I usually smile when I am around young children but there isn't a bigger grin that when I am with my three-year old granddaughter, Nariya. We spent some time together this weekend and she reminded me of so many things in life that adults often forget:
- Be curious - Talk about questions! "Grandma, how did you get here?" "Where did you get those cards?" "Do you have Paw Patrol?" Each answer was quickly followed with another one of her questions. She loves to learn and knows that asking questions is a great way to get information. No assumptions on her part. Just questions.
- Share with others - Right in the middle of a project she would say "Just wait Grandma. I need to tell dad." Then she would run to her dad and share the new information she had gained. "Dad, Grandma came in her car." Or "Dad, Grandma has cards".
- Relax - It was within the first couple of minutes of entering the office that I noticed she had kicked off her shoes and was enjoying life in sock feet. What a great example for all of us!
- Try new things - It didn't take long until Nariya figured out that she could turn the lights off and on using a remote control even without coaching! I was surprised when I heard her dad knocking at the door. Nariya had figured out how to lock it! Adventure is her life fuel.
- Adopt persistence - I am not sure how many times she asked her dad if she could PLEASE have the candy that I had given her. She was clearly told that she couldn't open it until after lunch but that didn't stop her from asking again.
- Connect - This little one can quickly melt a heart with her practiced wink, quick hug and charming smile.
- Plan ahead - When she was leaving, I thought Nariya would say "Bye" but instead she announced, "I'll come again" and then turned to her dad and asked, "Are we going for a Slurpee now?"
All of the above are lessons that each of us can learn if we are willing. As we age, it is easy to lose our curiosity and get stuck in a rut. Often, we state that we are too busy to share information or enjoy time with others. Our conversations can be self-centered and lack intimacy.
The "shoulds", "have to" and "musts" of life can steal opportunities to relax and connect with others. Instead of kicking off our shoes and sharing a laugh, we run until we have blisters and work until we are exhausted.
And as for the future, we might give up rather than being persistent. We often don't have reasonable goals that stir our passion so there isn't any point in even trying to plan ahead.
This week I challenge you to think and act more like a small child. Soak up the moment. Ask good questions, relax, try something new, connect with others, set some goals, make plans and move forward in life with a healthy persistence!
I know you can do this - even a three-year-old can!