Channel your inner child

Children exhibit certain behaviors that can help you professionally


It's long been known adults can learn many things by observing children. But emulating certain behaviors children exhibit may help make you more productive and happier. According to an article in Forbes, following are five childlike behaviors that can improve your mental and physical well-being:

  • Be present. Have you ever watched a child chase a butterfly or swing on a swing? They have incredible focus when at play, and if you can employ this type of focus on being present, such as during meditation, you can reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Practice spontaneity. Motivational speaker Anthony Robbins says: "Studies have shown the most successful people make decisions rapidly … people who fail usually make decisions slowly." The Forbes article goes on to explain children constantly make quick decisions based on gut instinct. The article also cites a survey of 10,000 executives that showed the most successful of them made decisions "earlier, faster and with greater conviction."
  • Color outside the lines. Perfection is overrated. Allowing yourself to go beyond perceived boundaries gives you the gift of freedom.
  • Be curious. As a parent, the constant refrain of "Why?" can drive you crazy. But as a professional, asking "why" can lead to improvements in self-esteem and positive mood shifts. Todd Kashdan, psychology professor at George Mason University, told Forbes: "When curious, we are more comfortable with stress, more flexible in making decisions on how to move in the direction of what is important to us."
  • Forgive quickly. When children are young, they can move from tantrum mode to hysterical laughter in lightning speed. Forbes said implementing this behavior as an adult can result in less anxiety and stress.

It's often difficult to remember the carefree days of childhood that were filled with spontaneity, wonder and curiosity. But maybe once in a while, behaving like a child can help you professionally.

Ambika Puniani Reid is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's vice president of communications and production.