learn to harness the power of children to succeed in life

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…you’ve got to love kids!

Sure, they can be annoying, frustrating,  a pain in the neck and just outright crazy from time to time, but that’s what’s so great about them.

I was once told that you get to see the world anew when you have kids as you see the world through their eyes.

It’s absolutely true.

For adults, it’s a case of been there, done that but for kids everything’s all brand new.

Anyone remember the classic cartoon Scooby Doo?

In each episode a monster was threatening Crystal Cove but in the end it turned out it wasn’t a monster at all but rather someone in the town who donned a costume in order to extract revenge on someone, steal a  priceless work of art or maybe rob a bank.

I sat in rapt attention as I had absolutely no clue who the monster would turn out to be.

And when he was revealed it simply blew my mind.

My father, on the other hand, knew just who the culprit was each and every time. How did he do it?

Was it dark magic?

Did he possess superhuman powers?

We know the answer, to him it was elementary.

He’d grown up with the Hardy Boy books and was an avid reader so the plot of a 20 minute TV didn’t hold much intrigue for him.

I grew up thinking my father was some kind of super sleuth.

It wasn’t until I got older that I started to see the patterns and tricks that I was able to develop my own sort of superpower. So much so that in high school we’d have a sort of unspoken challenge each time we watched a mystery.

The point is that as children we’re so pure, a blank slate with which to be written on. Children have yet to become jaded by life itself.

Happiness is a way of life for them.

For many adults life is just tough, especially in harsh economic times such as the ones we are witnessing today.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

All we have to do is to tap into our inner child. They’re inside us but over the years many of us have lost touch with them.

But first off, let’s take a look at the qualities of children that can help adults in their day to day lives.

Children possess these almost superhuman qualities:

  • Happiness
  • Creativity
  • Appreciation
  • Dreams
  • Adaptation
  • Persistence
  • Courage
  • Forgiveness

These are all skills of successful people.

Above all though, they are learners. Each day there’s something new for them. From the ants scurrying around in the garden to the construction cranes putting together new buildings, everything is new for them and they want to know about it all hence the one hundred questions I get from my son each time I watch a movie.

Anyway, kids have these powers. We had them…so the question is, what can we do to awaken these within us.

Having spent over 5000 on the topic of self-improvement I know what works and what doesn’t. So let’s go through them one by one.

Let’s start with happiness since it’s something that people are naturally attracted to, more importantly, it’s the one thing that is probably the hardest to be taught. You either are, or aren’t…and only you decide how happy you want to be.

Before I give you my favorite technique to developing more happiness I would like to say that happiness is extremely powerful because it affects everything we do.

When we’re happy, we’re more effective, we have better relationships and it creates somewhat of a forcefield to protect us from the darkness in the world.

The best way I know how to become happier is simply to start by writing down everything you’re grateful for right now.

The house you live in, your parents, your education, the books you have, the people you know, your iPhone…whatever…just write a big long list.

It’s easy to get bogged down with the negative in life so it’s important to remember just how much good there is.

Once you have it written up…do one of two things:

  1. Read it first thing each morning after you wake up
  2. Put it on your fridge where you’ll see it every day

This simple exercise will remind you of just how lucky you despite whatever hardships you’re going through. And going over them first thing in the morning will rewire your mind to think positively before heading off to work each day.

Next let’s address appreciation as it’s closely linked to happiness. With your gratitude list close at hand be sure to add things to your list as you come across them and whenever someone has been instrumental in helping you add something to your list or achieve something, make sure you go out of your way to let those people know.

There’s no need for lavish gifts or presents though they are very much appreciated I can tell you from experience but a simple handwritten note or a heartfelt email do go a long way.

So few people ever stop to say thank you to the people in their busy lives that any kind word of appreciation is remembered.

Creativity allows us to think out of the box and it’s pretty easy to develop.

My simple, one-step solution: STUDY.

Whether it’s books, lectures or videos…they all help get the creative juices flowing. A simple search on amazon will uncover so many hidden gems, all it takes in a little research.

Dreams are powerful because they keep us going when times are tough. Ironically, when times are tough the first thing people abandon are their dreams.

But dreams excite us. As long as we clearly know what we want to achieve.

Most people have vague ideas of success.

Therefore they never achieve it.

A clear dream allows us to focus. It helps us put in motion the day-to-day goals to make our dreams a reality.

So the best thing you can do is get clear.

Start by getting a piece of paper and writing down everything you want to achieve. Anything…spend 30 minutes on this…it’s harder than you think, most people finish this in under 5 minutes because they’ve never actually thought about what they really want.

Next, look over your list and determine how badly you want each of them on a scale from one to ten.

After you’ve done this, rewrite only those above seven on a new piece of paper.

Now look at the list you’ve got.

For each one I highly recommend you take the time to write down why you really want to achieve it.

This will help you separate your real dreams from wishy-washy ones.

You’ll understand why when you do the exercise.

Persistence, take a page out of any kids’ playbook – they just don’t give up. A “no” doesn’t even phase them. They cry, they beg, they smile, the ask nicely, they throw a temper tantrum, anything to get what they want. And guess what? Most of the time it works. A “no” for a kid is just an invitation to try harder, and boy do they.

You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve if you stop accepting no as an answer.

Courage, kids have lots of it, mostly because they don’t know any better. They think they can clear the fence…bang, bloody nose. Only a 6 foot drop, that’s nothing…snap, broken ankle.

As adults we’ve learned what we can and cannot or shouldn’t do.

The problem with this is sometimes our own fear gets in the way of achievement.

Too often adults assume it cannot be done due to past experience.

Take the bar-theory.

What is that? If a guy asks enough ladies in a bar to go home with him he’ll eventually get a yes.

He might get slapped in the face a bunch of times and have a few drinks thrown in his face in the process but  sooner or later someone will agree.

Results differ when we:

  • Change our target audience
  • Timing
  • Tactics
  • Language

Any subtle change in any of these may garner different results. We simply have to be willing to keep at it.

I’m determined to get a sponsor for an event I want to hold regularly next year, so I will write, write and write some more until someone gives me that chance.

I will take the bar-theory and apply it to business.

Adaptation is something kids are great at while adults, who are stuck in their ways, stink at.

All this takes is baby steps.

Technology is something many people tend to be reticent to use especially if they didn’t grow up with it so start small.

Read a book. Ask for help.  Take a class. Or better yet, do all three.

Just don’t expect miracles overnight.

The only goal you should ever set yourself is to improve upon yesterday.

That’s the goal I set for myself each morning, and with each book, each lecture, each DVD, I believe I’m doing just that.

And finally, forgiveness.

Kids get upset all the time. They couldn’t finish watching their favorite show. Someone took their toy away. It’s always something…but kids have a remarkable ability to forget the past and forgive those who have wronged them (at a young age at least).

Adults on the other hand tend to hold on to grudges.

I sure did.

But then one day it hit me…why waste my time thinking about people who had hurt me…it wasn’t doing me any good. In fact, it was hurting me because time I could be using to improve myself was being wasted on someone, somewhere would could have cared less.

That’s when it me. What’s done is done. All one can do is treat it as a life lesson.

Don’t simply forget it. You won’t have learnt from it.

Think about what happened, how you could have avoided it and what you can do better should something similar happen again in the future.

And then, here’s the important part, forgive them and move on.

It’ll allow you to think clearly and focus on what’s truly important in life.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy, it won’t. But it’s the right thing to do.

And there you have it.

The power of children that we all can develop.

Good luck.

Adrian Shepherd

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