Picasso once said ‘you only need to see an uninhibited child to see a genius.’ As gron ups most of us don’t remember or recollect those moments of joy and happiness back when we were kids. Having no worries or concerns, getting away with mischief and mayhem, crying when we felt like it, laughing just for the hell of it. All these moments in life were just perfect bliss compared to how we see life today – through adult’s eyes.
The beauty of being a kid back then was our enthusiasm for life. Being enthusiastic for us was something wonderful. We just needed to see another kid do something wild and crazy and we would soon follow in tow and do the exact same thing. Enthusiasm was infectious, we inhaled every moment of it and enjoyed the pleasure and excitement that it brought.
But as we grew older our enthusiasm for life began to dwindle and deflate and life took on a whole new meaning. A more serious meaning. No longer did we laugh at silly things or did crazy stuff just for the sake of doing it. The environment and adulthood began to subject itself onto our consciousness and realism set in – normality became a thing of the future and everything else just faded into the distant past. Boo hoo! ☹
Now that summertime in the UK has finally agreed to behave itself, I was at the park the other day, cycling through, and I observed a kid who was eating an ice cream. The kid was so focused on eating his treat that nothing else around him seemed to have mattered. A buffalo stampede could’ve charged through the park and it wouldn’t have mattered to him. The kid was there in the moment, enjoying every lick, devouring every molecule, consuming every bit of his ice cream while taking pleasure in the process of it. It was as if the world around him was n
Damn! I thought, if we could experience that same thought pattern in whatever we do in life just like that ice cream kid then I’m sure we could all be in better shape then what we are at the moment. Because kids don’t seem to have a concept of linear time. They relate only to the present, the right now.
We can learn so much from kids but as adults we think that because we are bigger and stronger that we are wiser then the little ones. But really as adults we lose this stimulating curiosity and prefer to sit in front of our TV sets and watch mindless numbing reality TV shows and pretend that life is hunky-dory.
The more intellectual and reasonable we are, the easier it is to analyse the situation and avoid taking action. This is often referred to as analysis paralysis, which is where we think about something, analyse it, understand it, conduct research, discuss it with friends and family, and mull it over without ever actually doing anything about it.
As adults we are sometimes reminded to “act our age” which is really not what we want to hear. Perhaps one of the important tasks of adulthood is to cultivate the magic of childhood. To lose ourselves to the joy of the day and fall into bed at night, exhausted and satisfied – this is probably the fine art of living a full life. If we look, act, and feel younger than our chronological age, we’re doing something very right. It probably means we’ve discarded a lot of social programming and rejected the notion that getting older means having less fun.
Do me a favour, next time you go out observe kids and see how excited they are to learn about the world around them. Notice how in tune they are with whatever it is they are doing at that moment, however bizarre, or silly it may seem just pay attention to how focused they may be, if its looking out a window, reading a book, playing with a toy and try and catch their enthusiasm and zest for life – it just might rub off on you as well.
Enthusiasm is infectious and attractive to others. People will love you for it.
By thinking enthusiasm, talking enthusiasm and acting enthusiastic you will become so.
Each and every one of us has a child crying, begging to be discovered once more. Yes, the child IN YOU knows that but it is the adult’s veneer that gets caught in the sticky web of doubts, fears and hesitations that cause uncertainty.
If you could only banish the adult part of yourself for a short while in order to get some source of information for your decision making ability then you are one step ahead of the game. Remember, kids always know what they want. Find the child IN YOU and you will find your answer. Of course, there may be adult considerations to take into account once you know what you want, but you can deal with those after you know what they are.
So here are some exercises you can do in order to unveil & reveal that inner child in you:
(Warning! Some of these may come across as totally silly and embarrassing, and quite frankly the sillier they are the better for you to do them, so choose wisely)
– For a friend’s birthday party, write an original and silly song or a poem and deliver it like a singing telegram – if you’re doing it online then do it via a Vlog.
– Be a clown at a child’s party – I’ve done this a few times and I can honestly say it makes all the difference to how you feel by the end of it.
– Dress up as the goofiest Santa Clause in your office or as the Easter Bunny and parade around your work environment or better yet in a shopping area telling stories to kids who gather around you.
– Learn how to mime and stand by the elevator at work greeting people as they arrive in the morning.
– Roll down a hill, skip a rope, play hopscotch, do a cartwheel, go barefoot, finger paint, get crayons and colour in a book and don’t stay within the lines.
– Blow bubbles, juggle balls, learn to blow up different shaped balloons, find a puddle and land in it with both feet.
– Ride your bike in the rain (or the snow if you’re daring enough like I did)
– Watch Saturday morning cartoons in your pajamas with a bowl of your favourite Kellogg’s cereal that you grew up on. The options are endless.
Your imagination is your only limit. Have fun. Lose control. Above all, get really, really embarrassed. And what’s most important, allow your creativity to shine through.
When someone has an irrepressible, insatiable zest for living, ‘he eats life.’ So make a point to start eating life right now, with plenty of extra sauce (preferably chilies ;-)) and don’t spare on the pickles either.
Start discovering your innocence once more, let go of judgment and be an enthusiastic participant in life.
And please share with me your stories and leave a comment of the most outrageous thing you’ve done which lifted your spirits and made your day.
Guy the kidster