Beyond my article about searching for boredom during a long weekend away in Paris last week, another epiphany I had during the trip was tapping into the need for childlike wonder and perspective.
As children, our relationship with time and space is so unique. We feel so old at 7 compared to our illiterate and barely-talking toddler sibling yet we feel so young in comparison to our worldly and wise parents. We are barely able to differentiate between 20 year olds and 40 year olds because both simply fit into the category of ‘adult’ yet the difference between 7 and a half and 7 are leaps and bounds apart. This really enables us as children to live in the present, to fully grasp onto who we are right now in this present time. It also prevents comparison – AKA the killer of joy – because what everyone else is doing seems worlds away.
As we age, this sense of self-assurance fades as we compare ourselves to our peers and the expectations of society. By 18 you should have this many A levels, by 22 you should have a degree, by 25 you should be earning at least 30k a year etc etc.
During my trip away, as mentioned in the previous article on boredom, I searched for silence and solitude. Solitude was most important as I desired to isolate myself from the pressures of the music industry and the comparative nature it tends to take on. Through searching for simplicity and boredom, I tapped into my childlike self. I was able to feel gratitude without forcing it – getting so excited about an apricot ice cream and strolling over the bridge with my female friends, giggling and admiring the view.
As freelancers, we have to be both the artist and the business person. The money and business side takes the joy out of creating the art. As children, we don’t have to worry about this side, we want to simply explore and create and in doing so we are able to open huge windows in our minds.
Actress Kirsten Dunst once said: ““It’s so important in this business to stay open and childlike. You don’t want to block yourself. It’s really important to be affected by things.”
Furthermore, those who have small children will know how a curious child keeps on asking questions after question. They are like sponges who are constantly soaking up knowledge and learning something new every day. Self-improvement is more effective when there is a deep desire to learn new things continually.
Taking risks is another element that tapping into your childlike self can reveal. A young child is more likely to take risks at the moment simply because they do not know any better.
If you want to keep your inner child alive, you need to rediscover how much fun life can be and how the things that are of real value and cannot be purchased with money. They are the freely available things, and because of that, they are the things that are most often overlooked or taken for granted.