Never too Old: How to Live Like a Kid Again

You're Never too Old

Three months ago I left life as I knew it, took a huge risk, quit my job, packed my bags, moved 500 miles away and ended chapter one to start writing chapter two. I’m in a new city with my fiance, at a brand new job, living in a brand new condo, with nothing but infinite opportunities in front of me. I’ve learned more about myself in the past six months than the past six years, and amidst all of the stress and anxiety, challenges and obstacles, I’ve been able to step back and take that all-important deep breath.

You’re never too old

Remember when you were a kid how easy it was to just let things go – to live without worry – when the biggest concern was who got to play the dad and who was stuck as the dog playing “House” during recess? Somewhere along the way we lost that innocence – we became assholes, snobs, know-it-alls, experts, cheaters, and liars.

But somewhere, deep down within even the biggest of jerks out there – there is that childhood innocence – the grown man who sings Lady Gaga out loud driving home from work (guilty) or the woman who still has sleepovers with her girlfriends (no boys allowed).

It falls away from us so easily – but today I challenge all of you to bring a little of that magic back. Take five minutes and let yourself go – find your inner ‘wild thing’ – do something totally spontenous, either alone or with a friend. Unplug and unwind. Think back to a time before you cared about your personal brand, before you were worried about finding a job and advancing your career – when all we did was explore, love, and LIVE – in the most pure definition of the world. A time when your imagination was free to run wild and you weren’t inhibited by ‘reality’.

Why? Because life is too damn short not to enjoy. Whether we realize it or not, each of us is able to create a ‘place’ where only the things you want to happen will happen. A place without rules and limitations. Where the wild things are is inside of you and me – it’s the childhood blue-mat, milk and cookies, story-telling, naptime loving kid inside of you dying to get out! Will you let it?

This post was inspired by the book and upcoming movie ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ - one of my personal favorites. Check out the full trailer below. SO awesome!

(Photo via Diego Cupolo)


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43 Responses
  • Jackie Adkins Reply

    I hear kid analogies all the time but they never get old because I’ve always told myself that I hope I never lose the “kid” inside of me. I think if you can combine the imagination, innocence, and curiosity of a child with the maturity and intellect of an adult, you can achieve some remarkable things (and have fun doing it!)

    P.S. – I’m pretty psyched for that movie to come out!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Touche’ Jackie – and if you can combine all of those childlike imaginative ideas into a profitable business idea??? Watch out world. That’s when the magic really starts happening!

    • Shealynn Reply

      Yeah, can’t agree more! Every time I met some crap, would convince myself by living like a kid, keep being simple, honest, curious inside. While find the mature way to solve problems. Help a lot! I’m so confident one day to achieve something big!

  • Jackie Adkins Reply

    I hear kid analogies all the time but they never get old because I’ve always told myself that I hope I never lose the “kid” inside of me. I think if you can combine the imagination, innocence, and curiosity of a child with the maturity and intellect of an adult, you can achieve some remarkable things (and have fun doing it!)

    P.S. – I’m pretty psyched for that movie to come out!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Touche’ Jackie – and if you can combine all of those childlike imaginative ideas into a profitable business idea??? Watch out world. That’s when the magic really starts happening!

  • Stephen Anfield Reply

    This post is wow! I woke up this morning… laughing. I was playing Skip-It and Bop-It(doing both simultaneously) with my grandma and a close friend, Dave… both of whom passed away earlier this year.

    Skip-It and Bop-It, while they sound juvenile, are just… fun! My grandma is definitely not a kid, but even in her later years, she still found time to act like a kid and have fun. I guess teaching first grade for all those years does something to ya after awhile. :-)

    It’s important to go back to those times when you can laugh and play. They’re pretty amazing….

    And yeah, Where the Wild Things Are… definitely a favorite of mine also. Totes McGotes.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Totes McGotes – haha yes! Skip it and Bop It? Oh my gosh I remember the Skip it commercial like it was yesterday. “And the very best thing of all…there’s a counter on this ball!”

