When it comes to living life to its fullest, children are the real gurus of happiness. They understand life better than most of us grownups do. Children have a way of teaching us the most essential things about life that we tend to forget as we get older. They maneuver through their early years with greater wisdom then some of the most experienced and refined individuals around us.
Even for those who do not have children, it is very rewarding to learn from a child. I have learned the most about life and happiness from my very young children. I have been motivated and influenced to live a happier and fuller life simply by watching my children live theirs. Here are 11 of the most important pieces of advice that clearly show that children have life all figured out.
1. Every day is a new day.
So what if things don’t go as planned? Every day brings us something new. It feels so good to see tomorrow as a blank canvas free of mistakes with nothing but opportunity. It is solely up to us to decide what each day brings us. In a child’s mind, there is no reason to ponder over yesterday’s mistakes. Every day they start fresh because tomorrow brings the opportunity to learn, to discover, to challenge oneself, and to grow.
2. Stop and smell the roses.
No, literally. Take time off of your busy day of rushing from one destination to the next and take it all in. The beauty around you. The sound of the morning birds in the trees. The way the trees bend in the breeze so perfectly. When did we stop noticing these tiny everyday miracles in our world? Sometimes as adults with responsibilities, we forget to live in the moment, soak in it, and truly feel the joys our children see in our world every day. Our responsibilities aren’t going anywhere. Those dishes and those errands you are in such a rush to get to will be there waiting when you are done with this moment.
3. Be fearless in everything you do.
Children go through this life with the kind of courage that gets us parents a little worried at times. They jump off their beds as fearless and confident as superheroes. They ride their bikes without training wheels despite the chances of falling and scraping their knees. They don’t know any better than to live up to everything life has to offer as fearlessly as we adults should. To a child, there is nothing to lose but the chance to learn something.
4. If you aren’t crazy passionate about it, don’t waste your time.
When did we decide that it was OK to put up with things that don’t make us insanely happy? Since when did it become acceptable to just settle? Children spend their days doing what they love most, and they do it with passion. They play their hearts out on the soccer field and in the playground. They spend their time with the people they truly love. A child does not waste their time on things that don’t make them feel truly happy inside. They find those specific things or people who really make their hearts skip, and they love that with all their might.
5. Honesty is pure. Keep it that way.
Children never have to think twice about what they want to say. They never think back and wish they would have said more or wish they didn’t say so much. They never worry because the only thing they know is to express themselves completely. Instead of worrying about what others will think about how they feel, they tell it how it is. Their honesty is important and in their perspective, it deserves to be heard.
6. Even when you fail, it is always important to try again.
A child never settles for a life of crawling from one place to another simply because it was difficult. Despite the hundreds of times they fall, they get back up and they try again. This act of ambition follows them into their school years where they learn to write their names and speak new words. There is no such thing as failure and everything deserves all of their effort.
7. Never stop learning.
Children are naturally inquisitive. They are curious about everything and want all their questions answered. They learn to grow and become their own person by simply being the curious child they are supposed to be. This shouldn’t stop after a certain age. Living your life with the mindset of a lifelong learner will bring you closer to a fulfilled and happy life.
8. Stop worrying about tomorrow.
Relax. Tomorrow is another day. Today is the day. Savor the moments that today alone brings. Understand that tomorrow is not guaranteed, so why fret over it? Children do not worry themselves over what tomorrow will bring because they know that tomorrow is not right now. To get there we must live through today, so why not be completely present in it?
9. Show your emotions.
Being transparent with your emotions is humbling and assertive. It is what our instincts are from the beginning. Kids express their emotions to let others know how they feel because they know a person’s feelings are important. Humans experience all types of emotions during their lives, and it is important to feel them without being ashamed of them.
10. Forgive freely.
I love how children make me feel when it comes to forgiveness. How easily a hurtful word is forgotten or a fight is mended by a simple hug. Children quickly learn to forgive and continue on with a heart free of hate and grudges. They don’t let a bad moment turn into a bad day. Subconsciously they understand that we are all human and we make mistakes.
11. Always remember to have fun.
Kids are naturally inclined to do what’s fun. Sometimes as adults life gets a little hectic and we take ourselves way too seriously. Let go and remember that life is meant to enjoy. It is meant to love and it is our lifelong goal to be as happy as we possible can on this Earth. So kick back and enjoy how far you’ve come and savor the things that really make you internalize your happiness.
Children are truly wise beyond their years. They view life in a very different perspective then we adults who have been tainted by life. While it is so important to set the example and help our children grow by being the best leaders for them, I have realized if it weren’t for the children in our lives, we may not be reminded of the simple rules of life. Children have this mystery called life all figured out. While we ponder and worry about the responsibilities of raising our children and teaching them the things we know about life, they are the ones that teach us what life is all about.