After watching Star Wars the other they, I lit up like the saber of Obi-Wan Kenobi. This guy definitely knows how to use his lightsaber. And the schvrmmmm-kwishuuuuu sound that it makes, reminded me of the sound of my childhood days where I’d constantly play, uncaring about what others think of me.
All grown-ups were once children. But only few of them remember it. That’s your parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, your friends and so on. They were all children. They were all creative, free-willed, curious, and innocent in their understanding of what’s possible.
But as we all grow up, there is one problem that starts to arise. We begin to lose that playful touch with ourselves and we become more logical and less emotional. We become like the serious man from “The Little Prince,” who constantly counts numbers and claims to be “a serious man” when, in fact, he happens to be a very sad and lonely guy who is only counting numbers all day long, instead of experiencing and feeling the world around him.
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. – Pablo Picasso
And that’s the gist of the today’s topic: How to re-establish the connection with your childlike spirit so you can, instead of always be on the verge of a mental breakdown thinking about how to solve your everyday dilemmas, revive the vividness and curiosity and bring that playfulness you once had back into your life.
For that reason, I have prepared 11 childlike qualities you can start adopting in your life right now. Let’s see what they are.
1. Constantly speak the dream language
”Logic will take you from point A to point B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
You’ve been a child and you’ve had a dream back then, hadn’t you? Yeah, it may have been a silly idea, but you had one. You may have believed in Santa Claus, fairy tales, and dream about things that were not logically possible from an adult’s perspective.
As children, we don’t use our logic as much as we use our imagination and feelings about what’s possible. We liked to imagine we can fly far up in the sky one day and maybe that’s how the idea of planes came into existence. Don’t be afraid to dream. This whole world is made up of dreams.
2. Come at others with different approaches
“Be like water.” – Bruce lee
Sometimes I feel inspired to write as soon as I wake up and I go straight into it. Other times, I need to do some prep work like sitting in front of the laptop and lining up dominoes. Sometimes I work on a turned up music, other times in quite. And every time the outcome works out in a different way because every time I decide to approach it in a different way.
It’s the same with when you are trying to negotiate a better salary with your boss, a longer holiday, increase your productivity at the workplace, gain better ideas for your company and so on.
You may not get the outcome you wanted from the first time, so you have to be flexible and try different ways of approaching life and others until they say “yes” to your requests or until you find how to do your job in the most efficient and effective way for you.
3. Persuade emotionally instead of logically
”We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested.” – Edward Bernays
Children are emotional, while adults are more logical. And still, all humanity is ruled by emotions. Edward Bernays (Freud’s nephew) discovered that when he tried to bring new tactics to the marketing world in the 20th century. And he made a breakthrough: People hardly buy something or do something based primarily on facts and information.
People are more inclined to buy something if it appeals to them “on an emotional and unconscious level” because humans are fundamentally irrational beings. And although humans are becoming more and more robotic because the world makes us live so logically, it would do no harm if, instead of living so logically, we tied our emotions to something we really want to do and go after it.
4. Be too innocent to understand what’s impossible
”I showed the grown ups my masterpiece, and I asked them if my drawing scared them. They answered: “why be scared of a hat?” My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
Children’s imagination is unlimited in its understanding of the world around them. They absorb everything like a sponge, and without filters, and often make ridiculous statements and connect ideas that have nothing in common. They talk about cops arresting a T-Rex and are capable of taking those around them to places, where we can’t logically tap into, by altering our ways of thinking. A movie like Star Wars is just one example of the potential of the human imagination.
5. Stay extremely curious
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has it’s own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein
Sit down and mess around with something until you figure out what a certain thing is doing. That sounds so familiar because what? Because kids do that.
They gave a chimpanzee two different blocks made up of lead. One of the block’s had a perfect shape, whereas, the other one was biased making it unable to stay straight up on a surface. The chimpanzee put the aligned block on a surface and it stayed without falling. When it tried to put the biased one, it fell. Then the chimpanzee left the biased block without questioning it further.
