The saying goes: "Life is living." But what exactly does that mean? How does one live life? Here are six ways to spice up your life a bit without living la vida loca Ricky Martin style.
Loca Tip #1: Tickle Your Taste Buds
Food is one of the most exotic things one can ever experience. Why? Because it’s intimate—you relate to it and it involves almost all five of your senses. Next time you’re in a culinary kill-zone, stop to pick up something that will tickle your taste buds silly.
Recommended items: deep-fried crickets, balut (half-cooked baby duck still in the shell), chicken feet, pig tongue, monkey arm or yak-cheese-momo.
Loca Tip #2: Converse With Strangers
It’s strange, but wildly exciting. Talk with people at the bus stop, in the taxi or on the train. Stop people on the street and just begin conversations about anything. The best is when the conversations open up an opportunity to share about my faith. Here’s a tip, though: smile and laugh a lot to disarm the unsuspecting stranger. Someone randomly came up to me at a Barnes & Noble and asked me for some book recommendations. It made it a lot easier to talk to that person because of the smile that greeted me.
Loca Tip #3: Help Someone In Need
I’m sure we encounter someone in need if not every day, then close to it. Pull over to the side of the road when you see a car with a flat tire. That homeless person asking you for change? Get him to a diner, buy him a sandwich and sit down and talk with him. This is kind of a dangerous one, but go ahead and pick up that hitchhiker (certain restrictions apply). It’s not something we’re really comfortable with doing because it causes fear, but the exhilaration is well worth it.
Loca Tip #4: Volunteer Your Time
Food banks, shelters, counseling centers, tutoring programs, hospitals and elderly people all need volunteers. Be a peer mentor to a student who needs it. Be a Big-Brother or a Big-Sister to a child. Interact with people, make a difference in their lives, develop relationships for life. You may have to go to another town or area of your city to do this, but that’s the point. And so is developing relationships with people that you normally don’t even stop to acknowledge on the street.
Loca Tip #5: Be Honest With Your Friends
If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we know we’re not all that honest with our friends. Remember that time you lent your friend your nice pink dress and she gave it back to you two years later with a few new tinges of tan? Or that Starflyer 59 "Best Of" two-disc CD that was never returned to you? You shrug it off and say to your friend, "Oh, it’s okay, we’re friends," but deep down inside you’re really thinking, I knew I shouldn’t have lent that to you … Why do we do that with our friends the most? Next time, tell your friend how you really feel and experience the excitement of a friendship moving forward.
Loca Tip #6: Drink Upside Coffee
It’ll turn your attitude completely upside down. That traffic jam that’s making you an hour late for work? That’s not a problem. That’s just one more bonus hour to talk with God on your commute to work. You know what I’m talking about? For everything that could be negative, flip it around and see the upside of things. Stained your pants right before a job interview? No problem. That’s your opportunity to slide in some small talk by finding out which cleaners your interviewer goes to.
Wise Words About La Vida
dcTalk had a song called "Luv Is a Verb" and Ben Stiller in Starsky & Hutch had a line that went: "Do it!" Switchfoot has a line in one of their songs that goes: "living is simple." And Jesus of Nazareth said it best when He said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10, NIV). Those are wise words about life. Living it Jesus’ way, I think, has got to be the ultimate prescription for living "la vida loca."[Charlie Sim thinks an exciting life would be writing, directing and starring in his very own musical about paper and all the various shades of sound it makes.]
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