For my day job, I work in health care. Therefore, I hear many people talk about their advancing age and lament the loss of their youth. To be honest, I am one of those people. I complain about aches and pains and that I can no longer sleep in the corner of a friend’s bedroom after a night out if I plan to be able to walk the next day. However, I’m also that person who refuses to act her age.
I have always been around a lot of children—my niece and the children of my friends and extended family—and I have learned much from them. Whether observing the relentless pursuits of things they love or their general sense of adventure, I’ve found we can learn many life lessons from future grown-ups.
5 Life Lessons From Today’s Youth
1. Go After What You Want
Recently, I have spent weekends exploring the latest toy craze called “Squishmallows.” The gusto with which these stuffed animals are hunted reminds me of what it takes to properly pursue something you love. As adults, I think we’ve forgotten how to really want something.
So, go for that promotion at work or make the career change you’ve been dreaming of. Go back to school, buy a car, or build your dream house—whatever you pursue, do it with gusto.
2. Choose Your Adventure
Remember those books from your childhood that let you choose the paths the main characters followed, thus determining how the endings played out? We lose that sense of adventure as we get older. Whether taking a vacation to a far-off place or riding a questionable Ferris wheel at a county fair, we often have trouble rekindling our thrill-seeking mojo.
Find it again. Make everything an adventure.
3. Cherish Your People
The events over the past year have taught us that life can be over in the blink of an eye. We need to hold onto everyone who means something to us and stop being stoic with our friends. If you have some extra time, check in with your best friend for half an hour, schedule a girls’ night out, or make an effort to go to the ballpark to watch a baseball game. Keep your favorite people close.
4. Let It Go
My niece can remember getting a seashell stuck in her foot when she was three years old, but she cannot tell you, ten minutes later, why she was fighting with her brother. Kids know how to put the petty stuff behind them.
I know that it’s easy to hold onto resentment and grudges. But that benefits no one. Take a lesson from kids – LET. IT. GO.
5. You Are Only as Old as You Feel
Sure, there will be days when you will feel like you are 89 years old and require the help of a walker to get down the stairs. It is on those days, when you are feeling creaky and achy, that you need to get out and behave like a kid again. Play catch in the street, run without proper form, or blow some bubbles outside. Just live.
Live Responsibly, But Don’t Forget to Have Fun
We get too caught up in behaving like “adults” that we forget how to just live and enjoy life. Of course, be responsible—pay your bills and go to work—but make sure you make time to have copious amounts of fun. If you are not enjoying your life with reckless abandon, stop and think about what your younger self would want you to do.