in life

That Childlike Wonder

As kids, before Nintendo, before computers, before the Internet, things were a lot simpler.

Me? I was a Lego man myself. I’d sit in my room for hours building these epic castle/spaceship/pirate setups, only to create some imaginative story about how it all came together which inevitably lead to all the lego men fighting to the death with a hero (me) rising victorious, getting the girl (even though she had cooties) and riding into the sunset on his little lego horse, which of course, could fly.

For me it was Lego’s – for you, it may have been something different. But as kids, there was this innate possibility and curiosity in everything we did. We could create anything our imagination could think of. There were no boundries. No restrictions.

Of course, as we get older we can’t live our lives playing with Lego’s all day – but we can take that imagination, that wonder, that curiosity, and apply it to our daily lives.

I love the video above. It’s a reminder that every day can be an adventure. The way you approach your job, the way you build relationships, the new things you discover about yourself – that’s what life is all about. The “real world” may be full of bills,┬ácommitments, and responsibilities, but it doesn’t have to slow you down from doing, well, whatever you want to do.

So let today be a reminder that today, tomorrow, and every day after is an adventure. Full of wonder and imagination – maybe even spaceships and castles, just like those good ‘ol Lego-playing days.

The pieces are in front of you – now is the time to start building.

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  1. u00a0Great post, Matt! u00a0It really is incredible how so many people lose that childlike wonderment. u00a0I actually wrote a very similar post today about the dreams we have as children.

    • Thanks, CJ. It’s inevitable that the childlike imagination will fade away as we get older. Responsibilities will do that to you – but here’s to remembering to take things a little less seriously and remembering that your imagination can take you a long, long way.

  2. The “childlike wonder” view serves as reinforcement of a personal reminder about what I refer to as the “joy of not having” – which is what I think used to be a curse of adult life and which now (thanks to more gadgets, greater exposure of kids to the adult world and more access to disposable income) is a curse of childhood also.nnThat curse is a ready-made experience or at least a plug-n-play attitude, rather than the imaginative existence that people who cannot afford to “have” things experiences.u00a0 If we are well off, the ability to access our childlike wonder accompanies IMHO a shift from “not having” to “just being”.u00a0 nnThat “joy of just being” is what I think sits at the heart of the expression “childlike wonder”, as is our ability not define it as a term but simply to live it.u00a0 Strangely, I came across this attitude years ago but the lock, step and barrel of adult living as left me dwelling in the world of having, than in the world of being.u00a0 I read an article in 2004 which should have ensured that I did not drift back into this kind of funk :nnCelebrate the Child-Like Mind by Steve Jurvetsonn a great part of that “childlike wonder” is the ability we have to reach back into a time before.u00a0 In this case, my mind goes back seven years ago when I came across the Steve Jurvetson article above.u00a0 What shoved this particular gem of an article into the recesses of my mind is the consequent plethora of social media which scaled up since 20o4.nnThat does not mean I blame social media for burying this reflective moment in a sea of attention, but that I have had reminders such as Clay Shirky’s cool advice that we don’t suffer from information overload today, but filter failure.nnThe childlike mind is the most natural filter we have and I wonder if the reminder I have received today, will be as buried and left in the dust in seven years time, as it clearly was when this Jurvetson article caught my attention.u00a0 Another great expression of “childlike wonder” is in the Jerry McGuire classic clip :nnJerry McGuire – Mission Statementn certainly do not advocate that other people find their inner child, for that would be me telling mature people what they should do and that is not my modus operandi – but I don’t need to look in the mirror to acknowledge the childlike wonder in my own soul – and really, it is solely upto me to recapture that spirit.u00a0 It is my own life that I relate this childlike wonder, just as I did in 2004, I have only myself to blame if I have to revisit this again in 2018.nn[Em]

  3. u00a0Love Lego – and the Smurfs. Can’t wait to watch the video. My Facebook Profile pic is now of me climbing a tree just yesterday – for me I don’t ever want to grow up and stop being curious.

  4. I think there is a whole different dynamic about being serious.u00a0 I want to be serious about my existence, serious about my relationship with this Earth, serious about what conditions or influences me and taking life seriously.u00a0 Unfortunately the word “serious” seems to have got intwined with the workings or ways of the material world, a world which it is the norm to preface with the expression “BS” (which is an expression which way more earthy than simply “brand strategy”).nu00a0nAlso our imagination isn’t a freeride into freedom, it is the person we are behind the imaginative journey weu00a0live and experienceu00a0that is important, not simply what we create (life as emergence).u00a0 If we hold on too tight or become decoupled and loose, life IMHO is just like visible light the space where life exists is narrow, the space which just space is far more plentiful and abundant, that is where imagination fits for me.nu00a0nBeing childlike isn’t an escape, childishness is an escape.u00a0 Nor does one have to look through the eyes of a child to know what being childlike is, it is just as informative to look at an old person whose eyes beam out rays of wisdom, especially a couple of oldies in rocking chairs who have been many times around the block of human existence.u00a0 To be childlike is the “Last of the Summer Wine”, to be childish is “Spring Break”.nu00a0nThe Beatles expressed this form of childlike wonder in their song “Fool on the Hill”nu00a0nFool on the Hill as there is a great difference between “childlike” and “childish”, there is great difference between a “a serious being” and “taking life too seriously”.u00a0 It is a night and day difference, where the night are those eyes that cannot see and the day is learning to see.u00a0 It is as different as following the crowd and the travelling down the road less travelled.u00a0 We can all choose to escape from life but that isn’t a serious life journey, a serious one understands what really matters and what can be let go.u00a0 nu00a0nMaybe there is a virtue in childishness, especially since it is not a given that as adults that we may retain our childlike nature, maybe life has stripped that completely out of us, but to discover it means that it still has to be there – otherwise what I am searching for exists in the domain of magical thinking or as a follower of clone like existence, which to me is the “marketed life”.u00a0 I would rather look at life as Borges did than like the Borg.nu00a0nJorge Luis Borges I am really childlike then this is singularly my trip and not anyone elses and its not a trip I want to lay on anyone else. A life journey like that is something I call freedom, and freedom flourishes and seeks a different form when it embracesu00a0the childlike nature within us.nu00a0n[Em]