Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway?

once a child, always a child!

Are you a “grown up” or are you still childlike?

This summer I was in Kensington Gardens in London and saw a Peter Pan statue, which is quite famous. On the inscription it describes the statue as “the boy who refused to grow up.”

This made me smile as I was once described by friends as a Peter Pan character –they meant not in stature, but were referring to my childlike outlook to life.

I remember wondering at the time why they found that so unusual and worthy of commenting on.

Of course, now I am more “grown-up” I realise that not everyone goes through life with a childlike and light hearted attitude.

What does being grown up really mean?

Does it mean you have to be serious all the time, at your best behaviour and go around with a stern face? Or does it mean you always act high and mighty?

If you ever see children play, they are completely carefree and happy. And if they ever have any grievances, they soon make up and all is well again.

Somewhere along the way, all this changes and suddenly in a twinkle of the eye, they become all serious and “grown-up”.

Here is a great quote from a related article at ZenHabits

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.- Pablo Picasso

Look back to your own childhood and remember your earliest memories of playing with your friends.

Remember that time when you felt free and joyous – given the chance, you could have played like that all day and night.

Last month, I visited some friends and their 3 month baby girl was an absolute delight.

I haven’t smiled and laughed so much in years – even at that young age she has her own personality, but best of all was how she kept smiling for over two hours.

So we all had this ability to be childlike at one time – and we can still get it back.

Why would you ever want to lose this inner child and become a grown up?

Worry not – I have some ideas to get you back to being your true childlike state again. It’s easy really – do the things that you really enjoy doing or used to enjoy doing as a child.

Here are my 15 quick ideas to get you started being a kid again:-

1. Go for walks in nature – connect to that earth energy and remember how much you used to enjoy being in nature as a child.

2. Visit a kiddie’s playground and go on the slides and swings. I did this recently and a little boy said the swings were for small children, not big children!

3. Watch some old cartoons on television or on YouTube. Join in and make the funny sounds and remember to chuckle loudly when appropriate – or even when not appropriate.

4. Go and watch a Disney movie in a cinema on your own – and join in with all the laughter with the other children there. Remember to go easy on the candy – becoming sick is optional.

once a child, always a child!

5. Draw or paint badly in some colouring books – the worse your efforts the better. Let go of the adult perfectionist in you!

6. Take a dog for a walk in the park – and be prepared to get your clothes messy as you play with him.

7. Sing badly – and louder the better. Maybe this one you should definitely do on your own, when no one else is around.

8. Read some children’s bedtime stories to yourself – or to another adult, even if it’s not even bedtime. Make sure you always finish the book in one sitting.

9. Dance like no one is watching – remember the time when as a kid you could just swing your body to any music.

10. Laugh, laugh and laugh loudly and fully for no reason. This is my favourite – try it right now.

11. Get some hula hoops and learn how to swing your body so they spin around your waist. Bonus – your body will also get a great workout.

12. Jump crazily up and down on a rebounder or a trampoline. And then half way through, you can pretend to fall down.

13. Go to a kiddie’s party as a guest just like the other children there. Even better – hold your own kiddies party. Just make sure no other naughty adults try and gate-crash your party.

14. Buy some traditional kiddies games, the type you might have played with in your childhood. Invite some other grown-up children to play with you if you like. Or better still, some eternally young children.

15. Play with some young kids and join in with their games. If you don’t have any children, then borrow or kidnap some – be sure to leave a ransom note for some of your favourite childhood cookies.

Finally a bonus idea – do something you haven’t done since you were a child – the “naughtier” the better.

What would that be for you?

As you begin your journey into rediscovering the joys of childhood and becoming childlike again, there are three important things you must remember:-

1. Enjoy and have fun.

2. Stop worrying about what others will say.

3. And do it all over again the next day, and the day after!

Welcome to the world of children and being childlike :-)

Share below your own ideas for being childlike once again.

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Thank you for reading! – Arvind

 

Images courtesy of wnstn and iotae


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Comments

  1. Hi Arvind

    What a lovely message! I love being a child at heart, I cannot imagine it any other way! In fact, even though I don’t visit playgrounds regularly, but when I do, I have such joy climbing like a monkey over all the bars :D

    Kids don’t worry what others think of them, they simply express their highest being when we don’t limit them, and it feels good! The innocence, the fun, the laughter is a pure delight to live with each day :)

    Thank you for sharing the valuable tips and for inspiring us all to have more fun!

    • Thanks Evita – and welcome to my blog. I do believe this is the first time you have ever commented.

      I have just visited your sites and I can see that you are clearly a child at heart:-)

      I am really surprised I haven’t come across you and your work before – everything you write and do resonates with me. I have just shared one of your articles on Twitter and Facebook.

      May you continue to be a kid always – the world needs your childlike inspiration!

      And may we bask in the pure delight of your innocence, fun and laughter always :-)
      Arvind Devalia’ latest post ..Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway

    • What a gift to be a ‘child at heart’. I am surrounded by my five lovely children, and unfortunately find myself being too grown up most of the time.

      I could have so much more fun if I embrace life the way they do :)

      Thanks for this great post!

