“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” – Paulo Coelho
Have truer words ever been said? It can be hard sometimes as parents to remember that you are also a person. You're more than just a nappy changer, face wiper and house cleaner. As adults we can forget that there was life before children. They are of course the priority, but never forget about yourself.
In this age of distraction, it’s important to reconnect with our inner child. All too often, us adults lose sight of key factors to happiness. When was the last time you were happy for absolutely no reason? Watch your kids, they're happy 99% of the time for no real reason in particular. Happy just because. Now as an adult of course we have greater responsibilities etc, but we do tend to take ourselves a little too seriously sometimes. We fear looking silly! Lets knock down our own in-built barriers and just have some fun. Get involved in role-play, run around the garden and splash some water. Its invigorating! And that’s just at home with the kids. Try it at work as well, maybe not the role-play, running or splashing, but the having fun bit. When did work become so serious and straight? We can still can be both professional and fun, there not mutually exclusive.
The second point is always be busy. Now there is good busy and just busy being busy. The latter is just doing something to say you're busy but actually not really doing valuable stuff. Good busy is the activity that makes you happy and or is valuable. For example, rather than another hour of TV, how about reading an educational self-help book? Rather than checking social feeds, how about exercising? Even better than that, how about working up your dreams and aspirations for the future - now that’s some powerful stuff. Kids are happy because they have no boundaries, the world is literally their oyster. Adults have built up self-imposed boundaries over the years which can impact happiness. Mapping out your dreams can be an excellent way to reconnect with that inner child and open up possibilities. Pictures are a great way to reconnect.....
That nicely leads on to the final point ........ know how to demand with all his might that which he desires. Children just ask and ask (and ask). In can be quite overpowering at times but they're just simply not afraid to ask for what they want. As adults, we can forget this. Again, we have to do this is a slightly more delicate way than simply saying please over and over again, but we need to be more forceful in asking for what we want. Again, its fear that holds us back, fear of rejection. Children don't have fear, we install fear in them (sometimes for their own good, often not). This is another area where adults could improve their happiness, by no longer holding back on asking for what they want. This can be done in a very polite and considered way. What's the worst that can happen? You get a no, and you're exactly where you were, but at least you asked. You can then make a decision on what to do next. Knowing is half the battle.
As a side note, check out Paulo Coelho's book, The Alchemist. It's a fable about following your dreams, which feels very appropriate. It's a wonderful read.