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Lessons from the past.

In the race to get older, we often leave behind a part of ourselves that we think we don’t need: our inner child. With the world telling us to ‘grow up,’ to ‘be more mature,’ and to ‘act like an adult’ it’s hard to hold onto the beautiful, unfiltered simplicity, clarity and wisdom of childhood. We shed our childhood in exchange for a boring, stiff, uncomfortable adult suit (sometimes literally). Don’t get me wrong. Maturing, learning, and growing is a part of life, and I’m not saying we revert back to rolling-around-on-the-ground temper tantrums in the grocery store, but there is an undeniable wisdom in the way the brain of a child works, and this wisdom is very easy to lose as we get older.

Here are 10 things that kids do without thinking twice. If we as adults bring more of this into our lives, it might just make us a bit happier.

1. Play

As we grow older, play is often replaced with responsibilities and we relegate it to the realm of the frivolous. But play isn’t a time-waster—it’s a vital part of our lives. It fosters creativity, reduces stress, and connects us with others. Play doesn’t necessarily mean structured games; it can be as simple as dancing in the kitchen while cooking, going for a bike ride without a destination in mind, or aimlessly doodling on a notepad. Playing with others teaches us important social dynamics in a fluid and unpredictable environment. This type of environment is hard to come by in the structure of the corporate world.

Play is also just straight up fun. Let’s reclaim the joy of play.

2. Be brutally honest

Kids embarrass us with their unfiltered truth-bombs but that raw honesty is refreshing. Like the time my brother embarrassed my mom as he introduced our family to a random adult: “I’m John and I’m 11, my sister Erin is 14, my brother Chris is 12, my sister Moira is 7, and my mom is 45.”

As adults, we feel this weird pressure to adhere to social niceties, and we’ve forgotten the liberating and connective power of honest communication. Yes, tact is vital but it shouldn’t shroud the truth. Let’s strive to balance our conversations with honesty, empathy and curiosity, a few skills many of us lose along the way.

3. Be Curious

Kids are relentless with their questions, their eyes wide with fascination at this vast, intriguing world. “Why is the sky blue?” “How does the TV work?” They are sponges, eager to soak up knowledge. As adults, we often stop asking ‘why’, assuming we already know all the answers. But this assumption is our folly. The world is an infinite source of wonder and knowledge, and no one ever learned anything new by pretending to know everything. Let’s rediscover our curiosity and strive to keep learning, every single day.

4. Have No Ego

In a child’s world, there is no place for ego. They don’t measure their worth against others. They don’t judge, they just are. Kids set aside ego in search for connection. Then as we get older, this flips, and we set aside connection in exchange for ego. Our self-importance often stands as a barrier to genuine relationships, personal growth, and humility.

It’s an interesting paradox. In an effort to protect ourselves from being hurt we guard against genuine connection, which hurts us more than anything. Humility and vulnerability may just be the thing you need to find deeper connection in your life.

5. Do What Feels Right in the Moment

When a child sees a muddy puddle, they don’t think about the mess or the laundry—they jump right in, splashing and laughing. As adults, we’re often paralyzed by overthinking and fear of judgement. We weigh the pros and cons until the moment passes us by. Let’s try to reintroduce spontaneity into our lives.

Let’s listen to our hearts more often and dare to jump into life’s muddy puddles.

6. Be Present

Kids are masters of mindfulness. When they are playing or eating their favorite candy, they are fully absorbed, their attention riveted to the present. Unlike adults, the child’s mind is not cluttered with the baggage of the past or the anxiety of the future. Being present helps us appreciate the richness of life’s experiences, and allows us to engage more deeply with the world around us.

Let’s try to take a leaf out of their book and strive to live in the now.

7. Go with Your Gut

Children are instinctive. They listen to their gut feelings about people and situations and trust their intuition. As we grow, we tend to favor logic over instinct, and in doing so, we often end up second-guessing ourselves. Have you ever made a Pros and Cons list even though deep down you knew the right decision in your gut? Our intuition is our subconscious mind guiding us based on its vast reservoir of past experiences and knowledge.

Let’s learn to trust that internal compass again.

8. Use Your Imagination

For a child, a simple cardboard box can become a spaceship, a castle, a shop, or a secret hideout. But as adults, our imagination often becomes restricted, confined to the realm of practical matters or plagued by worst-case scenarios. Yet, imagination is a powerful tool for problem-solving, creativity, and making life more enjoyable. So let’s flex those imagination muscles again.

Let’s dare to dream, to invent, to explore the limitless possibilities that our minds can create.

9. Be Fascinated with Simple Things

A child can find magic in the most mundane. A butterfly is a magical creature, a puddle is an ocean full of possibilities, and a rainbow can make their day. As adults, we tend to take the magic of the everyday for granted. But life becomes so much richer when we rekindle our sense of wonder.

Let’s open our eyes to the extraordinary in the ordinary, to the beauty that blooms in the mundane.

10. Cry

Crying, for a child, is as natural as laughing. They cry when they are hurt, when they are upset, or when the world becomes a bit too overwhelming. They don’t hide their tears. As adults, however, we often bottle up our emotions, afraid to show our vulnerability. But crying is a natural response to strong feelings, a catharsis that’s both healing and human. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to let our emotions flow, to wear our hearts on our sleeves, to acknowledge that we, too, are humans who feel deeply.


So, I challenge you to think deeply about these 10 things. Could you use more of these in your life? Pick one and weave it into your day today. See if it makes a difference.

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