Remember when you were a kid and the things you chose to do were only done if they were fun? You made promises like “When I grow up, I’m going to have a ton of toys!” and “When I grow up, no one’s going to tell me what to do!” You’d run just to get there faster or to try out a new pair of shoes (all new trainers make you go extra fast) or simply to show off how fast you could go. A friend would come over and you would ride bikes. You had things you wanted to do and you didn’t wait to do them. You had dreams and you followed them. You wore what you wanted, not worrying about how it looked to other people; you liked it. And wasn’t it awesome when you got pressies? You took them and played with them and whoever gave them to you was the greatest. You climbed rocks because they were there. It was the best when your parents purchased a large appliance because you’d get to turn the box into your own personal playhouse/fort. The sofa was turned into a blanket/cushion castle on the floor and you brought things from your room in there to play with. There was a sense of wonder. There were new things to see and try and every day was an adventure. The world was literally your playground. …. What happened to that? Where was it along the path of our growing up that you lost your wide-eyed, enthusiastic, wondrous outlook on life? When was the last time you made a cushion/blanket castle? How much fun do you have each day? What holds you back?
Howzabout a few suggestions to help regain the childlike spark and implement renewed excitement into your everyday life:
Stop putting things off – Don’t wait until you have the money to do what you love. Don’t wait for next year when things will have slowed down. Don’t allow “Something came up” to interfere. Don’t wait until the perfect time; that time will never come. …They’re all just excuses. Start planning now. Do something now. Live your life now.
Stop worrying so much - What kind of child worries about every little thing? Worrying will not do you any good; it will only rob you of joy. A fair way to test whether or not you should be worrying about this or that is to ask yourself, “Will this matter in a few years?” If not, it’s not worth it. Now go play.
Get curious – Go out in the rain or snow and look straight up at the drops/flakes fall towards you. Ask questions. Watch the busy ants as they move along their trail to/from home. Explore your senses. Find out “What’s that way?” Take a different route to work/school. Explore the foreign food section at the grocery store. Explore.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not – One of my favourite quotes: “Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.” ~Judy Garland – - It’s a lot less tiring, being yourself. You’ll have more energy for (and will be less concerned with how you look whilst doing) fun things. And you’ll be doing things that are indeed fun for you, not someone else’s idea of fun. Have fun.
Don’t be afraid of failing – Making mistakes is how you learn and get better. It’s how you got through childhood. You’ve had many experiences of failed (sometimes embarrassing) attempts before you got it right. And now you’re proficient at walking, feeding yourself, English, etc. So try new things and mess up. Then try them again. You’ll get better and soon enough, you’ll be an expert at something else. Be open to trial and error. It will help you ultimately succeed.
Don’t take yourself seriously – Laugh at yourself; you’re funny. No matter how cool you think you are – you’re not. Although we’ve established you’re proficient at the basics, you are as awkward and clumsy as every other human on this planet. You will inevitably do goofy things. You can still trip, spill, misspeak, etc. And when others point out those goofy things, go with it. Laugh. Because it really is funny. Loosen up and enjoy yourself.
Stop telling yourself “It’s too late.” – It’s never too late. “Yesterday’s dreams are gone. But today I’m singin’ this song. Cause it’s never too late, it’s never too late for now.” (Oh 30 Rock, how I love you)
Don’t be jealous of others – If you think “I could do that, too, if I wasn’t/didn’t *insert excuse here*,” you need to think seriously about all the excuses you make that hold you back. You have no reason to hate on others’ accomplishments. You can achieve your own greatnesses if you concentrate on them instead of jealousy. Accomplish something.
Accept the gifts you’re given - Don’t refuse a gift because you think maybe the person is being put out for giving it to you. They want to give it to you. That’s why it’s called a gift. It makes them happy to give to you and see your enjoyment. So accept it and everyone’s happy (you because you’ve now got this awesome pressie and them because they got to give it). And don’t forget about the gifts we receive everyday. Oh, and make sure to enjoy them.
Stop putting your dreams on the backburner – They’re your dreams. They are important. They aren’t luxury, they are necessity.
Do things for the fun of it – Go out for a bike ride. Go to the park. Climb a rock. Watch cartoons. Take the elevator to the top and push all the buttons to stop at each floor on the way down… jump each time the elevator starts moving again (personally, one of my favourite things to do when I get the chance of it). Take helicopter flying lessons. Slide across the floor in your socks (another personal favourite). Be a child.