How To Be Carefree and Happy Again

Do you remember what it was like to be five and free for the summer?  Do you wish you could get back to that but in a somewhat adult version of it? Your five year old self has a lot of wisdom to share.  There is a great difference between childish and child-like. Cultivate child-like attitudes and behaviors to get back the joy. Lloyd Burnett, the inspiration for this post, inspired me to explore being more child-like:

As I was trying to come up with advice on how to navigate the trials of elementary school, the brutal high school years, and the totally confusing four-(ish) years of college, I realized that my inner 5-year-old was actually wiser, in a lot of ways, than his fully grown, adult self.

He was happy and carefree because he lived by 11 rules I think we adults could stand to be reminded of. Since incorporating them into my own life, it’s already changed for the better.

1. Cry whenever you want.

If something didn’t resonate, if I couldn’t figure it out and/or felt incapable of changing it, I cried furiously for a couple minutes. Every time I did, something magical happened: The emotion ran its course and went away.

Takeaway: Emotions just want to be expressed or released. If I give them my full attention when they come knocking, they don’t linger and color my experience of reality indefinitely.

2. Look at everything as if you were seeing it for the first time.

As a child, I could watch a movie 30 times and find something funny or interesting in it every time.

Takeaway: All it takes to experience or learn something new in a familiar situation is a fresh pair of eyes.

3. Cultivate imagination.

At 5 years old, my imagination ran wild. I could find the joy in any situation because my inner world was so much richer and more important to me than my outer world.

Takeaway: If I add a dash of imagination to my life, I can spice up any reality that feels scary, distasteful, or boring.

Now if you didn’t have a happy childhood, it is never too late to develop child-like attitudes and begin to find the freedom and joy that was missed. Thanks Lloyd for finding the path to exploring a less stressed and duty bound life.

Source : Lloyd Burnett

Image: Thanks Peter Griffin for such a lovely picture in Public Domain

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