To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
― William Blake,
Yes we can do all those grown-up things, drive, and drink alcohol; we can own grown-up things like houses, cars, and computers; we can wear grown-up clothes, and have grown-up responsibilities!
However, there are grown-up conditions we probably can do without such as stress, anxiety, depression, and worry, which all come with our increased grown-up responsibilities.
So sometimes being a grown-up may not be as fun as we thought it might be. And while we cannot go back in time and un-grow, we can learn to see life from the perspective of that young person we once were.
Unleash your inner-child
There is actually research that shows that if you can adopt the perspective of a child in your everyday life, it may result in you living a more successful life free from stress. Adopting the perspective of a child does not mean being ‘childish.’ It means thinking like a child and letting go of some of the constraints you put on yourself for no reason.
Here are three ways you can begin to adopt a child perspective starting from today!
1. Let your imagination wonder…
In a workshop for teachers I went to once, the facilitator gave each table a shoe box and asked us what we’d use it for. We came up with the usual such as to store pencils, or store other stationary, and one person suggested turning it upside down and using it as a step. But not many went beyond the storage idea. After all it’s a cardboard box.
Then we watched a video of the same facilitator putting the problem to a group of kindergarten children. The box was no longer just a box in their mind. It transformed into a shoe, a skate, a hat, a car, a boat, a truck, a house, and even a crib for a kitten.
The point was that children literally were thinking outside the box. They were imaginative and creative in what they can do with a simple shoe box.
The adults on the other hand either did not think of these or were too afraid to think beyond what they were seeing. They thought their ideas were stupid.
Perhaps they may sound stupid, but did you know that some of the most insane ideas have had very positive outcomes.
In 1975 Gary Dahl sat at a bar in Los Angeles listening to his friends complain about their pets. So he came up with the idea of having a pet that needed no care. That was the ‘Pet Rock.’ The fad lasted for about six months but Dahl made millions. And guess what? The fad is back!
2. Be sweet and not bitter
Young children do not see race, color, sexual orientation, or religion. They see the person. They are non-judgmental and don’t really care that you have worn the same outfit three times that week, and you still look like a tent wearing it. And most importantly they don’t hold grudges. Because to children, the game is important. So they are willing to hug and make up so they can be included in the game.
Why can’t adults do this?
Why judge a person for the clothes they wear, the color of their skin, or the God or Gods they have faith in? Is this really important in a collaboration?
Do you know the stress and anxiety you put yourself through the longer you hold that grudge and hate in your hearts? It weighs you down. So why carry that bitterness with you?
Life is a game … so play it. And have fun playing. There are no winners or losers because the length of the game is as long as the length of your life. .
3. Let go of inhibitions
What’s holding you back?
Children know who they are and they are not afraid to be themselves at home and in public. They do not think twice about getting on stage and dancing if the music is on. They are not afraid to walk into a grocery store and say hello to everyone they meet. And they will wear a shoe box as a skate and glide across the floor like a professional skater.
Where would you be in life right now if you were to let go of your inhibitions?
Why do you need to have this self-censorship all the time? Can you switch it off for a while and see what happens?
There are many benefits to our adult life if we can allow that inner child to come out and let us see the world through his or her perspective. Because through the eyes of a child we may see hope for situations we put down as being hopeless.