      • Rachel, you do make me laugh – being surrounded by 5 children would be enough to make you even more childlike!

        But what do I know – I have no children, and I only have my own childlike nature to go on. Maybe that’s why everyone else around me seems so adultlike:-)

        Let’s all embrace life the way your five children do.

  2. This line gave me a nice laugh:

    “Remember to go easy on the candy – becoming sick is optional.”

    I agree, we shouldn’t lose our child like joy for life. Life is much more fun when you keep that passion for the world around you.

  3. Arvind: Great post and I definitely agree that there are a lot of benefits to tapping into our childlike nature. When you are younger, it seems that certain things just happen naturally. You are excited by some of the most simple and beautiful things like nature, you are creative and worry free amongst many other things. I really appreciated your list and am definitely looking for a way to be childlike again :)
    Sibyl – alternaview’ latest post ..10 Quotes that Show You How To Live Your Best Life

    • Sibyl, good to see you here again in your full childlike state:-)

      I remember being so excited about the simplest things – and am now getting back to that. I just returned home and marvelled at the snow flakes falling outside so gently. Forget about being cold and wet!

      Good luck with being even more childlike, Sibyl.
      Arvind Devalia’ latest post ..Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway

  4. A very lighthearted and uplifting post. I’m not sure I could be that childlike. I do follow one childlike behavior that keeps me from falling into the serious boring rut that a lot of people get trapped in as they age; lifelong learning. I’ve studied a lot more things just for the fun of it than for career growth. Maybe it’s time I looked into less structured kinds of learning like arts and crafts. Thanks.
    David Smith’ latest post ..Great Start – Better Start Over

    • David, welcome to my blog!

      Thanks for sharing your most childlike habit – life learning is sure to keep you eternally young:-)

      Good luck with learning some new arts and crafts – I guess the key is to just participate, without having an end goal and not getting attached to what your creation should look like.
      Arvind Devalia’ latest post ..Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway

  5. Hi Arvind, great read as always. There’s a quote I heard which resonates with this post:

    “What would the child you once were, think of the adult you’ve become?”

    That quote helps me to lighten up if I’m stressed, or have fun if I’m too serious. Take care!
    Stuart’ latest post ..You Are All You’re Meant To Be

    • Stuart, that’s a great quote – thanks for sharing.

      I guess what holds us back from being more childlike is the adult in us that says:-

      “What would other adults think of me behaving like this?!”

      It’d clearly time to be aware of such a thought and replace with the one you quoted.

      Wishing you lots of childlike fun always:-)
      Arvind Devalia’ latest post ..Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway

  6. fiona mccudden says:

    Hi Arvind,
    lovely post as usual. I think part of the reason most parents exact such joy from their children, is that it gives them a channel to become childlike again. I think there is a child deep within all of us, which never leaves. Some people access it easier than others. Being childlike requires a certain innocence. Just as adults mature and cannot readily call themselves innocent, I believe that people who manage to hold onto their childlike state are those who expect the best from life and people. Therefore they expect the sun will shine, that most people are good and thence nice and for the best part life is worth being happy. And so a child is borne “again”. Enjoy!

    • Fiona, what wonderful insights!

      Clearly, the more chidlike one is, the more positive outlook one has and the more happier he or she becomes.

      Being childlike certainly requires a certain level of innocence and an ability to see the world with wonder and through new eyes.

      Lets all go out and ensure that many more children are “born” again:-)
      Arvind Devalia’ latest post ..Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway

  7. Good job, Arvind. We just joined the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, where you can see exhibits aimed at children and play around with crafts and science experiments geared toward children.

    We played with some Crayola glow mats that react to drawing with a light pen and looked at some other light experiments. David and I both remember going to the previous version of this museum as children.

    Great post…
    Gip

    • Gip, good to see you here again, and to know about your childlike adventures in museums.

      I can just visualise you having a hoot amongst the light experiments!

      Here in London, there’s a famous children’s toys musuem which I visited a few years for the one and only time:-

      http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/

      Having read your comment, I am inspired to visit it again soon – perhaps with some young children this time rather than “older” ones.

      Also, one of my favourite shops to visit is Hamleys in Regent Street which is a treasure trove of children’s toys – and “children” of all ages can join in the fun!

      Happy childlike living always, Gip:-)
      Arvind Devalia’ latest post ..Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway

  8. Dear Arvind,

    One time years ago I was at a workshop and part of the session was being able to play with a bunch of kid’s stuff – fingerpaints, etc…All these stations were set up.

    Our time was limited and I didn’t want it to end! It is so FUN to play. Hopscotch is another fun one! Hula Hooping has been a great pastime these days.

    Your suggestions are lovely. I love the spontaneity of children and I think it’s great to re-capture the essence of it – not questioning everything we say or do, but being REAL in the moment.

    KIds are one of the most fun ways to play with our own “child”. Over the holidays I’ll be with my 8-year old nephew. There will be tickling,trampoline, basketball, soccer, throwing the football, hide-and-seek, and other games. Let me tell you, Hayden, makes me come ALIVE! Kids are so alive.

    I love this post! Viva la childlike!

