We all have a vision for our future. Whether it be to become a doctor, become famous, or become rich. We all have goals and with those goals comes a hurry to grow up. A rush to adulthood, which does not always end up being as we dreamed.
When we are kids, we dream of becoming adults one day and having “more freedom,” and ultimately “happiness” which we think will come through our profession or how much money we have. The truth is, most people are happiest when they are children. Of course, with being an adult comes more responsibilities and overwhelming tasks. That does not go to say that adults should be miserable and upset all the time.
Children have something special which most adults do not have: their mindset. I’m not saying that adults should go out in public and behave like children, but rather think like they do. I'm going to explain why in a couple of reasons below:
1. Children aren’t afraid of change
As we grow older, some of us fear change, whether it be going to college and losing our high school friends and having to start over, or getting a new job. Adults tend to stay where they are comfortable. Children on the other hand, get comfortable with the uncomfortable. If a child has to move to a new school, he will be upset for a little while, but then he will be excited to make new friends and have new experiences. When graduating high school, most young adults settle for what they have and don’t search for other opportunities because they fear change. In reality, they should accept change, be open to new experiences, and look at what more life has to offer.
2. Children are not afraid to set boundaries
Many adults have a hard time setting boundaries, whether it be in their friendships or relationships at work or at school. It's common to see a young adult be asked by his boss if he can work an extra shift and his response will be “sure.” As for children, their parents ask them to do something and they say “no, I’m not doing that because I said so.” Children are not afraid to say no. Yes, sometimes they face peer pressure, but in most cases they say no, and no means no. I’m not telling you to respond like that to your boss, because you probably will get fired and seem immature. Adults just need to take more control over their lives and learn that it is okay to not say yes to everything. It is okay to set boundaries and focus on your wellbeing.
3. Children do not care what others think about them
Adults allow others’ thoughts and opinions to tear them apart and bring down their self-esteem. This is common among children too, when it comes to bullying. However, children could care less what is happening around them. One can walk into a store and see two different people. The adult is afraid of who is judging them and whether their outfit or hair looks fine, whether someone is going to talk to them, or what the person next to them is thinking. Then, one will see a child who is running around the store, dancing along to the music that is playing, and not having a care in the world that his sweater is unzipped, that his shoe is untied, or that he has chocolate ice cream all over his face. Adults tend to worry too much about what others think, while children live life the way that they want, as long as they are happy, and ultimately I think that is how we should all live life.
4. Children learn from their mistakes and make room for growth
Today, it is common to see adults let one event sink their entire ship. Whether it be a loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, lost friendships, or rejection from a university or job. They let that affect their whole mood and mindset. It is absolutely okay to feel things and not be ourselves for a while, but sometimes, and in many cases, adults allow events and experiences to take over their entire life and without even knowing it, they are closing the doors to growth.
As an example, let's say that a child gets rejected from a soccer team. He may be upset and not feel “special” or “good enough,” but he will get back up and focus on other things he has going on, such as other sports, video games, or clubs at school. Come next year, he tries out again, and he makes the team because he did not let his ship sink, rather keep sailing by focusing on other aspects of his life, helping build up his self-esteem
Now comes the young adult who was rejected from his dream school, was rejected from numerous jobs, and has yet to hear back from other places he applied to. What does he do? He gets upset with himself and stops trying. He lets the ship sink completely. He may say to himself, “there’s no hope left, after I got rejected from my dream school, I just faced rejection after rejection. I’m just not good enough.” Truth is, he never grew from the first experience. After being rejected from his dream school, he let his feelings take over his life. He may have been applying to other jobs and seeking opportunities, but he wasn’t truly giving his all, because he was stuck on the past and what didn’t work. He's not leaving room for growth, so growth isn’t happening. As for the child, he got up, focused on the things he could do, and rather than sit back in tears and complain about not making the team, he took other opportunities and acknowledged that he was enough. Adults need to learn to move past the past and grow from their experiences. They need to understand that just because one door closes on them, that does not mean that they cannot open another one. One mistake does not have to traumatize an individual for the rest of his life, because change is possible, and growth is possible too.
5. Children dream big and do not limit their expectations
It is common to walk into a classroom full of little children and ask them what they want to be when they grow up and hear them say things like “I’m going to be rich one day,” or “I’m going to have my own house and car,” or “I will have my own family one day,” or “I am going to be a doctor, or lawyer.” Then you ask young adults and you hear things like “I’m not sure,” or “I think I want to be a doctor,” or “maybe I’ll get rich.” The difference between those responses is that while kids say “I'm going to” or “I will,” while adults say things like “maybe I will.” Adults are scared to dream big, because once they are thrown into the real world, they think that such dreams are impossible. Yes, the real world is tough, and yes it may be hard to attain those goals, but who's to say that one can’t do it? A child will dream big and not worry about what life will require out of them for them to get to where they want to be. They want to be a doctor, that means eight years of school, but that is okay with them, because they know that they can and will get there. An adult on the other hand thinks that becoming a doctor is too much work. Adults let society’s ideals play with their minds. Society says that becoming rich is hard and that becoming a doctor or lawyer is only for “smart people.” Adults are told “you’ll never get there,” or “that’s impossible,” and they believe it, so they settle for less. A child on the other hand would not settle for less, and would not let someone’s opinion hold him back from his dream, because he's ambitious and confident that he can and will get there.
Overall, adults are behind children in many aspects and it all stems from their mindset. This then affects their entire life and ultimately their happiness as well. If you walk into a kindergarten classroom and then walk into offices where adults work, you will see more confidence and a desire to grow and explore new opportunities from the classroom setting. You will see more smiles, laughter, and happiness from the children as well. This is not because adults have more worries or responsibilities. Yes, that could be a factor to happiness, but a mindset has so much power over one’s life.
We, adults, need to change our mindsets. We can’t keep letting the world around us, people’s opinions, or past experiences hold us back. Rather, we should use them to strengthen us and push us to become who we want to be. That is why, I say that we should all be kids again. No, that does not mean whine and cry at life’s problems or behave in a childish manner, rather learn to redevelop the mindset that we had as children. This can in fact, and will for sure change your outlook on life and how you feel. It is time to teach young adults that when they grow up, they should be striving towards that strong mindset as well. It's safe to say that when I grow up I want to be a kid again. Seek your profession and goals, but don’t lose that precious and valuable mindset you had as a child, it will help you go so far.