“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Kids are the most wonderful, open-minded dreamers there are. Right? They’re like perfect little specimens of optimism and hope. As we get older, though, these characteristics tend to take a back burner. So I’d like to share my perspective and highlight some pieces of advice that would have been helpful for me to know way back when.
The most difficult part of this process was narrowing it down. I started to think back . . . way back.
If I had a few minutes with my 8-year-old self, what advice would I give her?
As you know, as we get older we become influenced by everyone and everything, forgetting the innocent and powerful qualities we once had. Ironically, as adults in order to find ourselves again, we actually have to undo all the junk that we acquired since we were kids.
If we could just harness what we learned and teach it to our kids, then it would be all worth it.
I could probably list a hundred little nuggets of wisdom I wish I knew as a kid, but this list epitomized what I would have needed for my journey.
Here are the seven pieces of advice I would share with my 8-year-old self.
Know that anything is possible. Anything.
As kids, we are typically taught what isn’t possible. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. Dream big and then dream bigger!
Be yourself —only you can do you.
Like a snowflake, you are 100% unique. And, yeah, there may be millions of others before you who have done whatever it is that you want to do but no one will do it like you. They can’t.
Follow your heart. All of the time.
Some call it flow or intuition. I just call it your built-in guidance system. It’s that feeling deep within your belly. That’s the one you listen to. It will never fail you.
No one can tell you what your purpose is. That’s your job.
They may think they know. They may love you lots, but only you can figure that out. It may take some time and that’s okay. It will come to you and when it does, you’ll know.
Be kind to everyone. Sounds simple, right?
This may not always be easy but as the saying goes, you attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Look for ways to show kindness to your peers. Being kind will not only help brighten the world but it will broaden your heart.
Be grateful for everything–even the small stuff.
You may take some things for granted. I am here to remind you that the more you appreciate what you have—a little or a lot—the more you will go through life with wonder and awe.
Lastly, smile and have fun every day.
This is an easy one for you now, but when you get older, you may tend to get stressed out, overwhelmed by self-criticism, and caught up in life. So it’s super easy to forget the little things that bring you joy. Smile at everyone and everything and have fun with the most boring stuff. Enjoying the ride is the most important advice I can give you!
As an 8-year-old, you may not fully understand the importance of all of this. However, if you instill these into your little kid world, it will make a huge difference when you’re older. Then maybe you will raise your kids in such a way they won’t have to undo too much. Now go outside and play!
Be Yourself. Follow Your Heart. Smile.