Vail Valley: The eyes of a child can give new perspective |

Vail Valley: The eyes of a child can give new perspective

As I was seated on the airplane a young boy with his mom and dad walked by. The family couldn’t sit together and so the mom asked her son if he knew which row and seat he had, and the boy immediately said “Row 19 seat E, the best seat on the airplane.”

Mom giggled and asked why it was the best seat.

“Because it’s my seat!” he said.

Like most of us, I prefer not to get stuck with a middle seat when I travel. Those of us stuck there just know there will be inconsiderate people on either side. We hate the middle seat.

Sometimes we have become so tainted about life’s little situations that we have stopped looking for the bright spots and opportunities that life throws our way. We have become spoiled and jaded, and unless each situation meets our expectations and self-imposed standards we find a reason to whine, groan, and moan. We even look for others to commiserate with about all the “middle seats” life is dealing us right now.

But what if we had the opportunity to look at life through the eyes of a child again? Would we see opportunity instead of disappointment? Could we get excited about every situation we face? Would curiosity and wonderment replace suspicion and angst?

Think about this for a moment – reflect back on a time when you were a child and had excitement and anticipation about an upcoming event or vacation. Your heart and mind were filled with joy, passion, and hope. You were thrilled about the potential and the mystery, even though you may not have fully understood where you were going or what you were about to do. My bet is you can come up with stories of pure joy and happiness when you think back on those days.

We all have a choice in life – we can choose to look at life through “woes-colored glasses” or through the eyes of a child. Certainly there will be times of distress, heartburn, and even heartache. But most days aren’t that way. Most of our minutes and moments are opportunities to seek and find good, and to appreciate and capture the joy, inspiration, and silliness of life’s triumphs and calamities.

When was the last time you allowed yourself the sweet joy of looking at life through the innocent eyes of a child? Tell me all about it at and make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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