(This is the first of a 4-part series on re-igniting the spark of youth. Look for more every Wednesday afternoon.)
Ah, to be a child again. Not a care in the world but playing outside. Runny noses, standardized tests and chicken pox...wait. On second thought, I'm quite happy where I am now, thank you very much. But one thing is undeniable-- that irrepressible energy of youth sure is appealing. (Although, sometimes I still feel like this if I indulge in sugar.)
After we hit 30, we tend to automatically reach for comfort more and grow less, unless we are constantly and consistently pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. When we're kids, we can't help but shoot up inches every year and fill our brains with loads of new knowledge as our relatives gasp in amazement at how fast we've grown.
What if you could summon that same natural, innocent momentum now? Each of us is uniquely programmed with certain key triggers that activate our minds, emotions and bodies in the most exhilarating way. And guess what? Those triggers are the same for you today as they were way back when!
Let's explore this further with two simple questions.
When responding, concentrate on the time of your life when you were roughly between ages 4-8. Notice the first answers that come to mind without holding back.
#1 When did you feel most alive on your own?
#2 When did you feel most alive with others?
For me, dancing after school to MTV was when I felt most alive on my own. And now I dance every chance I can get, and I post stuff like this on Facebook. I also LOVED exploring the jungle-like acres of empty lots in central Florida where I grew up. Today, I travel to the jungle in the rural Philippines twice a year to study meditation. With others, I was always that person that took over class group projects as the leader. And now-- you guessed it. I lead workshops for companies looking to build up a sustainable culture of vitality, wellness and emotional intelligence. You can say I've built a life of what made my 8-year-old self come alive.
And that's precisely what I want for you.
Can you focus on one of your COME ALIVE activities every day this week? For it to work, you've really got to step outside of your sphere of what is normal and regular for you. So, if you also chose dance like me, and you shake your booty a little while you're making dinner, this won't help you feel limitless like a 4-year-old again. You'll have to make a playlist and go all out for at least a few songs, for example.
Bringing back what genuinely lit you up as a child will unleash an unbelievable amount of energy and vitality at any age.
Take the challenge: Stretch yourself at least once daily by engaging in an activity you remembered with the two questions above. Try it consistently for just 1 week, and tell me it doesn't work! Remember, it has to be more than what you would do regularly. Now, if you never do your activity, than just a little counts as a stretch!
(Leave no one behind: click to tweet the challenge here.)