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Zest for the New Year

Do you want to get more zest out of life in the New Year? These ten commandments for
zestful living were offered over fifty years ago, in the Valentine Civilian Conservation
Corps's newspaper, The Buffalo. The advice from Dr. Donald A. Laird still has a
contemporary ring:

"1. Keep rested. Tired people take zest from others as well as themselves. It is amazing
what a difference going to bed two hours earlier will make.

"2. Don't be too ambitious. The world is crowded with people who have literal mental scars,
the result of wanting to be bigger shots than they can be or the world needs.

"3. Don't fret about how little book learning you have. If you keep mentally active and learn
a little something new each day you are an educated man.

"4. Don't be too conscientious. If you suffer chronic inflammation of the conscience, careful
always to do everything just right, the very inertia is likely to make you go wrong.

"5. Don't fight against human nature. Don't expect other people or yourself to be perfect.
Shortcomings here and there should be expected and not allowed to steal zest.

"6. Have a few troubles and a little pain. Those in human experience are like the olives in a
meal. After the tart, sour things, everything tastes good.

"7. Be your age. The things which bring zest change as we get older. Some people try at 50
still to get a kick from life by doing what they did at 10. All they get is pseudo-happiness.

"8. Don't let others or yourself bluff you into being timid. What we should do is emphasize
our few strengths and forget our many weaknesses.

"9. Get into a job which you like doing. Even if it pays you $10 a week less, its dividends in
zest probably will more than repay you.

"10. Look into the future rather than the past. There is always going to be an upturn and
another crest in your zest."

 

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Last updated 14 September 2005

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