children are more in touch with their instincts than adults. sometimes this leads to bad decisions, like when you ate an entire bag of Twizzlers and threw up all over your great-aunt’s carpet. but it also leads to amazing daring and exuberance.
The author is saying that as we grow up, we become detached from our natural instincts and start doing things that are less fun because they are more responsible. To get back to the fun things in life, we need to remember the things we used to do for fun and start doing them again.
1. Climb – anything.
Aside from the workout, being high up gives you a different perspective of the world. For a short time, you see things differently from up in a tree or on your roof. Once you’re back on the ground, reality sets in again, but the experience has changed you. Find a favorite tree or place to climb, and you might just get a new perspective on life.
2. Jump in puddles (or snow mounds).
We shouldn’t let bad weather stop us from doing things we enjoy. We should invest in some good rain gear and go out and enjoy the weather, even if it’s not perfect. We need to use our imaginations to make the most of every situation.
3. Play in the sand, dirt, mud, creek, lake, etc.
In other words, make a mess of yourself and have fun doing it. The microbes, sensory feast, and subversive act are all important. (It’s the ultimate snub to society’s confines.) Why do we take such pride, for example, in driving around a mud encrusted SUV? The real adventure is getting yourself caked in muck.
4. Eat food right off the plant/out of the dirt.
If children today try to pick an apple off a tree, their parents rush over to stop them. In the past, children were allowed to eat food that they found outside, even if it was dirty. Nowadays, people are more concerned about cleanliness. However, it is beneficial to eat some dirt, as it can help boost your immune system.
5. Tell the truth.
While parents may be mortified when their kids say too much, it’s just in their nature. They’re not trying to be offensive, they just haven’t learned boundaries yet. As we age, we become more tactful and reasonable, but we may also bury our feelings more. We don’t speak up against what we believe because we don’t want to upset others. Even though there should be respect and limits, sometimes it’s good to let our emotions and true selves be seen, like when we were younger.
6. Let go of grudges.
Crista noted that kids are excellent example of how to “fix it and forget it”, “forgive and move on”. There’s not enough time for bitterness when you know that you’ll be called for dinner soon. Why give up the chance for fun when there’s still good things to be had?
7. Test limits.
Do you remember trying to pedal as fast as you could just to see how fast your could go? And jumping again and again to get higher and higher, to reach this branch and then that one? Childhood was like a never ending quest to see how brave we were. Why did we ever let go of that instinct or at least confine it into the tiny space of a career function or other “acceptable” trial? We’re clearly missing out. So go ahead and throw a tennis ball at the wall of your house and see how many times you can catch it. Run as fast as you can just for the sheer amusement of it. And see how many Big Wheels you can jump over. Trust me, it’s just as important as what you had planned for the day.
8. Walk comfortably in your own shoes.
If you don’t do what others want you to, they may get mad. But don’t worry about it. It’s their issue, not yours. A lot of people have strong opinions about how others should live, even though they don’t have a clue how to live themselves. So concentrate on what you feel you should do, and keep moving ahead on your own path. It’s more worthwhile to be aware of one of your own strengths or weaknesses than to be aware of a thousand strengths and weaknesses in other people.
9. Be a little unrealistic.
You need to be a little bit unrealistic to be successful. You have to believe that things can change starting now, even if it’s different from what has happened in the past. Think about it. Being realistic won’t change anything, but being unrealistic might. For example, it was unrealistic to think that people could use a mobile phone to instantly research any topic, watch movies, get perfect driving directions, and see their friends face-to-face no matter where they are in the world. But a small group of computer scientists didn’t think so, and now we have that technology.
10. Have willingness to make mistakes.
It is more beneficial to make mistakes than to never take action. You can learn a lot from your mistakes if you are not busy avoiding or denying them. There comes a point where you have to stop dwelling on a mistake and move on. Don’t have any regrets in life, just lessons that show you what to do next.
11. Get back up.
The people who are the strongest and most accomplished are not always the ones who win, but the ones who don’t give up even after they lose. Even if you think you’re not good enough, you might surprise yourself if you keep trying. What defines us is not whether or not we win, but how well we get up after we fall. So, in order to win, all you have to do is get up one more time than you fall down.
12. Remember to keep smiling.
If you’re not smiling, you’re losing your footing. So, no matter what situation you’re in, be determined to be happy. You’ll eventually realize that most of your happiness or unhappiness comes from your attitude, not your actual circumstances.
13. Think positive.
Our thoughts have tremendous power – they can create and destroy. Everything is possible. It’s up to us what we do. Our lives are largely shaped by our thoughts. So let’s be mindful about the kind of thoughts we plant, because we can always choose to change our minds.
14. Consider laughing at yourself and your life situations.
All self-misery is caused by self-pity, which is caused by taking life too seriously. If you’re too serious, you’ll be afraid to try new things. It’s important to laugh at yourself and your situation sometimes. People who can do this have a better understanding of life. You become an adult when you can laugh at yourself and your problems.
15. Give what you can.
It is important to use your talents to help others, because you have the ability to do so. When you get tired, think about all the people who can’t do what you can, and remember how grateful they would be to have your abilities. This will motivate you to keep going. Remember that there are others out there with different gifts who are also helping you.
16. Keep evolving.
You can change your mind about things you used to like. You don’t have to pretend to like something to be loyal to yourself. Being sincere is allowing yourself to change. The only thing you can be certain of is that you’re unsure. This means you’re growing and not stuck in old ways of thinking.
17. Write your own story, your own way.
Although it can be tempting to allow others to control the narrative of your life, it is important to stay true to yourself. Be mindful of the decisions you make on a daily basis and ensure that they reflect your personal values and goals. The way you live each day effectively determines the ending of your life story, so make sure that it is a story you are proud of.
18. Laugh early and often throughout the day.
If you spend a day around young kids, you’ll quickly lose track of how many times they burst into laughter. They’ll laugh for extended periods of time at seemingly simple and even stupid things. Adults often laugh politely at each other during conversation, but it’s not the same as the uncontrolled laughter of a child. Even a simple joke like “Chicken butt” can make a kid laugh hysterically. Maybe adults need more incentive to laugh, but we should still prioritize it more. There are groups that do things like laughter yoga, but there are also plenty of hilarious books, stand-up comedians, and movies out there. Find the friends and acquaintances with the personality and stories that make you laugh for hours – your cardiovascular system will thank you.
19. Play games.
As a kid, I never got tired of playing kickball, Frisbee, or ping pong. The constant movement, the challenges, and the competition kept me entertained for hours. As an adult, it seems like such a commitment to sit down and play an entire game. We’re always “responsible” with our time, but we often blow it by browsing the internet or consuming other media. Sometimes we’re even too uncomfortable to commit to a real activity because we’re always waiting for something else to come up. Free time should be quality time. Take a leap of faith and commit to a board game. Even better, find out how much more fun tug-of-war is in the snow. Play some hockey on the ice at the corner park, or do relays in the backyard with the kids.
It’s your turn now. What are the things from your childhood that you think we should never stop doing? Thanks for reading today, everybody. Share the things you refuse to outgrow, and have a great weekend.