Life doesn’t have to be that complicated.
And yet, we all know some people that succeed in doing just that.
The founding fathers were believers in K.I.S. (keep it simple). The United States Constitution – a whopping 6 pages long.
If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
Today it’s more like, “the more the merrier.”
It isn’t unheard of for legislation to run into the thousands of pages.
The tax code in America is now 3.8 million words long. To put this in perspective, if you took all of William Shakespeare’s works and collected them together, the entire collection would only be about 900,000 words long.
And have you ever tried to read it? It’s like some alien language.
It’s no wonder that filing one’s tax return has become one of the most stressful events for people in America.
It’s around April 15th that I appreciate not being American.
Wouldn’t it be great if life was like it was back in kindergarten?
I say this because for the past three years, it has been my job to drop my son off in the morning and watching him and his friends grow up reminds me what life should be like.
Life for kids pretty much consists of three things – play, eat, sleep.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that. And yet, the lessons they learn at a young age are deceptively valuable for success in life and business.
Robert Fulghum’s book, “All I Really To Know I Learned In Kindergarten” talks about the lessons he learned and how they apply just as much in the adult world as they do in kindergarten.
I added my own experience and that of my son’s and came up with the following list:
- Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
- Don’t shout.
- Live a balanced life
- Keep your promises.
- Listen to your teachers.
- Look both ways before you cross the street.
- People do hit back.
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Hold hands.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
- All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
- Take a nap every afternoon.
- Danger is everywhere.
- Keep your eyes and ears open.
Many of these can be encompassed in one simple rule, the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. And a great rule for life in and outside of work.
To me, life is all about balance which is why I love kindergarten; there’s learning, thinking, drawing, painting, singing, dancing, sleeping and playing each and every day. In life and business, we must remember to both work and play. Work to be productive, play to relax and recover.
Too much work and you’re stressed out. Too much rest and your brain shuts down.
It’s a tightrope act and one we must work at continually.
Personally, the lesson that my mother taught me on the first day of kindergarten was to do what my teachers said. I remember it like it was yesterday.
“Adrian, listen to your teachers and do what they say.”
In business and life we run into people who have more knowledge, more experience, more know-how and yet just like in school, there are those people who prefer to muck around rather than listen to a voice of value.
Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from people who have done what you want to do. Listen carefully to others and you’ll gain a wealth of information.
Tips on cooking, investing, places to take the kids, movies to see, restaurants and many many more. Not to mention business and investment opportunities.
Despite learning this lesson at the age of 4, it’s taken me years to learn how to apply it in life…and I still get it wrong from time to time.
These may be lessons we learned as children, but I’m sure you’d agree that some adults could do with a refresher course.
Success in life doesn’t have to be hard. It’s the application of simple concepts on a daily basis.
Apply these and you’re well on your way.
And if you run into any problems, don’t forget the tried and true formula for resolving problems – Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Rock. I win.