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Vishal Ostwal

I Write About Life

How Being Childish Can Lead You Towards a Happier Life

Being Childish to Be Happier

Something changes.

When we grow up, call ourselves matured and when we stop being childish.

We don’t behave like we used to and turn into grown-ups who act as per the society. We begin to abide by the unsaid rules of the world, slowly concealing our identities and losing some fragile parts of our existence.

You need to be more responsible. More mature. But that doesn’t mean that you have to leave yourself somewhere in the crowd and abandon your childishness.

If you remain a child in spite of how hard the world tries to change you, your search for most questions in life comes to an end. There won’t be any terms and conditions which you’ll need in order to allow yourself to be happy.

Instead, everything will become simpler for you.

What my childhood taught me

Fool.

Seriously, that’s what I sometimes think I was as a child.

I used to do odd things. Like most children do.

I have a clear remembrance of the events which happened in my childhood. Now that when I look back, I realize that a lot of those tiny events have molded me. I feel grateful about that.

Because without those childish behaviors, I couldn’t have improved myself or ascended towards finding happiness in life. There are a lot of incidents which I still remember.

Every lesson I learned changed me and still has its effect on me. Sometimes, there weren’t any significant events, yet the way I did some things eventually revealed some truths to me. After growing up I can relate myself to whatever I did and treat what happened as a blessing in disguise.

But now I know something – there’s a part of me that doesn’t give a damn about the conventions of the world and has got the guts of preserving its existence, no matter what. The one which refuses to disappear. Therefore, deep inside me, the grown-up and child live together.

You too, like me and all others, have a childish living part of you, and I assure you that if you can protect it from the rest of the world, you’ll be happier.

Here are a few simple incidents from my childhood for instance:

“Mummy, will sugar grow if I throw it in the soil?” I asked my mother once. She said it didn’t because it is made in factories unlike the seeds which grow on plants and trees.

What? I didn’t care…because I didn’t understand.  

I didn’t listen to her and often secretly took away handful of sugar or sago from kitchen and threw it in the soil. I waited for them to grow until I realized that she was right. But I wasn’t always wrong – the seeds I threw grew. I didn’t learn until I made my own mistakes.

Lesson?

I still have the courage to do what others say can’t or shouldn’t be done. You might be wondering what’s so significant about this. Nothing – but others aren’t always right.

As we grow up, we get a lot of advice from others around us. When we pay too much attention to the external voices then we fail to realize our own strength and ignore our instincts.

To make it simpler, you need to do some things you have in mind even when others don’t believe it can be done, for it takes courage.

Here’s another example,

Whenever I saw something huge, say a rock, then I thought that I could actually pick it up. I tried hard and pulled it against the land – that was when I realized that humans have some limitations.

Damn. I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried.

Still that wasn’t always the outcome. Often, I actually picked up some things I thought I couldn’t. That was an odd way which I think taught me that we’re capable of pushing ourselves beyond our limitations.

This was my lesson – sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. The point is to keep trying. So this is the positive side I believe. I learned to try even when others deny the possibilities. It’s same even now. 

Here’s another incident,

When we brought a new black and white television, I became utterly curious about the mechanism of that plastic box. I knew nothing about television then.

While everyone watched the television, I wondered about how those huge people fit into that little box. So I peeked through tiny slits in the sides of the television to find of what was happening inside it. I never understood it until grew up. I often bothered my mother by asking how did the villains from movies came back to life in spite of dying in the former movies.

“It’s fake,” my mother replied.

I didn’t understand what ‘fake’ meant in that case either. Though my sister explained it to me some days later when I finally understood. “Oh! They don’t actually kill them.”

That was curiosity. Whether it be about work, life or anything. It helps me to learn and grow. All the things I did slowly molded me into someone who became wiser each day.

Aren’t we all such?

We’re being shaped each day by whatever we think and do. As children, we observed the world with new eyes. We didn’t make any assumptions about the world. Our definitions for all things in life were simple.

But then it gets messed up. We grow up. We want clear-cut solutions to all the problems in our lives.

While doing so, we begin to deny the importance of little joys and presence of our people. We set high standards for ourselves and called forth enough reasons to disappoint ourselves.

“If I cross these many milestones, I’ll be happy.”

“When I earn $XXX and own XYZ car, then only I’ll consider myself to be successful.”

Screw it.

If that’s the trick to be happy, then we’re bound to drown in despair. But the nice thing is – this isn’t the way to happiness.

Perhaps, while we’re busy gathering enough reasons to put a smile on our face, we’re also being ignorant to what we already have.

