I’ve written about my two toddler aged children before and the lessons I have learned from them. The education continued last night as I was sitting at the table with my 4-year old son. He has become quite the artist and loves to draw pictures then tell a detailed story about it. On this particular creation, he wanted to write his name on it. Ben. However, he wrote the B and then N and did not leave enough space for the E in between. I asked “Where is the E”? He said, “Right here. I’ll just make the N into an E”. And with that, he made a few dark lines and accomplished what he set out to.
I watched him in wonder, as I always do. Because he just sees the world in a different way. He sees fun and play and innocence and magic. He sees it through the eyes of a child and that is the most precious gift, if you ask me. I thought of how different a child handles mistakes as compared to an adult. An adult might bemoan their mistake and let it kill their confidence. They would ruminate on it and re-live it time and again, stressing out about it, strengthening the neural pathways of negativity and dysfunction. This kind of thought becomes easier because of the existing pathway. That is why such thought processes are often habit and why many people stay stuck in the past and engage in behaviors that continue the cycle of defeat.
Kids don’t do that. They make adjustments, create with a mind as open as the universe and they simply accomplish their goal without much struggle. They don’t have the fear and resistance and confidence challenges that adults have been conditioned to have. They don’t have that fear of failure that adults have been conditioned to have. I am learning this every day as I spend daddy time with my children. And I have to say that it is inspiring on a jaw-dropping level and one of the most amazing experiences in my life.
Society may say it’s not good for an adult to be childish. I say otherwise. When it comes to certain key components like having fun, letting go, being creative and fearing failure, I say- go right ahead and act like a kid. Create. Accomplish with little or no resistance. When something goes wrong, when a mistake is made, don’t ruminate on it. Don’t let it conquer your confidence. Instead, choose to effortlessly draw a line through it and then make the outcome one that you want. This method is not going to work for every mistake and I am not suggesting it will. But for many of them, correcting it, moving out of the past and not dwelling endlessly on what went wrong, will make getting to your destination much quicker and far more enjoyable. Why sweat the small stuff when there is a fun fix for it? Give it a try- go act like a kid again. See where the magic and wonder takes you!