I tweeted last week about one of the greatest paradoxes in life — the most mature people in society actually act like children the most. It’s an odd thing to think about, but growing older often means growing colder. Well, winners stay hot! I stumbled upon this article this morning, and I just had to share it with you. I truly believe that the greatest success lessons come from children. Here are a few reminders that you can apply today!
Photo: My son, Isaiah (4).
Ah, the wonder of youthful enthusiasm. The joy of youthful exuberance. The endless one word replies to any question about their day. The mind of a young person knows no bounds. It’s fresh and not weighed down by cynicism and defeatist attitudes. Time and time again the excited minds of a young generation will come forward with ideas that seemed impossible only decades before. How do they do it? They have no concept of what is or is not possible. They’re fueled by their core desires and beliefs, not the expectations of others.
The Wisdom of Children
Take some time and watch some young children at play. You’ll see evidence of pure, undaunted imagination. Children especially pay no respect to the dreadfully boring “adult” world, governed by ironclad rules of what should or what not should be, what is or what isn’t possible. They fill in the gaps themselves with creativity and game playing. While it’s probably not a good idea to start playing freeze tag at your next meeting, you can definitely learn something by reawakening your inner-child.
The flip side of the coin of staring down the impossible is recklessness. Every teenager feels immortal. Confused and usually without direction, they stomp around seemingly invulnerable to any consequences. The determined ones start to map out goals and use that indestructible attitude to strive for success without looking back. Capture the remarkable tenacity of adolescence and combine it with your adult wisdom in order to move toward your destination with unshakable confidence.
Young people definitely have heroes, but they may be unconventional. They may distrust regular authority figures or simply be bored by them. While looking to successful people for tips and examples can be helpful, don’t idolize someone and try to recreate their situation completely. Be like the young and question the methods of authority. You may find a new and exciting solution to a well-worn problem.
Proving a Point
Young people may have chips on their shoulders. It’s because they’ve got something to prove. To their parents. To their teachers. They’re trying to prove to the world that they’ve got what it takes to survive. More importantly, they’re trying to prove it to themselves. Follow the youthful example and remember to be your harshest critic. Constantly strive to impress yourself and surpass your own expectations.
Adults tend to take on limiting beliefs. They’ve experienced the vagaries of life. They’ve had their share of failures and disappointments. When they think toward the future, they may immediately shut down as soon as a difficult image appears in their minds. They’ll think things like, “It will never work,” or “It’s too hard,” and they’ll have given up before they even started. Try to retain your youthful exuberance. If you’ve become too cynical and can’t seem to reawaken it, you may need to rediscover your passion.
Every generation, the world is processed and then recreated by innovative, young entrepreneurs. Keep a healthful, youthful spirit when dealing with your business or your personal life. Stay excited and stay hungry. Achieve the impossible.
This article was written by Matthew Toren.
Matthew is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.