April 21, 2015 |Gideon

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What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of a child and the fable mentality of the average adult.” ~Sigmund Freud

We can all learn some seriously important stuff from kids.

They get life in my opinion.

And then they grow up…

I have two young children and they are teaching me some important lessons in life, let me tell you.

And more than that, they instinctively and naturally know things about how to get the best out of life and every moment.

Much better than the average adult I know.

That is until they are told they “have to grow up.”

Then everything changes.

But before that happens, I reckon there are ten habits and attitudes many kids have and display that can help us adults perform at a much higher level in life, relationships, work, business and health.

Here are some lessons kids teach us:

They use their bodies to move

I truly believe the reason kids have so much energy is that they move around so much.

They don’t move because they have energy.

They have energy because they move.

Compare this to most adults and we’re sloths in comparison, sitting and standing around the whole day.

Movement creates energy.

Energy is the fuel of life and determines many of our results.

A big one is our willpower.

The higher your energy the more your willpower.

You need the willpower to make some important decisions and stick to them, but the moment energy decreases willpower resorts to your default settings, which usually ain’t good.

Average most likely.

Another key reason why moving around is so important is because emotion comes from motion.

Movement creates energy that impacts how you feel.

Depressed people generally move very little.

They’re in bed most of the time.

Those I’ve worked on anyway.

They are curious about life

When we move, exercise and play, our feelings seem to follow suit and get the message, “I need to feel good here.”

And why wouldn’t you with all the endorphins being released in your system?

So start moving more today.

They ask better questions

Kids are known for that one very irritating little question, “why.”

Yet, I believe to increase our performance levels and create worthwhile results in our lives, adults should start asking this a lot more.

Why do I spend so much time with these negative people?

Why do I stay in a job that’s meaningless while I have other options?

Why do I keep saying yes to everything?

Why do I allow people to treat me badly?

Why do I keep eating even when I know I’m not really hungry?

Why don’t I ask for help when I clearly know I need some?

Why do I choose to do business with clients that add very little or no value to my business yet demand a massive investment on my part?


A powerful little question.

They are constantly learning how to say things better

A lot of research has shown how the power of words can impact our state, behaviour and therefore the results we create in life.

Limited vocabulary or disempowering words can literally obstruct us from performing at our high levels.

There’s a big difference between saying something’s a “slight bump in the road” and something’s an “utter disaster!”

How we speak and the words or phrases we habitually use can either help us achieve at the highest levels or keep us from it.

How do you speak most of the time?

Children are always learning to say it better.

It comes with the developing process.

As adults, we have to become aware of how we describe the world and events to ourselves.

We also need to consciously choose to keep growing in the way we express ourselves.

If not, we’ll keep speaking the way we’ve been speaking which will keep giving us the results we’ve been getting.

They focus on the here and now more than the yesterday and tomorrow

Kids forget pretty quickly.

That is if they find something better to focus on.

The one thing they can teach us is how not to hold on to yesterday and not worry about tomorrow.

The real issue is, are we having fun right now?

Wouldn’t the world become a better palace if we had some of the mindset – always finding ways to have fun and play right now, regardless of what we have to do?

Too many adults take themselves and life super serious and truth be told, it sucks to be them and to be around them.

High performance demands presence.

Being present here and now and focusing on what needs to be done now.

The moment you’re in the past or in the future you’re not in complete power.

They don’t seem to understand the word or reply “no”

So many adults keep from pursuing their dreams or go after what they want because they fear one little word – “no.”

What a senseless thing to do.

Here’s a powerful question to help you with that: “what would you attempt to do today if you knew you wouldn’t fail?”

If you have something, chances are you’re playing safe and too small with your potential.

I always say to clients, “learn to ask the question.”

Don’t worry about the answer or outcome, just ask the question.

The response will take care of itself.

And if you don’t get the answer you were looking for, learn to ask a better question next time.

They take risks and are oblivious to the consequences

This is much the same as #5.

Kids jump off the roof first because it seems like fun at the time, and they think about the consequences after they broke a leg.

A bad strategy you might think.

Well, the funny thing is that I’ve jumped off many roofs as a child and have never broken a bone … yet I had lots of fun doing it.

Not to mention the sense of pride and satisfaction after I accomplished what seemed to be a mammoth challenge.

To perform optimally we have to take risks.

We must step out of our comfort zones and face our fears one at a time because the moment we do that the fear starts subsiding.

We learn that the fear was small after all.

And all we’re left with is increased courage.

The ingredient of champions.

They still have an imagination and use it often

A new life can only start with a new dream or vision.

Einstein said that a problem cannot be solved with the same mindset that created it.

Imagination is a powerful ingredient for high performance.

Imagine the possibilities.

I always say that most people use their imaginations so poorly that problems become as inevitable as success impossible.

To create something new in your life you MUST develop or find a dream that’s bigger than your situation.

Kids have no problems dealing with the dilemma of what they’re gonna become when they’re older.

A fireman the one day.

A doctor the next.

That’s why I tell my son every night before bed, “I love you, you are special, and you can do anything that you can dream of!”

Maybe it’s time we as adults start believing that too.

They have high ambitions

Again, very similar to the last point.

Kids reach high until they’re told they can’t, shouldn’t or aren’t supposed to.

A good question to ask here is, “well, why not?”

High performance stems from having big enough ambitions that pull you.

Someone once said, “if your dreams don’t scare you they’re too small.”

I like that.

They have great attitudes

Research has shown that kids smile an average of 400 times a day while adults average at 20 times a day.

Here’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned from my kids; laugh more.

Stop taking myself so seriously and laugh more.

Laughing has massive physiological benefits from boosting your immune system to increase energy levels.

It also kills stress and depression.

They don’t like people laughing.

So here’s some advice I found helpful for myself; surround yourself with people that make you laugh.

Not people who take nothing seriously, for that is dangerous too, but people who lift your mood and spirit.

Manage and restrict your time around gloomy people.

Your performance levels will automatically increase just by doing this.

They are curious about life

I believe the moment we’ve lost our curiosity about life, we’re doomed for failure and miserable life.

Growth comes from being curious.

And growth is the only thing that leads to real happiness and fulfilment.

The moment we stop growing, we start dying in whatever area of life.

Kids are curious and ask about everything.

And everything is wonderful.

The smallest detail is great.

They are pleased so easily.

That is until they grow up and become more like adults.

If we can instil curiosity in others and remain curious about life ourselves, we will find energy starting to come back.

Keep learning.

Keep growing.

Keep experiencing.

Keep asking.

Keep enjoying, especially the little things.

High performance demands us staying curious about life.

There you have it – ten lessons kids teach us.

I hope this served you.

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About the author


Gideon is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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