When was the last time you sang a song because you were happy? When was the last time you went puddle hopping on a rainy day? These questions might seem a little ridiculous, but if you have ever complained about feeling unhappy or old, I would look a little closer at the answer.
Age doesn’t matter, what matters is whether or not your age causes you to think that you have to approach life in a more serious way. If most of the nonsense beliefs about what it means to be an adult were true, I don’t think there would be much fun in the world.
“Everyone should make the transition from irresponsible to responsible”.
I don’t know, I think it’s all bullshit.
People who are athletes, artists, musicians and actors would have to go out and get “real” adult jobs at some point in their lives, because “Everyone should make the transition from irresponsible to responsible”.
I don’t know, I think it’s all bullshit.
“You need to work hard, do you think you’ll EVER make money with your stupid little drawings and your stupid little pictures?”
I believe we grow up with a long standing belief that as we age, we are supposed to become more curmudgeonly. We complain about the “real” world and make sure to tell our children to quit being naive and be more realistic. We even have stupid slogans and mantras, so we can make sure we don’t forget how much life really actually sucks. Things like “You’ll understand when you’re older” and “If you work hard and do your homework, you’ll be somebody.” I was actually told by one of my parents “You need to work hard, do you think you’ll EVER make money with your stupid little drawings and your stupid little pictures?”
None of this is done on purpose, just passing down the brilliant gems of bullshit through the generations.
What that meant to me was, you stick with a job even if you hate it, because someday maybe you’ll retire, and then you can do what you want to do with your life. I think the issue is that we take advice on happiness from people who don’t really get it, so they repeat what they THINK you have to do to be happy, then you repeat it with your kids. None of this is done on purpose, just passing down the brilliant gems of bullshit through the generations. On and on it goes, a bunch of people learning crap that they think will lead to happiness if only they could figure it out.
I suggest just going back to your childlike mind when things were simpler… here’s how
- Fill out your own permission slip – Take a field trip and go explore a place that you keep meaning to go to. Go to the aquarium, a museum, or a nearby tourist attraction. If something looks interesting, take a break and go.
- Do something fun – For absolutely NO productive reason other than to just have fun. Draw with chalk, pick flowers, play with toy soldiers in the bathtub, anything… Just have fun.
- Explore – Walk around your block without any intention. Just see what’s going on, maybe even using a big fallen branch as a walking stick or a wizard’s staff. Just walk and see what happens.
- Run, skip or dance if you feel like it – Flail your arms, have a dance party, sing loudly as you skip through town.
- Be silly – Make funny faces, find things to laugh about, speak in weird accents and just be silly.
- Try a new look – wear something fun and unique. Pretend you are a superhero for a day.
- Tell it like it is – Tell everyone what you actually mean… wow, what a concept.
- Tap into your innocence – Give someone the benefit of the doubt, as if you don’t know how to be cynical, judgmental, sarcastic or conditional yet.
- Assume you’d be really good at something – an astronaut, an inventor, a musician, a doctor… anything. Assume it they way you did before someone told you to be “Realistic.”
- Change your mind easily – According to Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, kids’ brains are extremely flexible, “so they can change what they think based on new evidence very quickly and easily.”
- Don’t take no for an answer – If there’s something you want to do, be persistent. The only way you can fail is if YOU give up.
- Visualize a tomorrow with endless possibilities – Remember the moment where a bed and a hairbrush was a stadium full of millions of fans, watching you rock the stage. It is the formation of those powerful possibilities that cause you to feel passion towards something. You can do that with everything and you can do it now.
- Forget what was tough about yesterday – who cares, it’s gone… young children don’t hold grudges. They could fight over a toy and ten minutes later they’re playing again. Somewhere in the process we learn to hold grudges, just let it go. Live right now in the moment.
- Ignore something someone says if it limits you – When kids are younger, they tend not to listen to anyone tell them they can’t do something. I tried to fly, and I did for 2 seconds, despite what my grandmother said. It’s when we get older and are more concerned with being a “Good” kid that the limitations get gobbled up. Be young and remember, your life… your possibilities.
Enjoy and have fun.