How Zest Can Inspire Your Students To Change Their Life

Your students deserve your very best self.

Photo by Trevor Cole on Unsplash

I received an exciting message the other day. One of my student and a humble companion of mine recently graduated. In his response stated his happiness and joy. After telling me this great news, he praised me for allowing him to see the light in the darkness.

He told me that before I met or taught him. He was stumbling through life, taking life as is. He didn’t have a purpose, and thus he was failing at everything he did. But this changed when he met me. He started smiling more, allowing himself to take his happiness and joy seriously. It impacted his life and he was glad that he was able to meet a friend who could see the light in him that he never could — until now.

This brought tears in my eyes, though I thanked him for the heartwarming remarks. I look back to myself when I was but stumbling within the darkness. Whenever I would ask for help, it would be rejected. More suffering would come knocking in my life. I would pray countless nights for ease, to release myself from the hell my life had become.

It was only when I stopped for a moment did I realize — I can do this. I was not alone even if no one helped me, I will help myself. I made a vow to myself that I would never shun anyone who’d come to me for help. I’d do what I can to help them and so I did.

Even when I suffered the hardest, I didn’t allow my suffering to define who I was. Instead, I used my zest to bring smiles to everyone I came across. I chose to look past what I lost to regain it in ample amounts through zest. If the joy was missing — I smiled. If I felt depressed, I ran. If I saw someone crying, I’d embrace them. Get them something to eat, and perhaps making their day. This was my life when I was growing up. This is how I lived.

We all fear many things in life. We fear losing fights, we never wanted. We fear losing friends, we always adored. We fear punishments, we didn’t deserve it. There are many things one could fear, but zest was perhaps something that drew away from that fear. I could smile even when afraid. I would stand my ground even getting beat. I’d defend to the rhythm of the fight. I would smile through it all.

I aimed to live my life instead of throwing it away. Even if I experienced something dire, something tragic. Zest allowed me to live, it gave me the drive to push me to live. I wanted to live and smile through it all. It allowed me to become mentally tough. It helped me to increase my mental toughness when I was physically weak compared to the other standing before me.

There is something about the nature of zest, it drives confidence in anyone you come across. It overwhelms them, it takes control of that fear and breaks it. It allows you to become your better self. It is the ability that gives you the redeemable choice to become happy. Zest shows you that there is no one to stop you to become happy again, to become fulfilled.

Over the years, Zest has allowed me to instil the same spirit of joy that I have had. I allowed myself to show them, that there is no need to hide. I created a space of safety and security where any judgement they receive or any word they speak will be heard and felt. It will be for their wellbeing nothing more nothing less. Sometimes, you have to become strict in your ways when students do not listen to you. But you can turn that moment of timeout around with just a laugh or a smile. Instead of making them feel weird, degraded. Add humour and humility into the mix.

It does matter when it comes to changing the nature of the environment. Students young and old adhere to a place where they can feel that they belong. A place where words, ideas, and perspectives are welcomed. When you walk from that door — your student will be waiting for you to crack a joke. To ease the atmosphere, what is it that you truly want to teach your students.

A student can self learn and become successful. Then what do they actually learn from classrooms? These are the values that will help them live a great life. Zest is one of these exciting values that will allow them to embark on great journeys filled with treasures to behold.

I have seen many teachers who expect excessively from their students. They demand results, and in doing so they create a strict environment that doesn’t help the student grow. They detract, fail and become miserable. A teacher with zest will always aspire hope in their students. They would show that there is a better way. And they can choose freely what ways adhere to them the most.

That is the way of cultivating zest — It is the freedom in choosing to be yourself. In choosing to become happy for the sake of one’s self — for yourself. It allows other people to feel alive as well, leaving them with everlasting joy.

And that is how you can engage your students in receiving a gift that proffers them value even after they leave the classroom. This attitude that you will bless them with will not only change their mood towards life — but also allow them to see that their lives are just so much more than what they are told to be.

A life of zest is one that offers limitless possibilities to the bearer. Blessing them with the understanding that whatever they choose to do in life can be achieved with perseverance, time and a perspective of hopefulness. It will defeat their worries, allowing them to feel no hurry at choosing to live their life with the utmost zest and joy.

I write about life, and the hope it bears in a poetic context. 💖🕊️

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