When I was a kid, life was an adventure, full of possibility and wonder. My needs consisted of food, shelter and movement. Every day was brand new; a chance to be someone different; a chance to do something different.
Weekends consisted of playing down the creek, riding my skateboard and making stuff in my dad’s shed. During summer, the beach and my pushbike were all I needed. Everything else came second.
My 10-year-old self could never have fathomed the stress and complexity my adult life had in store for us. Responsibilities, work pressures, bills and relationships would all take their toll over the decades that followed. As a kid, I would never have chosen such a life, but that’s exactly what they were — choices.
As kids, our choices were limited, yet these limits gave us the room and clarity of purpose to achieve bliss. We had the time, space and the freedom to engage completely in what we were doing. Today, the world encourages the endless pursuit of ‘more’, but step back and ask yourself if more is better.
I know that when I was a kid, I consciously felt the sunshine on the back of my neck; I noticed the smell of freshly cut grass and the sound of birdsong at dawn, heralding the start of another day’s adventures.
How would your 10-year-old-self describe the life you now live? How would he view your addiction to ‘busy work’; your gold-star chasing and your constant thirst for more?
That young boy who knew how to live is still inside you. Slow down. Breathe. Listen to him and consider, just for a moment, what truly matters during your brief but fortunate time on this planet. Being alive is an incredible gift and like any gift, it is incumbent on you to do two things.
Enjoy it and share it.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope we get to hang out more in the future. And in the meantime, please feel free to share your own experiences. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I respond to all emails.
Disclaimer: I'm not a psychologist and I'm not a financial advisor's elbow. This material doesn't constitute financial advice but it is a collection of my personal opinions, based on my own experiences.
Also published on Medium.