There is a quote from the Tinybuddha.com blog. “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about” ~ Angela Schwindt Anything seems possible for us when we are young. Many of us envisioned what we wanted to become so clearly and we knew it so true back then that it was our truth and nothing and none could speak us out of it. Maybe you wanted to become a teacher, a journalist, a writer, a dancer, a story teller, a comedian. And you would so get easily get excited by it. I can vividly visualise the details of what I wanted to become when I was young.How I wished to be the one standing on my people screen,with a confident voice as Lahja Kandongo,a then Namibian Broadscasting reporter,with a commanding voice,breaking the news and sharing information to the society on the TV screen.It was so clear I would hold a millet stalk stick to my mouth and bring on my reporter voice and always end my reporting in my imagination “Loud and confident”. The imagination always left me with joy,as if in my own way and fantasy,I was actually living my dreams. I recall the fulfilment I felt through pretending my way through my role and holding up something to my mouth ,it might have been far from being a microphone,but it was a way to stay open to different ideas of who I wanted to be. When you are young,you might know what you like and don’t,and you probably were not afraid to vocalise it,because you have not learnt how to get stuck in your ways.You were too curious for that and it would have been even boring for you to not vocalise it. When young,though you knew that sticks and stones might break your bones but no names could break you,you still got hurt sometimes.Maybe sometimes you did not get something you wanted and you just cried.But the next day you were back again,undefeated,swinging and climbing trees and being mischieveous,smilling and dreaming new dreams again. Then we grow up and life happened.Maybe our life experiences taught us to worry,to feel afraid and so we started limiting ourself.We slowly become the person our younger self will not even want to play with.We start playing by the rules that none even prescribed for us.We start imagining possibilities but our belief that we could meet our possibilities start to slack down.We become limited Worst of all,we start thinking that it is something the world did to us.We stop having faith in those around us,we start to be angry with those in authority somewhere,masking our inadequacy and our inabilities to aim for high and to believe in our self.Without realising that we have so much choices about what happens to us and we have probably chosen the moment to moment of much of what is happening in our lives. Well,you might not be that confident reporter,you might not be able to scale buildings or rescue people with your superhuman nature as you envisioned as a child.But you can still be that person you wanted to be as a kid.You can still see the world with wonder.You can still believe in magic and create it. Here is several ways you might start:
Exactly the same way you learnt back then.When something does not work,go back to the playing field and try something new.You explored and tried on different hats and in your doing,you rarely used the word ”can’t” .As a child I remember if I was busy getting my hands dirty drawing the most beautiful car in the world,and all of a sudden I was called on to go and chase the goats off the field,I still managed to do just that,or I came back to my most importat task of the day or I got distracted to something else and ended up drawing the most beautiful tree on a more clear crystal white sand on my way back.If something sounded fun and in engaging in it you felt a deep sense of fulfilment and joy,you were game to keep at it as a child.You were that spontaneous. Open up for fun again as a grown up.Be silly,playful,creative,curious,excited,adventurous, and open.The overworked adult mind needs a break sometimes and give yourself time to experiement.The only way to create a life that will bring you joy is to do things in a playful way and stop being rigid.
Socialise with new people from what you’re mostly used.
Are you the type that hangs only with your high school mates and people with the same cultural,racial or even gender background you are familiar with? Why not try to invite the new kid to your table at lunch? We all want to belong and that usually means staying connected to the groups.Many often,maybe we tried it but it backfired on us.Maybe the new kid was more fun than you are.BUT,sometimes the new kid might just become a great friend.It does not matter maybe when you were young the new kid had parents who rented bounce houses for their birthdays and yours did not. If you only allow yourself to interact with people you know and trust, your world will remain small. Maybe more manageable but new acquaintances might introduce you to new experiences and sometimes a new acquaintance might turn into a friend that feels like home.
