“We’re going on holiday. We’re going on holiday” a small girl of about 2 years screams over and over through the Sydney Airport in a gleeful sing song voice. You can’t help but love her in child enthusiasm, I and how her parents aren’t trying to shush her or squash her enthusiasm.
Staring our the window I often think… if I could live like a child for just one week, what moments in life would be more enjoyable. Children do without thinking, what we as adults seem to have forgotten. Children are naturally more confident, more determined, more daring and enjoy life more passionately than adults. We’ve had the shine taken off things a little. We feel the need to explain things and explain ourselves.
Here’s what we can learn and embrace through acknowledging and listening to our inner child.
Starting every day fresh.
When you were young, you didn’t carry baggage from one day into the next. When you were young you simply started fresh, and started each day with a clean slate. Children don’t often hold a grudge, that’s something we develop later in life.
Remember when you were younger, and the summer holidays stretched on and on for an eternity. You could cram so many adventures into one summer and each new day was a fresh start and a new adventure.
Creative pursuits are fun and good for you.
Remember losing yourself in a project, and getting right up close to the page as you colour? Remember the hours upon hours you’d spend creating and playing? Children are known for getting drawn into a creative project, but as we get older and essentially busier, we stop seeing creative activities as necessary or worthwhile.
Aside from professional artists, how many adults do you know who draw on a regular basis, or colour, or play with clay or finger paint??
Apparently something as simple as colouring in can be great stress relief. Adult colouring books are actually a thing, and are available on Amazon.com in amazing titles such as Unicorns Are Jerks and Dinosaurs With Jobs.
How to be courageous.
You know those rustic signs, fridge magnets and motivational poster which read “Dance like no one is watching” blah blah ” Sing like no one is listening” ? Children live like this, their existence feels limitless because they’re not held back by fear of failure or by the opinion of others.
Children march to the beat of their own drum, purely because they don’t know any better. Children march forward with determination, gusto and hope, not beaten down by past failings they naturally embrace life. Picture a child learning to walk, they fall over and over (and over) again before they walk and from there it’s still a learning curve as they gain coordination and learn to run.
How to be the hero.
Ever noticed when a child tells you about their day or an event, they’re the central character and hero? Children have a greater sense of self, in their mind the world revolves entirely around them. As a young child I never thought about what other people might be doing in their own homes at night, I simply thought about I was doing (or not doing). I had no concept of people continuing about their lives when I wasn’t there.
Yet again as we get older we become concerned with appearing conceited, narcissistic or egotistic so we downplay our wins, our accomplishments and our achievements. Me, I’m never sure how to take a compliment and often turn compliments in self-deprecating humour. I’m guilty of pointing out my own flaws in order to beat anyone else to the punch.
In our adult quest to avoid being labelled conceited or egotistical are we only pushing modesty becomes an admirable quality and ultimately convincing ourselves of our own mediocrity?
Why you should try new things.
Children are never afraid to jump right in and try new things. Young children will try sports and play games they’ve never played and make new friends with ease. Children leap into new activities and new experiences without so much as a second thought. As and adult though we tend to fear the unknown, worry about consequence and play out a series of scenarios in our minds, often fear the unknown and choose to stay.
Remember adventure livens the spirits and awakens us. Go on an adventure.
I’m keen to here you thoughts, if you could live like a child for a week… what would you do? what would you enjoy?