This post originally appeared on www.superchargeyourlife.net on November 7th, 2012, under the title of “Tiny SuperHeroes: What We Can Learn From the Kiddos”. Content has been modified slightly.
Kids are amazing. Seriously, you want to witness some real life superheroes who are bad ass beings of freedom and play? Hang out with kids.
Tonight I had an incredible opportunity to be a part of the first practice session for a program combining yoga and goal-setting for school-age kids. It was a wonderful reminder that at one point every single one of us was certain in our minds and in our hearts that we could do whatever it is we wanted to do and that whatever reality we wanted to create, all we had to do was dream it up.
Not only can kids teach us a thing or two about dreaming big, but they are perfect examples of how to delight in the moment and how to speak from the heart.
These are things we forget to do in our lives.
Once we reach a certain age in our society, it stops becoming cool to want to be an astronaut or a female professional baseball player. Instead, we are gently coaxed toward being ‘practical’ and ‘realistic’ and directing our schooling in a way that follows the formula for success that our culture is comfortable with.
Well I say NO MORE.
No more following any one specific formula.
No more diminishing the gifts you have that make you great because they don’t fit into somebody else’s plan for you.
Make your OWN PLAN. Be your OWN navigation system and strive for your OWN definition of success. Nobody else can lay that out as well as you can, because nobody knows YOU or can do YOU any better than you ever possibly could.
Think about that. NOBODY can be better at being YOU than you.
This is both exciting and frightening.
It’s exciting, because once you decide to own you, your actions, your experiences, there is tremendous freedom in that.
But it can also be really scary- when you hold yourself accountable and make a commitment to stay aligned to your power, there is a lot of responsibility in that. When everything is up to you, that includes the entire spectrum of human emotion and experience, and you can no longer blame your circumstances on anything outside yourself.
The good news is, that even though sometimes we don’t feel like being responsible for our actions, when we decide to take charge of our experiences then really we are the only ones holding ourselves back, which means that at some point we can break free of our own perceived limitations. Like now, for example.
Let’s try a little exercise.
Answer the following questions:
When you were in grade school, do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Did it change depending on what you were learning in school, or was there one thing you always had a clear picture of in your mind?
Where are you now?
How does that compare?
Are you doing work and living a life that lights you on fire and makes you so happy that sometimes you just giggle for no reason?
If the answer to that last question is yes, congratulations. Keep doing what you are doing and share your joy with the world!
If it wasn’t…
Now is your chance to redefine yourself and your answers. Get ready to dream big again!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When you picture your alter ego, your superhero self, in uniform, standing strong with your head high and your hands on your hips, about to save the world…
What is she or he going to do?
Now, don’t worry if you didn’t have the perfect answer, with all the details in place.
Let me give you an example of one of the goals a kid had tonight:
“I am an explorer with a magnifying glass who goes on an adventure once a year to a place I’ve never been to. I will probably end up running away from scary things a lot as I look for clues and make discoveries.”
…Sounds pretty awesome right?
This kid, age 8, knows what’s up– he wants to explore, experience new things, and even has a little bit of fear in there as he goes into the unknown.
Think about that.
Beyond having a keen eye for what makes a good story, when being able to set ANY GOAL HE WANTED, he chose to include an element of fear and risk.
He easily could have played it safe, or come up with a dream that had everything tied up in a neat little bow.
But he didn’t.
You know why? Because he hasn’t been conditioned to be practical yet.
He knows that any adventure is worth the uncertainty, worth a potentially life-threatening situation.
Sure, he may have read it in a book or seen it in a movie. But why do you think those stories have been written? Stories about trials, exploration, hardship, narrow escapes, failure, triumph…
Because, my friends, that’s what life is all about. And if an 8 year old gets that completely and is able to incorporate it into his vision for the future, then guess what? So can we.
Exploration. Fear. Courage. Discovery. Adventures. Awesome.
What story are you living?