around you. Also, go with the flow and not against the crowds.
Learn to adapt for your journey. Wear appropriate clothing metaphorically speaking. Prepare yourself as well as you can for your journey through life and ensure you are prepared for whatever life throws at you.
5. Eat and drink sensibly. No matter how good the food smells or how appetising it looks it may not necessarily be good for you. Eat healthy and quality food. How joyous you feel depends so much on what you are putting into your body – your body needs and deserves quality foods.
And be sure to drink lots of water.
6. Smile – sounds simple, and it is. Try this today when you go out – smile at everyone you meet on your carnival route through life and connect with people. You may be surprised at what comes back to you.
Even better, do something for someone else. Random acts of kindness are magical and giving of your self is one of the best joys of life. For example, let other drivers into your lane and have a friendly conversation with the cashier at the supermarket.
Become conscious of the joy you get from all your positive acts. When you give the gift of a smile or a kind word, you create a wonderful ripple effect of joy that touches many, and helps build bridges between everyone.
7. Be fit and healthy for your carnival journey. Living a full life requires you to be fit, healthy and energised, so exercise regularly and make it fun. Take 30 minutes out of your day to work your muscles and strengthen your body, mind and spirit.
Start exercising from today onwards and experiment until you find something you truly enjoy.
8. Rest and get re-charged for the next day i.e. your next carnival:-) Get sufficient sleep, which will keep you shining, joyous and ready for some more calypso.
Determine just how much sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Make your bedroom a peaceful place for you.
We can all indeed have that magical carnival fun all year around – here’s to a carnival in your life everyday.
And of course dance like no is watching you!