      Good times man – and I think it’s amazing how vividly we (as a generation) collectively remember our childhoods and how we were able to live so care-free. You always have to be able to maintain that side of your psyche. Sometimes, you just have to be able to not take yourself so seriously.

  • Stephen Anfield Reply

    This post is wow! I woke up this morning… laughing. I was playing Skip-It and Bop-It(doing both simultaneously) with my grandma and a close friend, Dave… both of whom passed away earlier this year.

    Skip-It and Bop-It, while they sound juvenile, are just… fun! My grandma is definitely not a kid, but even in her later years, she still found time to act like a kid and have fun. I guess teaching first grade for all those years does something to ya after awhile. :-)

    It’s important to go back to those times when you can laugh and play. They’re pretty amazing….

    And yeah, Where the Wild Things Are… definitely a favorite of mine also. Totes McGotes.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Totes McGotes – haha yes! Skip it and Bop It? Oh my gosh I remember the Skip it commercial like it was yesterday. “And the very best thing of all…there’s a counter on this ball!”

      Good times man – and I think it’s amazing how vividly we (as a generation) collectively remember our childhoods and how we were able to live so care-free. You always have to be able to maintain that side of your psyche. Sometimes, you just have to be able to not take yourself so seriously.

  • Nate Reply

    Yes! Awesome post. And I can’t wait to see that movie, it looks really good. I’m going to try and find my inner wild thing today, thanks for the inspiration.

  • Nate Reply

    Yes! Awesome post. And I can’t wait to see that movie, it looks really good. I’m going to try and find my inner wild thing today, thanks for the inspiration.

  • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

    Matt —

    Great post. I experienced something similar this past summer (and wrote about it on my blog back in May) when I was at the park during my lunch hour, swinging on the swings — just because, really — and saw a little girl and her grandmother. I kind of smiled to myself as the little girl lived her fairytale out-loud. Her imagination was inspiring. I remember growing nostalgic (probably why I wrote the post, to be honest), remembering the time where we played school (what were we thinking) or created an entire restaurant in the basement with plastic food (entrepreneurs even then)…We could be anything then. We could be anyone. We could reinvent ourselves with the addition of a hat or an accessory pulled from the toybox. We could be ourselves.

    It’s a shame that so much of that has been lost. But I think, too, that it’s still there. Perhaps buried under responsibility and paying the bills and taking care of our families. I see glimpses of it in my own parents. I see glimpses of it in myself.

    When I taught preschool for a high school course, the instructor used to say something about how the children were “little big people.” Maybe we’re all big little people — taller (maybe), wiser and more experienced, but the core of who we are then is still who we are now. Brings up some interesting thoughts.

    Thanks for the post, Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I remember that post Susan! I was feeling very “nostalgic” when I wrote this post. At my new job – I work with kids (doing marketing for a pediatric therapy group) – and while I don’t physically work WITH the children specifically – it’s one of the overall missions of our organization to bring happiness to the lives of special needs children and their families. There is something about working at a place that cares more about “just profits” – they serve the added bottom line of PEOPLE – that means the world to me.

      I digress, but being surrounded by this child-like environment has stirred something inside of me – that “hidden” childlike attitude that begs to come out from time to time – sometimes, you just have to let it, you have to go pull something out of the “toybox”…

  • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

    Matt —

    Great post. I experienced something similar this past summer (and wrote about it on my blog back in May) when I was at the park during my lunch hour, swinging on the swings — just because, really — and saw a little girl and her grandmother. I kind of smiled to myself as the little girl lived her fairytale out-loud. Her imagination was inspiring. I remember growing nostalgic (probably why I wrote the post, to be honest), remembering the time where we played school (what were we thinking) or created an entire restaurant in the basement with plastic food (entrepreneurs even then)…We could be anything then. We could be anyone. We could reinvent ourselves with the addition of a hat or an accessory pulled from the toybox. We could be ourselves.