The same experiment with humans gave slightly different results. When a human baby tried to put the same biased block straight and it fell, it didn’t leave the block but continued playing with it until it figured out how to keep the block straight without falling.
That’s led to the conclusion that the ability to question our lives and the world around us and ask “why” every time we didn’t get the results wanted, is in the very nature of human beings. This has moved the world forward and created its shape you see today.
6. Adopt a reset mentality / Know when to start all over
Life is a series of ups and downs and you have to deal with it. When you are a kid you play and you don’t know that you have to lose in a game. You just play. You climb on the couch and then you fall. Thirty seconds later you go and play lego. You don’t remember the fall. It’s gone. It’s in the past.
Some of the best athletes have the shortest memory in the world. Kobe Bryant throws ten times and misses. Then, on the eleventh, he throws as like he never missed and scores.
Adults go through a heartbreak, two years after and they still dwell on it. But going back to the past never moves you towards your goals. No matter what you are going through, a heartbreak, bad marriage, or stuck at a job you don’t like, just hit the reset button, forget about it like it’s never happened, and start all over right fucking now. You may not have control of outside events, but it’s in your control to move away from what’s not working anymore instead of ruminating over the past.
7. Use your charm to get what you want
Seduce, charm, use your eyes to establish an eye contact, smile – these are all ice-breaking ways of making a good first impression and of charming your way into getting anything you want.
Children are like this. They look at you and do that swift movement with their eyes, then they smile at you, and they just seduce you until you give them what they want.
In sales, there is a name for this type of activity and it’s called the SEE factor. It stands for Smile, Eye contact, Excitement, which help you to build that contagious confidence, excitement, build trust, and instill curiosity in the person next to you.
8. Always feed your mind new things
Kid’s brain, mind, imagination, and muscles work 7 days a week 24/7 at worse. And that’s why they absorb everything like a sponge. It’s like working out five days versus working out once a week. Which way do you think will help you build your muscles faster? Working out five days of course.
As kids, we are like a top performer athlete. When we grow up, our minds start working less because everything has already become a here-is-what-I-do-today routine and we are no longer getting new experiences. But the mind is like a muscle and it has the ability to reorganize itself throughout the course of our entire lives the more we use it. As they say “use it or lose it.”
9. Learn how to learn faster and fail faster
There is a friend of mine who always says he is going to do things and he almost never does it. He is afraid of making a mistake, of losing or getting rejected, but you don’t have a thousand year contract with life. Your time here is limited and by learning how to push through even when our own fears of failure and self-doubt are telling us “no” is a crucial moment if we want to accomplish something.
10. Understand that life is a game and not a chore
When you first come to this world, you are having fun. As you grow older, though, life’s no longer fun, but a chore. Having a partner is a chore, your job is a chore, doing the laundry is a chore, going out is a chore, paying the bills is a chore, your business is a chore. And you just want to kill yourself. That’s when you’ve started taking life too seriously. Then is when you know it’s time to loosen up a bit and start treating life as a game because if you treat life as a game, you’d be having a lot more fun with life. You gotta figure out how to have fun.
11. Nourish your childlike mindset
In my childhood, we would build houses from wood and cartoon materials and then we would gather in them. Other times, we would strip electrical cables to get the wires and used them to make wire robots. Then we would make balls of clay with which we competed.
Children are always in creation mode. They build towers of LEGO, ships, planes, cars, you name it. They always create because it’s fun. The more you can stay in creation mode and keep yourself there, the more things you will have to create, and hence continually keep building your muscle of creating instead of losing it.
When you feel too stressed, you have most likely started taking life too seriously. Then is when it’s time to loosen up and return back to your childlike state of being. After all, we were all children and deep down inside of us we know that life is more enjoyable if you treat it like a game. And if you learn how to play it, you will be having a lot more fun, just like kids do.
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