Stop being a sluggish couch douche bag
As kids,we ran around keeping active.Being grounded or if we were put on time out in the corner,it was the most depressing time of our life and we could hardly wait for us to be let off lease and run as we like,jump the rope and chase anything we come across moving.As adults,when we feel inactive, our energy outlet drain and we are risking our overall health,even becoming a bit depressed.How many times have you taken a short walk from your house around your eighbourhood? PT time at Pre-primary or in primary school or athletics time for those of us who had gone to school long time ago in rural areas was an opportunity to knock your friends out and be the last kid standing.Yuhuu,now how cool was that! Being too sluggish to get off your couch will never get anything done.It is possible to get active again.You don’t have to be Mel B or strive to look like the Hogans father,but we all know exercise is good for us.You can start with minimal stretches or lazy walks and move gradually to a short stroll.Research suggest that that even moderate exercise,is good for your immune system and can prevent chronic illness.Exercise does wonder when you use it as a sort of mental booster.Don’t we all feel clear and rejuvenated mentally after we exercise? Start by lying on your back doing lazy sit-ups while counting the stars at dawn after a day of work.What the heck,be silly like your child self again.
Don’t be scared to be who you are even when it makes you too different
Don’t jump off the bridge just because all your friends are doing it.The people you love might be stagnant,complacent and life has beaten the hell out of them but hell no,that does not have to be you too.Majority of people around us don’t do what they want to do,so to feel most comfortable,we surround ourself with the like-minded people.Not to say all people in your life are negative.Majority of mass men lead lives of quiet desperation as Thoreau puts it.Living as groupies sometimes is a mask for us to live on the background because we are scared to live out loud.Dare to stand out. Dare not to be a similar person.Love and accept people for who they are but do things your way and differently.Live out loud.You don’t have to go with the masses to earn your own respect and that of of other.If your friends are buying cars they can hardly afford just to put up faces,there is no good reason to be quietly desperate when you can be boldly satisfied with what you have and be grateful for it.You don’t have to knock down five bottles Jack Daniels just because your circle of friends do it.It may not be easy to boldly make the statement and achieving what you want; but you will respect and admire yourself more when you live out loud.
Live outside the box
Experiement and get creative even when everyone else around you is going the traditional way.Pick the color of the crayon you want,just because you like it.It is called thinking outside the box.Just like your child self,when you never thought to stay inside,because reality is,that box was not yet defined for you.Life experiences,disappointment and fear had not occurred yet to close you in the box.You just did what was fun and exciting.You picked any color of crayon just because you liked it.You knew you could paint your bunny green if you wanted to. We might not have the luxury to choose all our life circumstances in all areas of our life,but sometimes we gotta get a grip of what we have control over and let loose of what we don’t.It is the only way to get unstuck and move from A to B.Believe in the picture you visualise as you see it,even when fear screams right in your face.Fear might scream,it is too different! It is too hard! That is not the traditional way of it getting done! The world around me will not accept it! Well,believe the picture you visualise.You will impress yourself turning it into a reality.Keep your crayons by your bedside,handy enough to make little changes,to allow you more freedom in the process.
Put in the Work
You know even when you were a kid that if you got good grades is because you did your homework after school.You put in the time,got it done,probably because it was the only way your folks would let you say yes if your friends asked you to come out to play.That may have been one part that was not as fun for you as a kid. Succeeding in life is not different.You have to put in the time and do it consistently if you want it done.You knew you couldn’t crack open the maths book once in a blue moon and expect to get those equations right next time you were tested for it.It is not just how it works.Commit to the process you think will lead you to your dreams.Set small goals.Whatever you have got to do,write,network,make calls-you can do it little by little.One baby step after another to your destination.Apparently,consistency creates momentum and momentum creates magic.That is what we call miracles,because when you put in the hard work and you do it so good the world will notice.
Why is the sky blue? Why are clouds grey?
