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5 easy things we’ve forgotten about kids

5 easy things we’ve forgotten about kids

As I near what I hope is just the middle part of my life, I find myself intrigued by a simple article in our community’s newspaper. Each week, a group of kids is selected at one elementary school to answer one question.

The most recent question posed to these kids was, “What is the hardest thing about being a kid” and as I read through each answer, I found myself giggling at the things kids view as “hard.” For example, one young boy said it’s too hard to “go on the monkey bars, but he could go on the swings.” I could more closely relate to some of the answers more than others. “It’s hard to draw inside the lines” and “Trying to sit still is hard” were two answers given by the children. I secretly wanted to whisper to them, “This doesn’t get easier — at least in my case.”

The first thing I thought of when I was skimming over the pictures of the smiling kids was how easy these kids have it. I mean, seriously? It’s hard to sit “criss cross applesauce?” Anyone can do that, right? What about the girl that said “being good is hard” — is it really that hard to be good?

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I digress.

That’s when it hit me…I forgot what it was like to be a kid. Because as an adult, I have much bigger things to process.

So here are 5 things most adults have forgotten about kids:

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Kids love their birthdays

Who wouldn’t when you are no longer 7 — because now you are 8!!! They even know when their half-birthdays are and make sure to announce it to the world! On their special day, that is exactly how they feel. They feel loved and love the attention. Sometimes, it’s about the cake and presents, but one day, they will love that someone cared enough to be there for them…to help them celebrate. Never downplay the importance of a child’s birthday…that day is right up there with the other big holidays. But they know that day is theirs.

 Kids aren’t fake

They don’t know how to be. We teach them to be honest and to say what they think and feel. How many times have we told them, “Use your words” and yet we are surprised when they are brutally honest with us? There is a cereal commercial highlighting this same point — kids may not be shy about telling you that your stomach is hairy or asking why your legs make noises when you walk. We want to pretend that they only notice what we teach them, but believe me, they are paying way more attention than we give them credit for…and they remind us ever so often too.

Kids need their friends

In a world when adults have learned to rely more on themselves or a smaller group of close confidants, kids want to be liked by lots of people. They want to be included in the games you play at recess and to be invited to their classmates birthday party. They want to matter and friendships remind them that they do. Sitting alone at a lunch table is heartbreaking for any adult to see…imagine what it is like for that kid.

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Kids are watching us

As I mentioned earlier, we might believe that kids are only learning things in school or when we make a point to teach them something, but in reality, they are watching, processing, and chances are, they are mimicking us more than we even think. They pick up on the words we say (yes, even the bad ones), our mannerisms, and our values. If they see us being kind to strangers or yelling at our spouse, they will keep that as an experience to use later on in their own lives. We can never really know how much they get from us until we hear our 5 year old yell from the back seat, “Crap!” because they dropped their juice box down the side of their seat. Not one of those proud mama moments for me, that’s for sure.

Kids aren’t afraid to dream

Let’s face it. Kids dream and they dream BIG. They don’t just want to be a nurse or a mom, they want to protect the most endangered species on the earth, climb Mt. Everest, and run 5 marathons…all before they are 30. They hit the gate running and before we can explain to them how the real life works, they are already on their way. As we get older, we put our dreams aside and instead, succumb to the life of responsibility and societal norm. Kids always believe in the magic of their dreams and the hopes for their future.

Conclusion:

Kids remind us to be authentic with one another — there is a difference between being truthful and being hurtful. Because of them, we can look back at the years and feel truly blessed by the journey we have taken…with the places we have been, the people we met along the way, and the memories we have made along the way. Having the right kind of people around us — whether they be family or friend — makes life that much more enjoyable. Be grateful for those people who make our lives better because we still need our friends too.

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Kids teach us to be the kind of people we want to be. Without knowing it, they help us correct our mistakes as we strive to be better because of them. No adult wants to be known as the grouch at the end of the block or the man who yells at everyone at the local ballpark. Seriously? That’s not our legacy. Nothing is more exciting than watching a dream come to fruition. Kids remind us to give a chance to something that might never be, but to ignore it is a much worse fate.

We may be older, but sometimes, it’s hard being an adult. Because we forget things.

Featured photo credit: Ben White/Unsplash via hd.unsplash.com

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Michelle A. Homme

Author, Speaker, Quote Writer, Empowerment Coach

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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