    It’s a shame that so much of that has been lost. But I think, too, that it’s still there. Perhaps buried under responsibility and paying the bills and taking care of our families. I see glimpses of it in my own parents. I see glimpses of it in myself.

    When I taught preschool for a high school course, the instructor used to say something about how the children were “little big people.” Maybe we’re all big little people — taller (maybe), wiser and more experienced, but the core of who we are then is still who we are now. Brings up some interesting thoughts.

    Thanks for the post, Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I remember that post Susan! I was feeling very “nostalgic” when I wrote this post. At my new job – I work with kids (doing marketing for a pediatric therapy group) – and while I don’t physically work WITH the children specifically – it’s one of the overall missions of our organization to bring happiness to the lives of special needs children and their families. There is something about working at a place that cares more about “just profits” – they serve the added bottom line of PEOPLE – that means the world to me.

      I digress, but being surrounded by this child-like environment has stirred something inside of me – that “hidden” childlike attitude that begs to come out from time to time – sometimes, you just have to let it, you have to go pull something out of the “toybox”…

  • Grace Boyle Reply

    I loved this book growing up, still do. I think of myself (and am often described) as a kid. It helps keep me sane, goofy and happy.

    It’s funny because I see myself as a professional, career young woman but then I also feel like a little kid. I like the balance between the two and remembering my youth always brings a smile to my face. It’s good reminder :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      It’s all about balance – we’re not going to ever be that care-free kid again – we get older and assume responsibilities. BUT, so often we take ourselves too seriously – we let work control our lives and we forget that in the end, if you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing in life, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. Yes, that can be easier said than done – but I’m a testament that if you are in a bad situation, you have to figure out a way to get out of it – find something that you’re passionate about, that makes you happy, and start doing it!

  • Grace Boyle Reply

    I loved this book growing up, still do. I think of myself (and am often described) as a kid. It helps keep me sane, goofy and happy.

    It’s funny because I see myself as a professional, career young woman but then I also feel like a little kid. I like the balance between the two and remembering my youth always brings a smile to my face. It’s good reminder :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      It’s all about balance – we’re not going to ever be that care-free kid again – we get older and assume responsibilities. BUT, so often we take ourselves too seriously – we let work control our lives and we forget that in the end, if you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing in life, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. Yes, that can be easier said than done – but I’m a testament that if you are in a bad situation, you have to figure out a way to get out of it – find something that you’re passionate about, that makes you happy, and start doing it!

  • John Reply

    I loved where the wild things are as a kid…although I can’t believe they are making a movie out of ten page book

  • John Reply

    I loved where the wild things are as a kid…although I can’t believe they are making a movie out of ten page book

  • Tara Reply

    for the past few months, my life has been so repetitive. eat, sleep, work, watch tv, repeat. stuck in a town where all my friends have left, i’m trying to find my place while i’m here for a while. however, in the past month i’ve tried to be spontaneous: i bought a new car (and learned how to drive stick), took an impromptu trip to manhattan on a whim and had the time of my life, and tonight i plan to see a moive–all by myself. it’s the little things that are helping me learn and explore my own self.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Wow, that is awesome Tara – I love meeting new people who are passionate about LIVING – throwing caution to the wind and following their dreams. It’s never too late to get yourself out of a routine – you can always change things – the only thing holding you back is you!

      Thanks for coming by and sharing Tara – however you found me – I’m glad you did! I look forward to chatting more in the future!

  • Tara Reply

    for the past few months, my life has been so repetitive. eat, sleep, work, watch tv, repeat. stuck in a town where all my friends have left, i’m trying to find my place while i’m here for a while. however, in the past month i’ve tried to be spontaneous: i bought a new car (and learned how to drive stick), took an impromptu trip to manhattan on a whim and had the time of my life, and tonight i plan to see a moive–all by myself. it’s the little things that are helping me learn and explore my own self.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Wow, that is awesome Tara – I love meeting new people who are passionate about LIVING – throwing caution to the wind and following their dreams. It’s never too late to get yourself out of a routine – you can always change things – the only thing holding you back is you!

