Growing up, we used to think that rules, curfews, manners and grown ups restricted us from being free to do what we wanted to do. Little did we know that at six years old we did have freedom, a special kind of freedom that is unique to childhood.
But the good news is, we can still revive the curious, imaginative, optimistic, agile and energetic kid inside us again, if only we stop letting responsibilities and consequences be the only driving forces behind our decisions and our life!
Here are five good lessons from children on why sometimes; we don’t have to act our age.
1. Always Be Curious.
Kids question everything, or at least – they wonder quietly to themselves on how everything works and where they came from. You don’t have to follow someone around and annoy him or her with a gazillion “why?” questions, but you shouldn’t stop wondering altogether.
Awaken your child-detective and continue to be curious about what life still has to offer by the people you meet, the places you visit and even the tasks you have to complete. Why not try that new marketing tool for your new project? Why not eat at that restaurant that has always intrigued you? Curiosity keeps you keen in your undertakings, because there are always discoveries to unfold.
2. Look Forward To Growing Up
We used to measure growing older by the appearance of our birthday cake, by what we were allowed to do when we hit a certain age (theme park rides, wearing makeup, driving, drinking) and how we would make the most of them when the time comes.
When did we stop anticipating and celebrating? Life is still a journey of learning and discovering… instead of avoiding the next number in your age, think of what you could do and achieve when it rolls up! By 30 you could consider investing in a first home. By 45 you could take a cruise to see penguins in the Antarctic. By 50 you could open up that eco-friendly B&B you’ve always dreamed of!
3. Leap Without Thinking
As children, we used to be more comfortable with our bodies and our actions. We shot like cannonballs into pools, hung from monkey bars, swung by ropes and jumped off swings.
Now, we think twice and too much before something simple like lifting both legs into a shoulder stand in yoga or giving that trial session in rock climbing a go. Sometimes it helps to think like a kid and focus on the fun of being there instead of what would happen or how silly you look!
4. Believe In Sea Monsters, Enchanted Forests & Wishing Chairs
It’s okay to accept that your Christmas presents didn’t come from Santa and that the Easter bunny is just a surly man in a furry suit, but remove that ‘grown up thinking cap’ that has no time for sprinklings of magic and mystery and see what happens!
Science may be scientific but nature is still able to marvel. News may be factual but events can still be bizarre. Humans may be jaded but people are crazy and just weird a lot of the time. And the universe? The universe has aliens. Keep your eyes and imagination open wide.
5. When You’re Tired – STOP.
Remember when we used to dedicate our energy supply and really give our all at playtime, but halt to a stop as soon as hunger pangs strike or right before our lunch threatens to hurl out? Yup – we had simple, straightforward principles back then, we listened to our bodies (and our dinner calls!).
As adults though, we push ourselves physically and mentally to complete a task or challenge, and we continue to push ourselves despite internal alarm clocks ringing. Perhaps it’s better to stop when we are feeling spent, retreat to the couch, refuel our bodies and wait for our batteries to charge before we get the green light from our bodies to accelerate again.
The bottom line is – if you see the world as fascinating, then life will be fascinating. If you see your experiences as adventures, then your journeys will be adventurous. Sometimes, life shouldn’t be about acting our age, and making decisions could be about the fun, not the outcome.
What important lesson might you have picked up from a child? We would love to hear your stories below :)