What did you do to be happy when you were a child? Well, nothing special. You didn’t even try to. It happened naturally – that’s how it should be for you even now. To some extent at least.

How being childish in life ensures happiness

When you’re a child, your demands are minimal. You’re less attentive to the superfluous needs which exist in this world.

This in actually turns out to be a blessing. You might say that you were ignorant in your childhood since you knew less about how hard life is.

Yet, it’s undeniable that you were in constant state of bliss, no matter what. Each day spent was filled with tiny bits of joys and carefree frolics.

No responsibilities. No pains. No burdening of self or forcing oneself to fit into this world. You were free.

But it didn’t last long.

Years passed, you grew up and got some unknown and aching lies to deal with. You got used to that. After which you’re life’s just moving on the way it has been after you taught yourself to deal with it.

But do you need be so practical?

Behave mature just to be liked by others?

Accept that your childhood was nothing more than phase which has gone by?

It doesn’t have to be that way. Be a child again. No one’s there to stop you except you. Those who love you will accept your being childish sometimes. Some others might not appreciate it though.

But it’s up to you.

If you want to be happy, don’t let your childish side perish.

Remember, it’s not others who feel sad when you hold yourself back from dancing in the rain but you, when you pretend to be quite serious although you’re not, or when you fear switching to a cartoon channel because you might become a subject of laughter.

Why do you let the world turn you into a hypocrite or someone you’re not? You have an identity which is precious. The moment you start giving it up for others, you shatter your self-esteem and start being a slave of the world.

You can only be happy when you’re a rebel who can take a stand for himself. Otherwise the world will turn you into someone it wants you to be.

How about being a child again?

Be carefree

As a child you didn’t knew what worry was, so you were happier. Untouched by the pains and sorrows, you felt less burdened.

Why can’t it be the same again? It can be, if you try to. Forget your worries often. Sure there will be lots of hardships as usual, but treat them less seriously.

Do what you love

Children don’t care about what others think of them. They play in the mud when they want to, express their heart out and sing aloud.

Should you do those things again? Maybe. You don’t have to be completely immature and do odd things, but don’t conceal what you feel either. Express more. Hide less.

If you care too much about how you’re being perceived by others, then a part of you will suffer and feel trapped. People will always be judgemental, it’s not their fault since it’s the nature of humans to do so.

But if start thinking of it as a criteria you must fulfill then you’ll be disappointed. Do what you love.

Wonder and be grateful

Be that wide-eyed child to whom everything seems new. Appreciate and admire the beauty of all that you have.

We become dissatisfied after we grow up. Life doesn’t seem to have enough for us. We aim for the sky. Yet, while dreaming and pursuing our passions we unknowingly give ourselves reasons to be sad with our falsified beliefs.

While you’re shooting for the stars, don’t forget to look around. You might fail and not always get what you want, but remember that you still have enough reasons to put on a smile.

Protect your innocence

You learn some unpleasant truths about the world as you grow up. This diminishes the faith in you and makes you believe that the world, after all, isn’t as nice as you thought it would.

This wrecks the way you observe this world. You somehow begin to believe some lies.

Maybe you think that all people are selfish just because someone betrayed you or didn’t treat you fair.

Or maybe you’ve begun to think that you aren’t fit for social interactions because you were bullied by others.

It hurts to be treated badly. Going through the pains which you don’t deserve is a part of life. But don’t let anything which happens to you change your views about the world.

Above all, don’t let you pains change you.

You were born with an untainted innocence which keeps your hope alive by making you believe that no matter what the world is still beautiful.

The moment you lose that innocence, the world seems cruel and gloomy. Though, it’s neither bad and nor a total heaven. It simply is the way is – but to you, it’s your perspective which gives it a meaning.

Treat your work like play

Working doesn’t mean drawing with oil pastels anymore.

Slogging all day makes you tired. You duties seems hard.

It wasn’t the same when you were a child. You used to be full of joy and enthusiasm like all other children. Laughing and finding enough reasons to have fun while working on your duties didn’t require any effort. It happened naturally.

You didn’t need any self-help books or productivity hacks. It was always about you and your work. You kept is simple.

Make it simple again. Find joy in what you do. Fall in love with your work. There are certain things we knew better as children than now when we’ve grown up.

What was better then? Find that out and learn from it again.

Be a child again

Above listed are a few things you were better at when you were children – keeping life simple was one of them.

When you preserve the childish side of yours while growing up, you can tackle most difficulties and changes in life.

Would you like sharing something with me? Tell me whether you agree. Or share a story. Leave a comment below or ping me on Facebook.

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