“Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.” – Mohammed Ali

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Such comforting words to read when you’ve pushed past 50 in human years – and reminiscent of the Swedish saying, “Har du din barnesinne kvar?” (roughly translated, “Do you still have your child-like mind?” I know I do! 😜)

The older we get, the more filters we attach to how we perceive our world and how we then judge what others do in it. Kids don’t do that; they tend to see the world and people in it for what it is and who they are. 

So, as we grow older, it can be more of a challenge to retain our vision with our “barnesinne” still active. Now, there’s a big difference between “child-like” and “childish”. Let’s be clear then on what is meant here!

Have you ever found yourself behaving in ways that conform to an expectation others have placed on you, based on your age, e.g. telling you to “think like an adult”? Why do we do that, especially when faced with a challenge, obstacle or problem, say at work? Have you, instead, ever found yourself re-energised when approaching that problem from the perspective of a child? What happens when you take the simplest possible view of an issue?

The old riddle of how you get an elephant into a fridge is a good one: ask an adult that question and you often get counter-questions like, “Hmm. How big a fridge are we talking here? For that matter, how small is the elephant? Is there stuff already in the fridge? What are you trying to prove? Why are you asking me stupid questions? Why don’t you grow up?”

Ask a child though and, more often than not, they’ll reply, “Open the door, put the elephant in, close the door.”

So, what can you do today that (re-)embraces the innocence of youth? What issues or obstacles can you overcome by remembering simplicity that allows you to see the solution? Can you look through your child-like mind…?

Love and light,

Jim Sharman

07.04.2021

🙏

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