“Don’t grow up.It’s a trap.” Kids are always full of questions such as “what’s that?” and “Why are you doing this?” They demand to show us whatever they found,doing and why it is important.They ask us all kind of ridiculous questions because they don’t think they are ridiculous.Not asking and not learning is the most ridiculous part as a kid. As an adult now,don’t be afraid to ask the whys,whens,hows.You might risk looking like a know-nothing genius but the truth is none will think you are.If anyone does,you have nothing to lose and only new knowledge and insights to gain.Ever heard of the quote by Dr Seuss which says” Do what you want to do,say what you want to say,because those who matter don’t mind,and those who do mind don’t matter”.This quote might let you find pleasure in being curious and liberate you from thinking asking questions will make you come off as unintelligent. Truth is when you pretend that you have all the answers,it annoys people and it also closes you off from acknowledging and allowing yourself to learn more.Asking questions is an opportunity to understand the world and grow within.
Find excuses to have fun
Remember in high school when you had those social events on Fridays or Saturday evenings.Enough excuses to dance your bones off and catch up with friends alike and let loose from those chemistry molecules calculations.At least for me it was! As adults we wait for a reason to celebrate.If you like dancing,find excuses to dance.Put on your favourite jam and dance all by yourself or in front of your family and have them ask you for stomach sticthes ,have them rolling themself over on the ground because you probably have two left feet,yet you love dancing.”Dance is the hidden language of the soul” So you only have to care about how it makes you feel,not how well you do it.Great minds I know of have never really taken themself seriously.Maya Angelou,a poet and writer couldn’t have put it better when she said “My life has been one great big joke,a dance that’s walked, a song that’s spoke,I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.” I recite this part of Maya’s poem whenever I know I have screwed up.It makes me find something to laugh about in the middle of my crisis sometimes,and believe me it helps me not to take myself so serious. Don’t wait for a reason to celebrate so you can pull out the good life,good china and the good wine.Celebrate a non-event whenever you can.Rejoice when you do something well and feel proud.Involve your friends,have a sunny day and enjoy it.John Petit-Senn said, “not what you have but what you enjoy constitutes abundance” .Don’t wait!
Learn to Let go and start over again
We punish ourself as adults.We set ourselves up to hurt all the time.Staying in relationships and situations that don’t serve us because it’s safer than walking away.Because painful and familiar makes us feel safer and we can handle it more than the fear of unknown. Don’t punish yourself,don’t stay alone,don’t stay stuck in a miserable situation.Don’t stay because you are scared to walk away.Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes you made.Find solace in the fact that now you know better,and you are expecting yourself to do better next time.You don’t deserve to hurt and you don’t have to.Let your pain go,don’t hold on,feel the pain and move.Sometimes we need to learn that when we find ourself in problems is because we failed to listen,to our true self.If you don’t listen,you will feel! You deserve to let go of the pain and start anew!
Believe in Miracles
Oprah in her What I know For Sure about Miracles,she said “I for sure believe in miracles.For me a miracle is seeing the world with light in your eyes.It’s knowing there’s hope and possibility where none exist.Many people are so closed to miracles that even when one is staring them in the face,they label it coincidence or serendipity.I call it like I see it”~ Oprah Winfrey You are an adult now,so miracles has to mean something other than believing that Santa exists and that the tokoloshe comes at night to snatch in the dark kids who are naughty.It shouldn’t be.Real miracles is probably not about imaginary realities as you thought about the as a child; but something that happens when you choose to create it right here,in the world as it is. Miracles happen everyday.When you see people changing for the better.People’s ideas shifting.People who change the world.You can shift your ideas of what is possible too.Just believe in yourself.Believe in your power.Believe you matter and can make a difference.Yes you do.You can do it more than anyone else,famous people like Wole Soyinka,Strive Masiyiwa,Aliko Dangote, Oprah Winfrey,Bill Gates,Steve Jobs,Fela Kuti have all started somewhere small.You can leave the world a better place than you found it.You can be the magic that lit up your eyes as a child. We may have imaginations of us flying as kids,but what we really wanted was adventure,freedom,fun,possibility and those who mean the world to us to share it with. It doesn not matter where you are and how your life looks now,you can have those things.It begins with your choices today,what you choose,where you are and what to do with what you already have. Come out and let’s play. Send me a “Whatsup” when you are ready!