“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all of our lives.”
I remember when I was growing up, everything around me was a fascinating puzzle. The most important word in my vocabulary was WHY. We have all been around children who drive you absolutely crazy asking questions, or playing the “why” game. Granted sometimes kids ask why 1000 times just to annoy you because they think it is funny, but more often than not, children just want to know more about everything.
How many adults do you know that ask that many questions? How many questions do you ask as you go through your day?
The reason children are always asking questions is because they have an insatiable curiosity and thirst for understanding and knowledge. As we grow older, this is something that regrettably, slowly begins to fade away.
We grow up and start thinking that we know enough, and we lose interest in things that we don’t understand. Sometimes we get so set in our ways we even attack new or different ideas!
We lose the children’s perspective and gain the adults cynicism.
There are a few things about kids that we could greatly benefit from learning again:
1. Kids are curious.
Because they are so curious, kids constantly ask questions. Adults don’t.
The problem with losing our curiosity is that we stop asking questions.
When we stop asking questions, we stop learning.
And When we stop learning, we stop growing!
Human beings need to grow to be happy and to find a sense of fulfillment. Our new “adult” perspective prevents us from growing.
2. Kids are open to new ideas.
Often as adults we close our minds to new ideas, because we think we know what is right. Because we have more experience we think we know what is best before we really give new ideas any real thought. We discredit new ideas or ignore them instead of giving them a try.
The problem with this is in order to maintain a happy life, we need to be open to new ideas. Children are always open to new ideas, and are curious about new things, while many adults are uninterested about new concepts at best, or hostile towards them at worst. We miss an abundance of learning and new growth on a personal and professional level when we go through life with a closed mind.
3. Kids don’t judge.
Children have no concept of what is “different”, and do not judge. It is just something new to them, neither good or bad. Adults very often have established what is acceptable or normal, and want nothing to do with things that are “different”. They judge things at face value, and can be impossible to convince otherwise.
The concept of racism is a perfect example of this principle in action. Racism is a learned trait in children, to them a person of another race is just another person, neither good or bad, before they are conditioned to believe otherwise. Judging others before really getting to know them can be harmful on every level. Personally and professionally it can cause a large amount of conflict and pain to others and yourself.
So what are we supposed to do? Act like kids?
By no means am I advising that we all resort to childlike mental states for the rest of our lives! Having a grown-up rational mind is essential to living a successful happy life, and it’s important that children eventually grow up too.
What I am suggesting is that maybe some of us let ourselves get a little bit too grown up. Maybe it is time for us to revisit some of our views from childhood to teach us old things we used to know, but have forgotten.
To get back in touch with your inner child there are 3 things you need to do.
1.) Start having new experiences.
Step outside of your comfort zone, at least once in a while. Do new things, meet new people! Try some exotic foods, or listen to some music you wouldn’t normally put on. The important part is to experience new things to teach your mind that new isn’t always bad! New experiences will promote personal growth, which will bring you an abundance of happiness. Just have the courage to do something different.
2. Get curious again!
Find a hobby or part of your life that you can get deeply involved in. It’s important to find something that you are passionate about. When we are passionate about doing something, we can never learn enough about it. Reigniting your curiosity can make everything in your life interesting again! Getting involved in hobbies and interests will get you into the habit of keeping an open mind and leaning something everyday. It will also help you to do the next step.
3. Ask more questions.
When you find a subject or interest that you don’t know much about, or want to know more about, ask someone! Your hobby and new interests should give you plenty of questions! Successful people ask more questions. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed, someone would love to explain to you if you will just ask! When someone is passionate about something, asking them questions about it can be a great way to learn more and it will enable you to build a relationship with that person. If nothing else, just ask questions to yourself, and look up the answers! Just get back into the habit of asking questions, they are so important to keep growing as a person.
Use these three steps to rediscover the wisdom of kids that you have forgotten. Learning to wake up your inner child again is not only fun, but it is a fail-proof way to bring more happiness and fulfillment to your life.
It will also increase the quality of your interpersonal relationships because you will become more open and fun to be around. You are never too old to learn to act like a kid again, so start today!
What are some of the ways that you keep yourself young at heart?
About the author: David Goettsch is a full time police officer in Ohio. He has a passion for personal development and is the creator of the self improvement blog: Personal Growth Project, You can contact him through his website, his Facebook page, or his twitter