Do you want to gain a better life? Then it’s time to regain some powerful childlike qualities. Adults often lose the positive qualities children have. But the good news is you can regain them.
As I looked at my stuffed animals and pondered my age I questioned if having them was childish. At first, I thought it was and felt small. But then I paused, taking note of what emotions the “childish” toys stirred in me – childlike feelings that are good.
I remembered how Jesus told his disciples they needed to become like children. What did he mean? They needed to regain some childlike qualities they had lost. Qualities Jesus considered important and powerful.
Adults who regain these 15 childlike qualities gain a power to live a better life.
Being an adult isn’t bad. We have power as adults that children don’t. That’s why when we’re teenagers we can’t wait to leave childhood behind to obtain what adulthood has to offer.
There are ways we need to mature to handle the pressures in adulthood.
But on the journey between adolescence and adulthood through the onslaught of phrases like “just grow up” or “stop acting like a child” we cast aside the good of childhood that would empower us to be better adults.
As you go through these 15 powerful qualities imagine them at work in your life.
WHAT TO REGAIN
Children can play with the simplest thing. I’ve heard many a parent (myself included) talk about how a child would rather play with the box a toy came in than the toy itself. A box. Such a simple thing to play with. And consider the rise of minimalism–is this not an attempt to regain the simplicity of a child?
A child is born with the innate ability to trust those who care for them. This trust is what gives them the ability to rely on others and ask for help. Although we need to learn to do things for ourselves, humanity was created to be interdependent, not independent. Trust is a powerful component in relationships.
3. Laugh easily
Children can laugh at just about anything. Even things that might not be funny. There are reports of how many more times they laugh than adults, and then those that refute those numbers. But no matter the numbers, this ability to laugh easily serves well not only as a stress reliever but has other health benefits as well.
Some may have the tendency to think of children as weak and easy to give up, but look at the determination and tenacity of one learning to walk. We couldn’t count how many times they fall down, yet they all learn to walk—because they never give up. And then consider also a child trying to get the attention of their mom—mom, mom, mom, ma, mommy, mother, mom….until she responds.
Children are naturally curious. They ask questions about everything. Sometimes to the dismay of adults after the seeming incessant stream of why, how come, what’s that, where did that…etc… This quality is also what drives a kid to dismantle things just to see how it works even if we wish they didn’t do that. But it’s how they learn and it’s a good thing.
This quality is so important. Children are amazed by everything and adults have the tendency to have lost all sense of wonder. Adults may know a lot but there’s always more to learn and new ways to see things. Picture when a child “discovers” their feet as if they just suddenly appeared—they look at them in such amazement. Then consider how your body is functioning without your effort at all.
7. Live in the moment
Adults get stuck in the past and rush into the future missing the right now. It seems we’re always in a hurry but children aren’t. They’re content to take twenty minutes to brush their teeth and make faces at themselves enjoying where they are at the moment. Enjoying every moment is how we make memories that last because time doesn’t standstill.
Take a child to a grocery store and they’ll need to go to the bathroom. It’s their desire to explore new places at work. Their sense of adventure is also what causes them to wander off looking for things to discover. New is exciting to them. Without this childlike quality, adults become scared of new things. Regaining a sense of adventure is good self-care for adults.
9. Being active
How many times have you heard someone say “if I had ½ their energy I’d…” or “if you could bottle that energy you’d be rich”. Adults become sedentary through work habits, circumstances or choice. The saying is true “use it or lose it.” But thankfully it’s also true that you can start to use your body now and increase your activity little by little. I started using 1 pound hand weights some years ago and I’ve worked my way up to 20 pound hand weights. Becoming active is a choice that will produce more energy. No matter what your circumstances are, you can add something if you choose to.
10. Believe you can be
A child believes they can become what they want and they can do what they believe. They have faith in their abilities. Although it may be true that they’re not able, this faith in themselves is a powerful driving force. The Bible tells us that God has given to every person a measure of faith. Adults who retain or regain this confidence tap into a God-given power because where we fall short and are weak, God is strong.
This word is not is a small child’s vocabulary but it’s the fruit of their creativity and imagination. The world cries out for more of this quality and yet many children have it squashed in them. Creativity will draw a purple cow, or color a tree pink. Imagination pictures things unseen in the natural world but can become great new inventions.
The word is associated with children and recess but the quality is necessary for adults. Secretly we want it and biologically we need it. This is so important I have an entire article on what it will do for an adult.
Related: The Subtle Art Of NOT Giving A Fuck
Children burst with excitement. Tell them they’re going to do something fun and they about come unglued. Every day is a new adventure for them while many adults find no excitement in life whatsoever. Fostering this quality of excitement will fuel a happier more productive life.
Although this relates to many of the other qualities it can stand alone. Fun is good. As adults, we can get so work-focused that the idea of fun becomes bad. I know it happened to me. While healing from my childhood trauma I relearned it from Dr. Seuss who wrote in his book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish “These things are fun, and fun is good.” (emphasis mine)
15. Express truth and love sincerely
Unless feeling threatened, children are extremely honest and loving. Even if their honesty comes across in a strange or unkind way, they simply mean it sincerely and not to hurt anyone. They are quick to hug and give comfort to others. Having sincere love and honesty as an adult is a powerful quality this world really needs.
- Which of these childlike qualities do you still retain?
- Which of these do you need to regain?
- Many times the loss of childlike qualities is due to childhood trauma. Here’s some help if that’s you.