“A little magic can take you a long way.” – Roald Dahl
Being an adult looked so much more fun when I was still a kid. I spent my teenage years aching to be old enough to make my own decisions, choose whatever, wherever and whenever the heck I wanted. Oh yeah.
Somehow, it seems I missed the class that covered the truth about adulthood. The one that said being grown up can leave you floundering in responsibility, drowning in expectation of all that you should be, suffocating from the rules of all you have to do and own.
Ironically, you can stay up as late as you like, but stressed and exhausted you crash early into bed too frazzled to really sleep. Lying awake stressing over the worries of debt, words you regret and all the targets someone else has set.
Adult life’s got you fearing, not cheering – frantically refinancing instead of dancing.
What the hell happened?
Somewhere between making paper chains and making a living, life’s magic faded.
Being grown up can be such a drag. But there is a cure…
Rediscover Your Sunshine
Children. Children are sunshine. Glorious, sunshine on tiny legs. Because sunshine is all they see.
They don’t worry about tomorrow or forever meeting responsibilities. They feel no awkwardness at falling over, making mistakes or in being brutally honest about how they feel.
They’re too caught up in the wonder of discovery and excitement that every day brings to consider the consequences.
Every day is another chance to laugh until it hurts. Then laugh some more.
Oh boy, that’s a fabulous state to be in . . . carefree, ah.
Imagine bubbling over with excited anticipation rather than sinking under a million worries. Delighting in all that you’ve said and done instead of over-analysing every detail. Swapping the worry of what the day might bring to rushing out in your pyjamas to welcome it in.
You know, we can learn so much from our tiny rays of sunshine.
Thankfully I did, as my career took an unexpected turn into teaching young children. I was thrown into the wonderful world of giggling, blissful innocence.
From the outset, my trailer-load of anxieties felt so much heavier amongst their light, bright enthusiasm. Their uninhibited actions shone a spotlight on my lifetime of self-conscious hang-ups.
And my critical inner voice seemed all the more mean in the midst of their happy, confident babbling.
Desperate to experience that carefree life, I resolved to emulate my young friends.
And my mini companions helped me enormously in checking my old thoughts and behaviour. They kept me skipping along my new regime by their example. They taught me to giggle when I failed, jump up when I fell down and best of all, that today is absolutely the best place to be.
I’m not sure who learned the most, me or the smiling faces in my class. But I owe those little people a lot!
I want you to feel the joy of being carefree again. To giggle. To dance. To laugh so hard you gasp for air.
Come blow the clouds off your sunshine for good…
Rediscover your inner innocent.
Approach each day with the same blissful, innocent expectation I saw in my young friends. Actively seek out the awesome in your everyday world. Share your delight in what you find to spread cheer and inspire others.
Be a delight to be around and light up the room with your infectious joy. Reignite the spark in others with your irresistible exuberance.
Tell others exactly how much they mean to you and how they rock your world. Speak up, speak first and act from the heart without thinking.
Shower those you care for with unbridled love and affection. Build forever relationships and a treasure chest of cherished conversations with fun, giggle-making get-togethers.
Be the one to make up every quarrel. Jump in quickly to heal any tiffs or rifts for a lifetime of love and enough happy memories to make your cheeks ache from smiling.
Rediscover your inner optimist
Just like my little rays of sunshine, believe in good things and shout ‘pick me’ at every opportunity that comes your way. Just learn to act on warm instinct instead of cold logic and let your intuition lead you on to incredible new adventures.
Rediscover your uninhibited chatterbox by striking up a conversation with a stranger in the street or a new colleague at work.
Always leap into any fabulous fun unfolding around you – don’t wait to be asked. You’ll make some great new friends.
If your struggling, overrule your self-consciousness and ask for help every chance you get. Be open-minded, explore all avenues and always believe there’s a solution.
Rediscover your inner clown
My young companions were always ready to shout ‘hurrah’ for playtime and be delightfully silly. Refresh yourself by building in down time where you can play out any frivolous idea that strikes you – the dafter the better.
Delight in a little chaos or disorder – get messy, big, and bright! Act on any impulsive thoughts that will bring you fun. Throw yourself into exciting activities to encourage carefree thinking and see there’s no harm in not controlling the result.
Pop star your way through the day by enthusiastically singing aloud any tune that whips into your head. Boogie your socks off to your favourite tunes – wiggle and giggle to exercise your happiness muscles.
Indulge yourself in your own unique sense of humor. If you think it’s funny, it is, go with it! Talk nonsense, play with words, even make up your own. Yabber away to yourself about all your exciting dreams and slap your inner critic down by proudly detailing all the great things you did today, from the tiniest thing upwards.
Rediscover your inner rebel
Take a leaf out of my little friends and don’t be afraid to say what you mean. Or to stamp your foot once in a while. And demand, “Why can’t I?” whenever a self-restricting thought surfaces. Indulge yourself and delight in doing so. Hold off on doing boring unimportant tasks until later and instead make time for what’s important to you right now.
Get rebellious, stand firm on issues that matter to you and squash anything that threatens your happiness. Consequences are usually in your imagination, so if you see an opportunity go for it even if it means bending the rules from time to time (so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else).
Get cheeky and go for what you really want, even if it’s a little outrageous – you’ll be surprised how often you get it.
Rediscover your inner superhero
Children believe they have superpowers and they are right. Learn to recognize that everything you need is already within you, you have your own superpowers. Summon up the incredible inner store of talent, knowledge, and intuition we all have, to defeat any self-doubts and feel superhero invincible. Grow your confidence and self-belief by seeing yourself more capable, more in control than you’d ever realized.
Use your imagination to help you design your dream life. Rekindle the romance of fairy tale endings by envisioning yourself as the heroine or hero in your own true life story. Be your own champion, best friend and victor in every battle for your happiness.
Feel like a kid again
Perpetually grinding through the demands of being an adult can be demoralizing and exhausting.
Adulthood has extinguished your innate sparkle and hidden life’s magic.
But small, simple actions toward rediscovering your child-like bliss and optimism will let you burst with the magic of being a kid again.
Share in the enthusiastic delight my young friends showed me and enjoy fabulous carefree times you can build a lifetime on.
Rediscover your giggle-some, happy inner child.
Love, live, and laugh until joy streams from your nose.
Bound out of bed each morning eager to see what magic life has in store for you.
Laura & Mark Tong are on a mission to help you feel like a kid again and grow your happiness by simplifying your life. Download their free resource: 5 Mind Decluttering Tools that Simplify Your Day and Make You Excited to Roll Out of Bed in the Morning here.
Image courtesy of Upcycletrend.