As a child everything we do or learn encourages enthusiasm. We have what we feel is an infinite amount of time and life in front of us and we easily laugh off mistakes and anxiously look upon every moment as an adventure. As we age something begins to happen, we see our time as limited, we see our choices dwindling, and we see our lives ending. In short, we begin to lose our enthusiasm and adventure for life.
Every moment you are alive, you are alive and the world is open to possibilities for love, happiness, belonging, learning, and adventure. How does one keep them from getting discouraged and from losing their childhood enthusiasm? If the definition of being grown up means that zest for life begins to dry up then I never truly want to grow up.
Here are some tips to keeping that childlike enthusiasm and warding off the adult demons of dullness and impossibilities:
1. Time is both our enemy and our friend. With age we learn and grow; just make sure you don’t learn that your life is over because of a certain age. You are never limited because of age unless you believe it. It’s true that I don’t qualify for American Idol, but if I want to sing, there are still plenty of avenues and venues for music regardless of age. Dreams don’t die because of age; dreams die because we have been taught there is some society enforced rules about dreaming and age.
2. If you have not been successful don’t allow your misfortune to jade your thinking. You may have to make some adjustments but time is not holding you back, it’s your attitude.
3. Learning goes on forever and ever. When you close your mind to learning and new ideas you close off your life to enthusiasm.
4. Have a belief that the best moment in your life is the moment you are living at this second. Every second brings out something in us to appreciate and feel joy and fulfillment from.
5. As long as you are alive, be alive and fill your life with wonder and love. Don’t be afraid to try new things, meet new people, explore new interests, mentor others, share yourself and allow yourself to be shared with others. Life, living, fun, self-worth does not stop at a certain age unless you arbitrarily decide to stop it.
6. Surround yourself with people of all ages. We all have something to teach each other and to share. We are social beings meant to live together and take care of each other.
7. Don’t believe everything that’s written about generation gaps. Yes, we all have different life experiences and expectations but we are all capable of understanding each other and living in the now. We are all more alike than we are different. We all share being human. There aren’t enough differences to make a big deal out of them. Keep yourself up to date with the world. Don’t think you can’t because you are a certain age—think you must because you want to enrich your life.
8. Memories are wonderful, but they are past. Live today, giving your memories a proud place in your history, but not allowing them to hinder you or your current life.
9. No one can say for sure how old is too old or how young is too young. Too even try is ridiculous and limiting your choices. If you have an interest you are the right age.
10. Life is not a solitary event. As we get older many of us lose our ties, friendships, and companions. We don’t seek out relationships to bond us to others. You are never too old to make new friends or have new loves.
11. If you are feeling like your life is “stale”, do something outrageous to shake it up. You are the master of your domain. Furniture or paint on the walls isn’t supposed to last 50 years, hairstyles change; make some changes to your world and your life to bring in the light.
12. Regardless of age what you ultimately do reflects your choice. If you have been robotic-ally going through motions that you don’t like because that’s how you were raised or taught as a child, I suggest you do some soul searching and learn to please yourself. Doing things for approval of others isn’t going to make your life better. Find out what you want and make it happen every day.
13. The only limits we have are the ones we put on ourselves. Old dogs do learn new tricks if they wish to change. Think carefully about your life. If you have lost your enthusiasm, take charge and make a few changes to experience your joy once more.
Live your dreams,