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Armijo: Think like a child

The last month has been about adjustment. It is an adjustment for the world we will inhabit moving forward. It will be much different.

There are many who will be too scared to leave their homes even when we get the green light. There are businesses that will close their doors for good and others who will be creative enough to adjust their business to meet the demands of the new world. Many couples will come to terms that their relationship is no longer working while others will rekindle their love and romance. All these outcomes will be due to how well we can adjust to our new normal.

Thankfully, we will be one of the first counties in the state to go back to work due to our diligence in helping to flatten the curve. We may not be out of the woods for quite some time as we witness other countries already seeing previously treated patients relapse. Overall, nothing is certain and answers are few and far between. We need not worry about that which we do not yet know.

As the world has come to a near halt, we have an opportunity to tap into our true potential. True potential is something that is only available to those who have turned off their ego. These stay-home-orders have definitely tampered the ego for many of us.

We cannot go get our skin treatments, haircuts, dyed, or styled. We do not even have to dress in our monkey suits for our place of employment while working from home. There is no concern about what the neighbors will think because we are all dressed like ninjas when leaving the house. We are just us … flaws and all now.

This is the time to embrace our “self” and the best way to do that is to act like a child. No, not the annoying adult temper tantrum you may be thinking of, but by using our natural gifts that have been put away and replaced by “adult thinking.” Our natural, child-like gifts include the ability to not take things personally, to use our imagination, to allow ourselves to act without inhibition and play. Hopefully, I haven’t lost you yet.

Let me clarify. Spending time at home with my family has given me time to really observe my children (3-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter) in a way that I hadn’t before. Throughout this time at home, they have, thankfully, played with each other nonstop and have used everything and anything to keep themselves entertained. One of their favorite pastimes has been making crafts from recyclable goods … especially the little paperboard tubes from inside of the toilet paper roll which has lead to an odd celebration each time a roll is finished.

I may have gotten a little cranky here or there when asking my daughter for the 20th time (in one day) to finish her schoolwork only to find her five minutes later dangling a doll by her hair from a toy castle playing Rapunzel. There have been a few times that I have snapped as I stepped on another Lego or puddle of an unknown substance on the floor.

I’ve grumpily sent them to their rooms or on cleanup duty, and I see their little faces change to disappointment. However, I realized children do not hold a grudge (unless we have already taught them to) and they are back to their happy little selves nearly immediately, telling me their ideas for our next course of play. This reminded me that I should allow myself to let go of things more often as well.

Children are able to let go of things much easier than adults because it usually doesn’t fit their purpose. A child’s natural purpose is to grow, learn, and be happy. Holding a grudge will not allow them to do that. As adults, we sometimes hold grudges against everyone who ever slighted us: like that person who cut us off in traffic, or the cable representative who couldn’t fix my internet, or a certain political party, etc. Unfortunately for adults, holding grudges only serves to hamper progress and success.

Children easily access their natural gifts of imagination and play without worry or self-censorship. As adults, many of us have been taught to follow the status quo and avoid rocking-the-boat because “what would the neighbors think?” Children have not yet been conditioned to this thinking and allow their imagination to be their only limitation.

What could we accomplish, as adults, if we didn’t care what others thought? How much more enjoyable could our lives be if we decided to live out our fantasies instead of thinking of all the different ways that we don’t deserve the things we really want? Could we evolve as people from our old ways of thinking and enter a time when we create our own paradise devoid of fanatical leaders or soul-sucking jobs?

I can hear some of you now … but Chad, how are we going to pay this or how will we put food on the table? What about being a responsible adult? What about this or what about that? This is thinking that we have all been conditioned to believe and is accepted by our society. Right now we are seeing just how important and necessary our jobs are (sarcasm added). There are some who have dedicated their lives to companies only to be let go without hesitation. Others who held a distinguished “title” such as CEO, CFO, Owner, etc. realized their title is only reflective of what they did and not who they are.

What if we have been living someone else’s idea of life on this planet? Maybe we weren’t meant to sit eight hours a day, 40 hours per week doing work we don’t really like for a company that only sees us as a necessary inconvenience on their profit margin while rolling out the red carpet for their stockholders. Maybe, just maybe, we were put on this planet to fully experience this life and all that it has to offer without the impediment of work, money, or societal expectations.

Our greatest fear should not be of failure … but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.​” — Francis Chan


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