Remember being a kid and wondering why most grown-ups were so grumpy all the time? You’d swear you’d never become like that when growing up!
How’s that going now?
Did the world bring you down on your knees yet? Or are you still dreaming big, waking up excited every day?
Are you suffering under the weight of your worries about the future and the ghosts of your past? Or are you mainly thrilled to make the most of the present?
Here are five ways to awaken the inner child in you and make life the adventure it once was:
1. Dream BIG.
You can say a lot about these little buggers, but they’re not afraid to dream big. Kids observe the world with wonder and envision themselves playing an important role in it. They’re often ambitious without limits and you should be too.
Now is the time to set more audacious goals. Do it!
Dream big, set goals, make a plan and execute. Learn how to set and achieve personal goals with ‘Further North: 21 Golden Rules For Personal Goal Setting‘. Download it for free!
2. Follow your curiosity.
All kids are born scientists. They learn by experiment and are unbound when it comes to questioning the status quo. Follow your curiosity and make an effort to learn something interesting every day.
3. Care less about the opinion of others.
Kids don’t give a fuck. When I was five, my favourite outfit was a bright pink tracksuit and I wanted to wear it to school every day. My mom had second thoughts and tried to prevent me from wearing it at all cost, because she was afraid the other kids would bully me.
Life gets significantly easier when you stop worrying about what others think of you. Embrace your identity and all that makes you unique. Find the courage to truly be yourself.
Wear that pink tracksuit (metaphorically or literally, whatever has your preference).
4. Make new friends everywhere you go.
As a kid you could walk up to other kids wherever you were and ask them to be your new friends. Growing up, most of us rather ‘mind our own business’. Boring!
I deeply admire people who can make friends wherever they go and try to make an effort to do the same. Every person has something to tell you that will make you wiser. Conversations with strangers give us perspective and life is a lot more fun when you’re sharing it with others (and yeah, this is coming from an introvert).
5. Be an eternal optimist.
When kids think and talk about the future they tend to focus on the opportunities to do that what makes them happy. It’s easy for kids, as they’ve been growing up in the protective bubble created by their parents, shielding them from evil and injustice.
When you grow up that bubble bursts and you’ll find out the world isn’t exactly fair. Navigating this new world can be difficult, but being pessimistic all the time isn’t going to help you either. Make an effort to always look for the good things in life!
Bonus: How NOT to live like a kid.
You might ask yourself, if kids are such fantastic beings with all these amazing characteristics, what’s the point of growing up? Well, there are some characteristics you might want to leave behind you (not many grown-ups are good at this):
1. Control your emotions.
Kids tend to act on their emotions in the moment they feel them. Realize that feeling emotions and acting on them are two separate things. You can feel an emotion and then decide to act on a more conscious level. It takes practice, but the benefits are worth it.
Also read: On Being Angry At The Situation.
2. Be considerate of others.
We already established that kids generally don’t care what other people think of them. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing.
Realize that you’ll never be free unless you stop caring what others think of you, but at the same time make a conscious decision to not be in the way of other people living their life.
Empathy is one of the cornerstones of a peaceful civilization.
3. Plan for the future.
Kids are not great at planning ahead. They often struggle to understand the long term impact of their immediate actions.
Most adults are not much better. There are plenty of people who have habits that are likely to hurt them significantly later on in life.
Enjoy life now, but make small sacrifices every day (think: eating healthy, working out, saving and investing money) in order to take care of your future self. This is where self-discipline comes in.
Also read: Self-Discipline Is Self-Love.
Being an adult is tough. Kids only see the freedom adulthood comes with and are often in a rush to grow up. Getting older, many wish to be able to crawl back to simpler times, living in the protective bubble their parents created for them.
That bubble is no more.
Welcome to the real world. Make the most of it now you still can.
Dream big, follow your curiosity, find the courage to love yourself and be yourself, and make life the adventure it once was. Go forth!
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