Watching my niece playing in the garden recently made me think about life from her point of view. There I was after a long day at work, downing a Red Bull in the hope of keeping my eyes open while my mind ran through what tasks I had achieved today and what needed to be done the following day.
In contrast my niece was simply “in the moment”. She was full of energy. She hadn’t a care in the world. She had no responsibilities to worry about. Nothing important to remember. She was just living in the now. What a wonderful perspective on life.
All this reminded me of just how great childhood (in a caring home) can be. It also made me wonder what we as adults – with all the responsibilities and practicalities that involves – can do to consciously move our everyday lives to a more relaxed, now-focused and child-like state.
Here are 8 Ways to start creating your second childhood today:
Consider going on vacation.
Certainly we like to take time off work. We like to sit in the sun and relax. But I think there’s more to why vacations are so popular than just these reasons. I think it has something to do with “switching off” from the everyday realities – of leaving our metaphorical baggage at home – and just enjoying ourselves without worrying about paying that bill or calling out the plumber to fix that leaking pipe.
Vacations give you an opportunity to be who you really would be if it weren’t for all the things we as adults have to do. To quote Homer Simpson “he minds me of me – before the weight of the world crushed my spirit”.
So what can we do to achieve a more childlike, hassle-free lifestyle? How do we reduce or eliminate baggage so we have more time to play and simply be present in the moment?
Here are just a few ideas I have come up with though I’m very interested in hearing your own thoughts and ideas in the comments section at the end of this post.
Focus On Fun
They say that when you underline everything, you underline nothing. Parts of your life need to stand out if you’re really going to make the most of them. Losing weight is far easier when you concentrate on it, plan your meals, organize your exercise regime and track your results than when you just carry on with life as normal hoping you can lose a few extra pounds.
So it is with fun. You need to draw the concept of fun to the forefront of your mind. Make it something to concentrate on – to strive for.
Make fun the first thing you think about when you wake up each morning. Plan fun things to do when you’re not working. Consider what you’d like to do but haven’t done yet. Consider how you’re going to include something fun in your day, everyday, even if you have to spend eight hours at work that day.
Reduce Your Responsibilities
One of the reasons why chidren can be so “in the moment” and can simply enjoy having fun is that they have far fewer responsibilities than adults. By it’s very nature many of these responsbilities are things we have promised to do for other people – whether that’s someone at work, a friend or family member.
Make a conscious effort *not* to automatically say yes to everything people ask you to do. Consider the responsibility that promise comes with and whether you would be better off without it. I’m not saying to never do anything for anyone else – what a sad life that would be – but to carefully cherry-pick them so you don’t drown in tasks you’re doing for other people while having no time to do things *you* want to do.
Automate Or Outsource Chores
Some mundane, everyday tasks have to be done. We have to pay our bills. We have to clean our homes and our clothes.
There’s no getting away from these so instead consider ways to lessen the blow, and there are a number of ways to achieve this.
For example you could consider getting a virtual assistant (VA) who can check your emails, remind you of forthcoming birthdays and social events, book hotels, dentist appointments and so on for you and all manner of other tasks.
Then there are cleaners and laundry services who will clean your home and clothes for you. Your VA could even find these and manage these services for you so you don’t have to worry about looking after them yourself.
Food shopping can be done online and delivered to your home at a prearranged time. Your VA can arrange this for you and simply email or call you to let you know when it will be arriving. You could even ask your cleaner to receive the shopping and put it all away for you so that you don’t even have to lift a finger.
Finances can be automated to a degree. Arrange to pay bills automatically out of your bank account so you don’t have to remember to pay them yourself. Set up a savings account that will automatically have a chunk of your income deposited into it. Set up internet banking to make it easy to check balances, transfer funds or pay bills without having to go to the bank and stand in a queue.
You could also consider blocking off some “practical time” each week to do these few small tasks. Put aside an hour or two each Saturday morning for example to check your bank balance, pay any bills necessary, speak to your VA, check your calendar for the next week and so on.
Then once that time is up and your tasks are done, put them away and enjoy guilt-free play. This is surely better than punctuating your play all week long with practical tasks as you think of them, or worrying about when you’ll be able to get round to them.
Live Within Your Means
Create a lifestyle that is easily covered by your income. Downsize and simplify if necessary. This way you will ensure you don’t worry about money and instead can just get on with enjoying yourself without worrying about that bill you know you need to pay but can’t afford.
Expand Your Social Circle
Get out there and meet new people. Make new friends with similar interests to yourself. All “children” need playmates and finding these people that you have so much in common with can make a real difference to your play-like state.
When you meet them aim for total honesty and transparency. Find people you can be yourself around.
Ignore Social Norms
Young children don’t understand peer pressure and social norms. They don’t appreciate what they are and aren’t meant to do in public. That’s why they scream and cry, or shout things they shouldn’t.
These rules certainly serve a purpose – I’m not suggesting *you* throw your toys out of the pram if you don’t get your own way – but rather to worry less about what other people think of you.
Expand your network of friends and be who you really are. Stop worrying about what you should wear based on how everyone else will be dressed and instead just put something on that you like.
If you’re obsessed with Star Wars but everyone you know things you’re a nerd as a result, find some new friends who *do* like Star Wars so you can chat to them about it rather than trying to hide that part of your personality.
Lay yourself bare, be who you are and stop worrying so much about what other people think.
Learn To Let Go