      Thanks for coming by and sharing Tara – however you found me – I’m glad you did! I look forward to chatting more in the future!

  • Tony Ruiz Reply

    When I saw that trailer I had instant flashbacks of my childhood and reading the book as a young one! Our creativity is sparked by our younger years. Think about all the creative things you did as a kid, now think about all the creative things you do now. Virtually the same if you kept the “inner-wild thing.” Awesome post Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I used to see life as a cycle – You start young and carefree, you work and bust your ass – then your old and carefree. Doesn’t sound too bad I guess – but what about those 50 or so years in between the young and the old? Can’t you work and live that care-free mentality? I’ve stopped thinking about things in terms of work/life balance – I want an integration – or at least for the two to be as integrated as possible. I want my work to be a passion, a part of my life, not a separation from it.

      If you can take a step back and tap into that childhood creativity – that childhood passion for living in the moment – then tie it into everything else you do – the results speak for themselves. It’s a constant reminder on how to live that I repeat to myself day in and day out…

  • Tony Ruiz Reply

    When I saw that trailer I had instant flashbacks of my childhood and reading the book as a young one! Our creativity is sparked by our younger years. Think about all the creative things you did as a kid, now think about all the creative things you do now. Virtually the same if you kept the “inner-wild thing.” Awesome post Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I used to see life as a cycle – You start young and carefree, you work and bust your ass – then your old and carefree. Doesn’t sound too bad I guess – but what about those 50 or so years in between the young and the old? Can’t you work and live that care-free mentality? I’ve stopped thinking about things in terms of work/life balance – I want an integration – or at least for the two to be as integrated as possible. I want my work to be a passion, a part of my life, not a separation from it.

      If you can take a step back and tap into that childhood creativity – that childhood passion for living in the moment – then tie it into everything else you do – the results speak for themselves. It’s a constant reminder on how to live that I repeat to myself day in and day out…

  • Sam Reply

    Great advice Matt! I couldn’t agree more. I think I wrote on this same topic not too long ago. My inner child is alive and well, and I’m not afraid to let her out to play. People are too worried about being embarrassed that they don’t let themselves goof around. Honestly, I think it’s healthy to let loose and have some fun, little kid style. I was at the movies the other day and saw the preview for Where the Wild Things Are, I can’t wait!

  • Sam Reply

    Great advice Matt! I couldn’t agree more. I think I wrote on this same topic not too long ago. My inner child is alive and well, and I’m not afraid to let her out to play. People are too worried about being embarrassed that they don’t let themselves goof around. Honestly, I think it’s healthy to let loose and have some fun, little kid style. I was at the movies the other day and saw the preview for Where the Wild Things Are, I can’t wait!

  • Karen Reply

    You can most DEFINITELY create a world where everything you want to happen will happen. It’s all in your imagination =)

    I’ve read the story to my class and reenacted the book with them using musical instruments to play out the wild rumpus. It was pretty awesome. I simply cannot WAIT until the movie comes out.

    Thanks for sharing the trailer =)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That is amazing to hear that “Where the Wild Things Are” is still being read in school today! I used to LOVE that book as a child – in fact, it’s the first book I can remember actually owning. An imagination is a pretty powerful tool – it’s a knife that needs sharpening throughout the years of growing up and assuming responsibilities, but it’s something each one of us should work toward developing as an integral part of both our personal and professional lives!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story Karen!

  • Karen Reply

    You can most DEFINITELY create a world where everything you want to happen will happen. It’s all in your imagination =)

    I’ve read the story to my class and reenacted the book with them using musical instruments to play out the wild rumpus. It was pretty awesome. I simply cannot WAIT until the movie comes out.

