Be Like a Kid
April 3, 2020
It’s the weekend, and everyone in our family is busy with our respective weekend activities. To pep the spirits, I come up with a plan to go out for a Movie in the evening.
My son is all excited and gets busy, making some additional plans. Can we go out for dinner too, can I buy some stuff at the mall, etc.
Exactly 30 min later, after a conversation with my wife, I realize that some critical priorities require my attention. We cannot spend an evening out at the Movies. I tell my son that I am canceling the movie plan and that we will see if we can make it the next day.
The situation was no different then it was before I announced the plan to go for a movie. We went from “no movie plan” to “no movie plan.” Yet in my son’s mind, the situation had somehow become worse.
It is a uniquely human trait. We get attached to things, ideas very quickly. My son got attached to the idea of going out for the Movie based on the plan I made. A teenage tantrum followed for about half-hour, and then peace was restored. My son moved on to other things.
As adults, we may be better than kids at adjusting our expectations on the fly, and experience has also taught us that tantrums don’t work. The sense of pain, disappointment is as real for us adults, as it is for the kids. However, unlike kids, adult minds are less elastic. They retain the pain and pickle in agony more.
Kids don’t give up on their desires and expectations easily. They keep coming back and demanding. And more often than not, they succeed in getting what they want.
When we attain adulthood, something shifts. We start developing limiting beliefs-It is wrong to ask and demand. We start protecting ourselves from the pain of disappointment by lowering our expectations across the board. We begin developing a scarcity mindset, and we play small.
Kids are the most amazing and abundant beings. They don’t brood about status, possessions, you are right, I am wrong, etc. They have this brilliant trait that allows them to soak up whatever life throws at them to be happy and excited. They may be sad one moment, and they are radiating with joy and excitement, the next moment. My son went from tantrum mode to finding satisfaction in something else very quickly.
Kids live life in the moment, with abundance. We can certainly learn from them.