Love Life Lesson #2
As you step into your adult years, I think this pearl of wisdom I am about to share with you is one of the most important of all things you will hear me say. Kids, I want you to stay in touch with your inner child. Never lose your inquisitiveness and curiosity. Never stop wanting to know more about what you love and even what you do not love. Knowledge arms you with personal empowerment. Never be afraid to take risks, life is too short to not be brave! When you were toddlers you were both invincible! You climbed things no one thought you should climb, you ate things no one thought you should eat, you cried about things no one thought you should cry about (we just didn’t understand you). You resisted everything that went against what you were comfortable with and then you celebrated your successes with confidence as you were encouraged to achieve more. The beaming looks on your faces when you walked your first steps, said your first words, went pee in the big toilet. You were so proud of yourselves.
Never stop doing your best and never stop trying to do better. The day is near when you will not have either one of your parents pushing you to achieve, so now is the time to learn the habits of how to push yourselves. Do not count on marrying someone who is going to push you when you need it. Be able to do that yourself! Now is the time to set your first major life goals. As an infant, the goal was to climb out of your crib…no one taught you how you figured it out on your own and you did it! Approach your life the same way…teach yourselves, or find others to teach you, the things you do not already know. Choose a goal, research what you need to know to achieve it, then make a list of the actions you need to take to reach that goal. Never get discouraged when you run into roadblocks or when it takes longer to achieve than you wanted. Never give up. The baby gate never discouraged you, you just pushed a laundry basket to it and climbed on it and then over the gate! There is always a way to achieve your goals even if you need to improvise or get help along the way.
Never be afraid to change your goals! As life presents you with different experiences and opportunities, things you think are stupid or beyond your ability to learn about now might very well become the things you completely love in your thirties or forties! Keep an open mind always. If a job does not feel right, learn something new, try something different. You look at me like I am a lunatic sometimes because I have done so many different types of jobs over the years; however, they have all been learning steps leading me to where I am meant to be.
How does this tie into love? I will tell you…if you stay locked in a career or a job that you do not feel challenged or fulfilled by, you will take that unhappiness home to your partner and it will slowly poison your relationship. You need balance in your life and feeling satisfaction in your work is necessary for your overall life satisfaction. People get excited when they learn new things and try new things – just like a toddler.
Be excited about what your partner wants to talk to about. Ask questions about what they do in their work. Not just “how was your day” …ask specific questions to show that you are genuinely interested. Cultivate enthusiasm and playfulness and work it into your conversations. No one likes a disinterested partner. If you embrace constant learning and encourage your partner to do the same, you will always have things to talk about and the conversation will never become boring and you will never run out of things to discuss. If ever you feel you’ve hit that spot in your relationship where you no longer have anything to talk about, sign up for a course in something completely different to bring some new information to the table, and if the kids are grown already, sign up for something together.
If you struggle to find a way to change careers if ever you hit that unhappy wall, then focus your attention on how you spend your time outside of work. Keep your child-like enthusiasm in your interactions with your partner and your children. Never be afraid to be that dorky parent who is dancing in the checkout line at Wal-Mart…guess what, that dorky parent is feeling way happier about life than the one who is scowling at his/her children. Other people raise their eyes at happy people because they have forgotten how to be innocently happy for no reason at all. Who cares who is watching you! The only people you need to worry about are your family and friends and if you have good friends, they will be dancing right alongside you. You can be professional in your work and still be visibly joyful outside of it. Embrace your inner dork and you shall never regret it. Two of the “dorkiest” people I know have the most amazing customer service I have ever seen. Never underestimate the talents of a dork! The dorks of the world have good relationships with their inner child.
My final words for you are this: never stop learning new things, never stop trying new things, never let roadblocks and obstacles get in your way to achieving your goals and success. One more thing, curiosity did not kill the cat. That was a lie. It was said to protect you, but it was a lie. Just so you know.