    Thanks for sharing the trailer =)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That is amazing to hear that “Where the Wild Things Are” is still being read in school today! I used to LOVE that book as a child – in fact, it’s the first book I can remember actually owning. An imagination is a pretty powerful tool – it’s a knife that needs sharpening throughout the years of growing up and assuming responsibilities, but it’s something each one of us should work toward developing as an integral part of both our personal and professional lives!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story Karen!

  • Lindsay M. Allen Reply

    Great post, Matt! It was the perfect thing to read on the day you posted it — Oct. 1, which was the first day of my sixth month of unemployment. While I have spent these months contemplating my next move, seeking my next opportunity and engaging in professional development, I’ve also made sure to take “me” time — time to experience life, time to travel, time to visit friends and family. And this approach has made unemployment an incredible gift, which I never would have expected it to be.

    Attitude = Everything

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      100% agree with you Lindsay. It’s ALL about attitude – and it sounds like you have an amazing outlook here. Take advantage of the time you do have, away from work. Something like unemployment can be seen as a blessing in disguise. You would REALLY appreciate this, and I strongly encourage you to check it out: http://www.lemonademovie.com/

  • Lindsay M. Allen Reply

    Great post, Matt! It was the perfect thing to read on the day you posted it — Oct. 1, which was the first day of my sixth month of unemployment. While I have spent these months contemplating my next move, seeking my next opportunity and engaging in professional development, I’ve also made sure to take “me” time — time to experience life, time to travel, time to visit friends and family. And this approach has made unemployment an incredible gift, which I never would have expected it to be.

    Attitude = Everything

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      100% agree with you Lindsay. It’s ALL about attitude – and it sounds like you have an amazing outlook here. Take advantage of the time you do have, away from work. Something like unemployment can be seen as a blessing in disguise. You would REALLY appreciate this, and I strongly encourage you to check it out: http://www.lemonademovie.com/

  • Gerry Cernicky Reply

    My experience in 36 years of teaching P.E. at the elementary level has been a lasting revelation that it appears I’m afraid to grow up. Now, that is a positive thing , because at age (63) I am still very much young at heart . I had read “Where The Wild Things Are” to my own kids , and then used it as a story play for movement exploration in my classes. Now, I read the same book to my grand kids , and rolling on the floor makes me always be a “kid ” again . I have never lost that imagination , creativity and enthusiasm as I am constantly posting on a PE discussion list and make podcasts for anybody who will listen . It is with this attitude that my dreams have become a reality , and a memory of youth last will last as long I can breate . Pass it along and share with others .

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That is great Gerry – you are NEVER too old to live like a kid. Life has to be a pretty sad place when you lose that ability to let yourself go – and it’s great that you have been able to maintain that connection with yourself, which in turn, has allowed you (for 36 years now) to make that connection with the children you teach and your own children/grandchildren.

      Thanks for sharing – great illustration of my point here. Cheers!

  • Gerry Cernicky Reply

    My experience in 36 years of teaching P.E. at the elementary level has been a lasting revelation that it appears I’m afraid to grow up. Now, that is a positive thing , because at age (63) I am still very much young at heart . I had read “Where The Wild Things Are” to my own kids , and then used it as a story play for movement exploration in my classes. Now, I read the same book to my grand kids , and rolling on the floor makes me always be a “kid ” again . I have never lost that imagination , creativity and enthusiasm as I am constantly posting on a PE discussion list and make podcasts for anybody who will listen . It is with this attitude that my dreams have become a reality , and a memory of youth last will last as long I can breate . Pass it along and share with others .

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That is great Gerry – you are NEVER too old to live like a kid. Life has to be a pretty sad place when you lose that ability to let yourself go – and it’s great that you have been able to maintain that connection with yourself, which in turn, has allowed you (for 36 years now) to make that connection with the children you teach and your own children/grandchildren.

      Thanks for sharing – great illustration of my point here. Cheers!

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