When I grow up

SPASA New South Wales & ACT

By Spiros Dassakis
Monday, 31 October, 2016

When I grow up

Do you remember being a kid and knowing what you wanted to be when you grew up? I do: when I was growing up, I wanted to be rich and famous.

I had no idea of what being famous and rich really meant or what I had to do to get there, but just the thought of being rich and famous allowed me to daydream about all the things I would buy and how all my 12-year-old friends would be impressed.

The world has a funny and honest way of keeping such fantasies contained as you get older.

Upon reflection, I was like any other child — creative, with a sense of amazement and untiring enthusiasm. Nothing was complicated as a child. There was a hack for every obstacle and a solution for every problem, and the world seemed to make more sense then.

Things I remember from when I was a child:

  • Everything was new — until I found something newer.
  • Everything was fun — until I got bored. But then I found more new fun.
  • Everyone was a friend — even when you’d only known them for five minutes.
  • I could do anything — until I failed. And then I tried and tried again.
  • My imagination was limitless — until I hurt myself in the process.
  • I didn’t really care what everyone really thought of me — well, only for about 30 seconds.
  • Going somewhere was an adventure — even when I had better and more important things to conquer.
  • Everything in my life was positive — until I got in trouble. But then the positivity just kept coming back.
  • My world was full of opportunities — ideas would just fall out of my brain.

As we grow up, however, we tend to become more independent but more cautious. We become less adventurous and take fewer risks.

We all know growing up is unavoidable, but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from our childhood years. Children don’t wait till they have all the answers before jumping into something they have never tried before — they just jump into it.

As adults, we often allow our pride, fear of failure and fear of looking bad to prevent us from embracing new experiences or adopting new practices that are foreign to us.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane details of everyday personal and work life, but it is critical that we all reflect upon our childhood every once in a while and look through the eyes of a 12-year-old who sees nothing but adventure and the excitement of the big, big world.

I subscribe to the fact that we never ever actually grow up — we just forget sometimes that our minds don’t age in the same way our body does.

When you’re working or relaxing, try not to forget the wondrous reasons why you should view the world through a child’s eyes. Try it and see what a difference it makes.

Comments welcome: spiros@spasa.org.au.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/ArtisticCaptures

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