    Lauren
    Lauren’ latest post ..Holiday Advice 101- Grant Me The Balls To Change The Things I Can

    • Lauren, I fully understand what you mean – the moment we are allowed to indulge in our childlike nature, we just don’t want it to end.

      I have a guest book for visitors to sign when they visit my home but it is actually a chidren’s colouring book – and you would be amazed at what adults draw once they are invited to let loose with a set of coloured pens:-)

      Have a fabulous, childlike time with your nephew over Christmas – and come back all alive and on top form for 2011!

      Love and gratitude

      Arvind
      Arvind Devalia’ latest post ..Why Would You Ever Want to Grow Up Anyway

  9. This is a theme well worth visiting! In reality, we are all, children and adults, part of a continuum. When you stop playing, you start dying.

    http://minimalistmum.blogspot.com/2010/07/in-defense-of-peter-pan.html

  10. Hi Arvind,

    Thanks for the reminder of how important it is for us to take time to be childlike again. The best years of my life were when my daughter was young (it gave me an excuse to act childlike without people thinking I was crazy!). The most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of a young child laughing.

    I find I am most playful when I am out in nature – walking my dog, walking along the ocean beach, hiking in the mountains. It frees the spirit and inhibitions. I am planning to live a long life and believe that joy and playfulness will always be part of it!

    Even in the work world, we can be playful. Read my post, Playing in the Sandbox: http://www.2writewithpassion.com/2010/10/29/playing-in-the-sandbox/. Keep on playing, “Peter Pan.” :-)
    I Write’ latest post ..Reverb10 – Day 1- My Learning Journey

  11. LOL- I pretty much do them all now & then but the walk in nature, walk with the dogs, dancing around, and singing (very) badly happen quite often!

    Of course the singing and dancing is for the benefit of my 13 yr old daughter who freaks out….

    “Someone might SEE you!”

    When I mention that the curtains and doors are closed…she says, ” You never know…You’re not funny you know!”

    Geez, no sense of humor…………..

  12. Play indeed Arvind!

    Play like a child; play like no is watching.

    Alex

  13. Hi Arvind! I’m still a big kid in many ways. My daughter always says “mommy, you’re so silly” or “mommy, you’re crazy” when I’m goofing around the house. I love to get kid movies and I say it’s for her. She is now 17 so she often laughs and says that she has outgrown that kind of movie. But I haven’t! :)
    Thanks for this beautiful reminder of being a kid at heart.Loving blessings!
    Andrea DeBell – britetalk’ latest post ..Stuck in Life Achieve Big Results with Little Effort

  14. Loved this, especially painting like a child. My brother often says I paint like a child even though its a serious effort. Just good fun.

  15. Hi Awesome Arvind!
    I truly love this article…cause i have been on the receiving end of this comment far too many times “will you ever grow up”” Will you believe it..I have tried and done all those things on your awesome 15 list…except #11 & #12…which are now going right up there on my to do list of funn things to do :)
    I now have a partner in naughtiness-my little 4 yr old girl ;)
    Such a refreshing article.
    Much Love,
    Z~
    Zeenat{Positive Provocations}’ latest post ..10 Positive Resolutions for a truly Happy New Year

  16. p.s. I completely and totally refuse to grow up! I will be a 4 yr old even when I’m 80 :)

  17. Hi Arvind,
    I love all the tips that have the word “badly” in them. When I think about it, kids really don’t care how they look or sound. They are all about having as much fun as they possibly can. They laugh just to laugh and scream just to scream. We can really learn a lot about play from them.
    Lisa H.’ latest post ..Are You Attracting What You Want into Your Life

  18. I love this idea. I gotta admit, I’ve been acting very seriously the past few years. It’s time to kick back, and have fun.. every single minute and day! Even when it’s time to be serious, i’ll be serious.. in a non-serious, child-like way ^_^
    Henway’ latest post ..Vitamin Shoppe Tips

  19. Wow… while reading itself i was imagining myself a kid. I do laugh literally on nothing. Thats why people call me laughing budha :-)

    Fantastic article.

    Thanks,
    Savi
    Savi’ latest post ..Diveagar-Shrivardhan-Harihareshwar

  20. Hey Arvind,

    I’ve been aware of your work for awhile – love your video on the Focus Wheel for instance and have passed it on to many. But this is the first time I’ve stopped by to comment.

    Over the past 5 years, I’ve reconnected with a playful and mischievous part of myself. Though the work I do can be considered “serious” – I’m a business coach for spiritual people – I’ve become more and more comfortable allowing this playful side to shine brightly. Thanks for the reminder!

    Warmly,

    Paul

  21. Sara Tomala says:

    what a great post Arvind!! i felt again great reading u back. Good luck and lets talk soon.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Remember, you can create magical moments everyday in your life-just remember to always be childlike.” Arvind Devila of  Make It Happen […]

  2. […] Remember, you can create magical moments everyday in your life-just remember to always be childlike.” Arvind Devila of  Make It Happen […]

  3. […] Of course, I’ll never ever be a grownup – I mean WHY would you ever want to grow up anyway? […]