“It takes one a long time to become young.”
~Pablo Picasso

“Youth is wasted on the young,” they say. Children are born into this world full of curiosity, excitement for learning, and joy and appreciation for the simple beauty in life. These are all attitudes that are even more beneficial as we grow older, and yet somehow we simply lose them.

I watch my children approach new problems and situations with a zest for figuring things out – and I realize how effective it might be if we brought these attitudes into our adulthood and our work lives. How much more successful would we all be if we viewed our challenges as opportunities to learn and grow? If we were able to look for and find the best in people and/or situations that drove us crazy? If we were simply curious at work when we encountered setbacks or resistance rather than judgmental – curious to learn why, how, and what if?

Many leadership tomes cite the importance of play, open-mindedness, and “thinking out of the box.” Some of that may seem trite, but at the heart of it is the idea of seeing things from a new and fresh perspective. The perspective of a five-year-old child. Perhaps we simply need to stop at times and question – “What would I do here if I were young? How would I see this if I let go of my adult-learned behavior and constraints?” Perhaps we simply need to enjoy the benefits of youth in our here and now.

Where do you need more of a childlike attitude and approach? How can you bring the curiosity and excitement of youth into your daily life? Choose one problem, situation, or person that has been bothering you and simply get more curious. Ask why, how, why not, and what if.

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