I recently listened to the TED podcast about how we get wiser with age. It touched on many different people and what experiences attributed to this claim. What I uncovered was that age doesn’t necessarily make you wiser, and being “childish” is a good thing.
In an interview with child prodigy, Adora Svitak, she talks about how the world needs more “childish” thinking. And that the word itself shouldn’t carry the negative connotation it does among grown-ups. It should be redefined so that acting “childish” means to enable us to dream up big ideas, be wild and creative, optimistic, fun and free.
She goes on to call-out that in fact if the world would adapt to being more “childish”, that we might not be living in such tough times. We might not be living in an era where negativity, fraud and distrust are becoming the new normal. And that grown-ups need to be more willing to learn from children as much as to teach them.
I for one, couldn’t agree more. I’ve always thought that taking yourself too seriously dilutes the essence of life and most certainly creativity. That if you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. With this shift in behavior, people, companies, brands and cultures can shape a better world. A world where we’re inspiring our peers more than ever, rather than frightening or appalling them. One where big dreams deserve high expectations. And where fundamental honesty becomes the core attribute in what we are marketing or selling.
Now, there’s no way this will happen overnight, but if we all were to start acting a bit more “childish”, and let our imaginations run free, then maybe, just maybe, we could get there soon.
Here are some quotes we live by at Canopy that reflect the heart of this post, and the spirit behind what Adora preaches. We use them in our signatures so that we never forget to behave this way, and our colleagues don’t either:
- “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
- “Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.”
- “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”
Now go on, do something childish!