Why The Best Adults Are Those Who Never Lose Their Childlike Wonder

by Paul Hudson

Being an adult sort of sucks -- but it doesn’t need to.

I know we don’t willfully decide to lead a miserable life. We don’t decide we want to work ourselves to the bone, chasing trivialities that only further add to our pointlessness -- it just sort of sneaks up on us.

One day we’re running around, playing tag, riding bikes, enjoying a carefree life, and the next, we have bills.

We have people depending on us, asking for us to produce things for them. We have an endless list of chores that never seems to get any shorter.

Our life goes from a state of serenity to a state of excitement -- but the sort of excitement that wears you out.

It seems like the older we get, the more we miss the days when we were children.

That’s a pretty sh*tty way to live your life, no? Always moving ahead, but trying to hold on to the past.

There is a lot we can learn from the children we used to be. That little person still exists; you just need to listen to what he or she has to say.

Embracing your inner child will make you a better -- and much happier -- adult.

Our childhood years are the building blocks of our person.

The person you are this very moment has taken decades to build. It all started from the first second you had some sort of level of consciousness to this very moment of you sitting there reading this article.

Some parts of our lives influenced us more -- others, less. While I can’t say I have studied human developmental psychology in detail, I’d wager that those experiences, which we find have the greatest effect on us are those that are entirely novel.

Human beings, like most animals, experience new things and later use those novel experiences as reference points when comparing future experiences.

It only makes sense that we take the experiences we’ve had and use them to compare and make decisions when we come across similar experiences.

If this is true, then it’s fair to conclude that novel experiences are our most influential.

Surely, the influence dissipates with time as we collect other relatable experiences, yet I’d be willing to bet that those firsts -- especially those most important and emotionally fueled firsts -- linger on indefinitely, influencing our thoughts and decision-making along the way.

Care to wager during which years we have the most novel experiences?

If you ignore that inner child of yours, you’re not going to be happy.

While we may grow in age, the child we once were stays with us.

We may have quieted him or her down, pushed him or her into the background to make room for our adult lives and personas, but our inner child lives.

It’s important to grow as an individual, to learn from experiences, to change and become a better person. But what most people seem to think is in order to do so, we must leave our old selves behind.

That’s wrong. Not because it wouldn’t be an amazing thing to do. In fact, it would be an incredible feat. The problem is it isn’t possible.

Unless you’re suffering from amnesia, you can’t leave your old life entirely behind because the memories stay with you. Nor should you.

I know it may sometimes hurt to dig into your past, but that pain is necessary. It’s what reminds us how important it is for us to stay on our current, better path in life.

But keep in mind not all our past experiences were bad ones. Childhood in particular (usually) is a happy experience. It’s when everything and anything was possible.

It’s when having fun was the easiest thing in the world because even the littlest of things made us happy.

If there is one thing you ought to try and hold on to for the rest of your life, it’s this: If you can’t be happy, if you can’t have fun with the simplest of things, enjoy life in its most basic form, you’ll never be happy.

Life has its ups and downs, but if you can manage to find hope in even the most dire circumstances -- be it the smell of flowers or the feel of wind against your skin -- you’ll find the strength to accomplish things others wouldn't believe possible.

Life was simpler when you were younger… maybe child-you knew something adult-you somehow forgot.

The one complaint almost everyone I know has about getting older and living life as an adult is the overall complexity of it all.

The older you get, the more responsibilities you have. It’s almost as if even the simplest of things, like having a place to sleep and food to eat, all of a sudden becomes a project.

Most people spend the majority of their adult lives working only to survive, to get by, to continue living the life they have always been living.

Even those who aren’t so much struggling to survive are likely struggling to get ahead, struggling to accomplish goals and make progress.

The older we get, the more we want and the more of what we want becomes increasingly more difficult to get.

But does it have to be this way? Is there no way for us to take a step back and revert to olden days when cartoons and bowls of cereal felt like living the dream?

It’s important to set goals for yourself, to reach for your dreams and reach to create a better life for yourself.

But you used to be so much happier… what happened? When did you make the switch and cross over to the darker side?

You need to figure out a way to embrace that inner child of yours because failing to do so is failing to realize you already know how to appreciate life the way it ought to be appreciated -- or at least, you once knew.

Embrace your inner child and make life, once again, your playground.

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