Things We Can Learn From Young Children

Here’s a sneak peek at some of my NaNoWriMo output on Day 3…

doggy costume

  1. Dream big. “Mum, what if we had ice cream bowls as big as our house?” While not always practical at first glance, kids are smart to let their limits find far-off places to rest. This is how we get inventors, writers, artists and other dreamers the world needs. Putting limits on ourselves all the time hampers our potential.
  2. Slow down. Take a walk, find a book to read, forget the clock, and discover more. Rushing around causes us to miss things and run ourselves ragged. We need time to recharge, to appreciate, and to do our best dreaming.
  3. Observe. Watch birds, cars, trains, trees, rain, snow, people… What can we learn through observation? It’s a mysterious process by which we take in the world around us and connect to it. Failure to observe stunts our mental growth and severs the connection.
  4. Imagine. Not everything we think about can be seen. Let your mind travel a little. Again, where are your dreams born? If you never let yourself imagine, all you have is the reality you witness – and you’re stuck there. Imagination lets us move beyond where we are to where we’d like to be.
  5. Ask questions, and don’t always accept the first answer you hear. Ask more. How will we learn if we don’t let the questions come out? Encourage them. “Why does this work as it does? Could it be better? Do we need it at all?” The world won’t stay still and the mind shouldn’t either.
  6. Cuddle, for warmth and comfort. Touch is a powerful thing, and letting someone close brings down walls that could distance our hearts. Discover the positive side of vulnerability by opening your arms to another.
  7. Love animals. They are also like young children, with big hearts ready to give. They also offer the opportunity to practice giving in our society of receiving, taking and not caring as often for others.
  8. Be silly sometimes, it’s good for the soul. Silliness and a goofy side to the character bring out laughter and smiles. We connect when we’re silly together. And we find another way to recharge.
  9. Be curious. The world is a place full of wonder to a child. When did that stop being so for us? Don’t let “I’m not sure’ be the end of a conversation, but extend it by curiosity. “Let’s find out” could take a simple Wikipedia search and lead you to many sources of information on a topic. Expand your expertise, add to your knowledge and never stop learning!
  10. Try, try, try. Perfection doesn’t come the first time, but keep at it. Great discoveries have been made through “failure” but giving up quickly wins nothing, for mankind or for self. Learned from what didn’t work and accept works in progress. That’s what we all are, not examples of perfection. Again, you don’t win by not trying!
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