You came into this world; naive, innocent and full of curiosity.
Like a sponge ready to soak up all the world had to offer. Yet something happened in the process of growing up that turned you into a cynical, jaded and perhaps miserable adult.
Somewhere along the line you stopped seeing the world with a child’s eyes.
Where there was once wonder and enthusiasm, now there is only work, bills, chores and endless to-do lists. It’s not surprising that under a mountain of laundry and paperwork you haven’t had the time or energy to bounce around with the excitement of a five-year-old. But even terminally busy can incorporate a little bit of childhood magic into your daily life with these simple and easy to follow tips!
1. Ask more questions. Children ask a lot of questions, up to 300 a day apparently! Why is the sky blue? Why do people die? What is time? Why are there no dinosaurs anymore? What makes someone bad? Who do you love more? Why does Katie have two Moms? Why doesn’t space fall on us? So why do so many of us adults (or big-kids as I like to think) stop asking questions? But more importantly, why do we stop asking questions of ourselves? When you stop questioning the things that go on in your daily life – you are forever at the whim of other people. Stop asking questions and you effectively stop being in the driving seat of your own life. To take control you have to ask questions both of yourself and other people.
2. Love your flaws. Before society tells them it’s wrong – children love showing family their bloated belly, saying “Look where all the food went!” as they proudly poke their protruding tummy. So why not take a leaf out of their book and wind the clock back to a time when you didn’t feel ashamed of having a little extra flab around your middle?
3. Learn something new everyday. You really have no excuse not to, when with just a few clicks of a button you can access all of the information you could ever want or need. As children we were always learning, it’s only when we ‘grow up’ that some of us mistakenly believe that we don’t need to learn anymore because we already have all the answers. Which of course we don’t! So instead of sitting mindlessly in front of the TV to watch yet another episode of your latest TV addiction, you could do something interesting and productive which stimulates your curiosity, like reading a book, doing night classes at a community college, visiting a museum or learning a new language.
4. Get creative. Picasso was right when he said that “All children are artists, the problem is how to remain one once he grows up.” Children love finger-painting, drawing, crayoning walls, covering themselves in permanent marker – basically anything that’s messy. But as you get older the inner perfectionist within starts to win-out, until eventually you give up on creativity altogether because you’re too terrified of making a messing up. Children on the other hand don’t care – if they make a ‘mistake’ they will simply paint over it or incorporate it into the rest of their drawing. But we live in a society which places such great emphasis on success that many of us finding ourselves acting only when we are certain of success – wrapping ourselves in a false sense of comfort derived from the familiarity which surrounds us. So instead of running for the hills at the mere thought of picking up a paintbrush, perhaps introduce yourself slowly to whatever skill you feel drawn to, whether it be crochet or salsa dancing. Give creativity a chance – you might be surprised by the results!
5. Dream Big. When you ask a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” they will tell you, “A world famous explorer!”, “The mad-scientist who cures cancer!”, “A pop-star!” or perhaps even “A world-dominator!”. Children have high hopes for their future, it’s only when we adults (I scoff at being called an adult) tell them that the chances of doing any of these things are minimal, that they learn to have more realistic expectations of what their future career might involve. It’s a crying shame that we laugh off the dreams of children as being hopelessly naive, we could all do with a bit more aspiration in our lives and reaching for the impossible is a damn sight better than sitting on your ass in front of screens all day. So let go of your doubts and let yourself think about those secret desires you hold so close to your heart. Yes, you might never reach the lofty goals you set for yourself but living a life in which you strived for excellence will leave you happier and with far fewer regrets than if you never gave them a chance and were always left wondering: ‘What if?’
Blogger, crafter and candlemaker!
|Written on 10/7/2013 by Aimee King. You can find more of Aimee’s work at her website|
Photo Credit: Ian D Keating