I’m really, really good at many, many things. That may sound conceited, but we are all really, really good at many, may things. In fact, I am so good at some things, some might call me an ‘expert’. And you know what? Sometimes I get fed up with it. Because being an expert can be oh so boring. That’s why I’m learning to fly – I want to experience newness; to be a beginner again.
I love being a novice. I love following new and complex instructions, and I love to fail – gloriously, and become curious about my epic fails.
It’s quite a childlike state of mind.
What would happen if we approached everything we did in life with a childlike state of mind? What would our lives be like? What if were to try to:
1) Become a beginner again. We are all experts. Experts in our business lives, at being a mum, making beds, cooking, driving. It can be really hard to turn our backs on being an expert. If we can put our expertise to one side, and approach every situation as a beginner, we can listen to what others say. If we can open our minds to what beginners have to teach us, then we can keep learning.
2) Live each moment fully. Have you ever taken a small child to the beach for the first time? They are amazed at everything. They wonder at the noise of the ocean, scrunch their toes into the sand, watch with openmouthed awe as a crab scuttles across a rock. They soak up each and every moment.
Can you imagine experiencing the world like that? We spend our days thinking too much of the past, and dreaming too much of the future. And in doing so we miss so much of the present. If we can only tap in to our childlike state of mind – even the mundane, ordinary, everyday things can begin to feel fresh and exciting again,
3) Cast aside life’s should haves, would haves and could haves. We all have standards, and I wouldn’t for one moment encourage you to live without them. But try to let go of what you ‘should’ have done if, what you ‘would’ have done if and what you ‘could’ have done if. Should have, would have and could have are all past tense. Leave them where they belong; in the past.
4) Not completely ditch our experience. A childlike state of mind does not mean acting like an inexperienced child. You still need to use your life experience and native wisdom to keep you safe. But by using that experience with an open mind, and approaching each experience with curiosity, you can’t help but learn.
5) Experience the journey. We go out for the day, our minds are filled with the destination. What we will see, what we will do. But by letting our minds flitter to the future we are missing so much. The smell of rain in the air, the joy of being blasted by warm air from the car’s heaters, the songs we like on the radio, chatting with our fellow passengers. Try tuning in to the world around you now – find joy in the journey.
6) Sometimes become the spoon not the cup. It’s OK to stir life up now and again. Be adventurous, book a trip, sleep under the stars, learn something new just ‘because’, talk to a stranger, be silly, laugh, play and be creative. We all need the cup; it’s safe, solid and holds the contents of our life, but it’s the spoon that gets to twirl!
7) Fail! When was the last time you learned something new? A while ago? As children we are constantly learning, and constantly seeking to learn. As we get older we become more fearful of learning new things. Why? Because we are afraid to fail. Yes, there will always be people waiting in the wings to laugh at our efforts – it’s up to us to take no notice and get on the stage of life anyway!
Living even part of our lives with a childlike state of mind can offer up joy in the most unexpected of places. Try it, and let me know how it goes. I’m now off to blow bubbles in the garden. Why? Because I can!