I’ve been reading a lot of children’s books and have been enjoying them. Some of the sentences jump right off the page. There are so many things we forget as we grow up, get set in our ways, and forget about the curiosity and openness of being a child.
It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.
That mischievous Cat in the Hat knows a thing or two. This quote really stuck with me the first and hundredth time I read it. How many times do we forget to have fun or take ourselves too seriously? First, define what fun means to you. My version of fun (100 mile mountain bike race or riding a technical descent on the bike) might not be fun for someone else. And someone else’s version of fun (first thing that comes to mind is dancing) is not my cup of tea. When was the last time you had fun? What were you doing and what did it involve? For me, fun and play go hand-in-hand. We forget to play as we get older. If you’ve forgotten to have fun, ask what you do to play.
I love the George Bernard Shaw quote “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” One of the reasons I love mountain biking is that it doesn’t always feel like exercise; it feels like play. What things did you like doing when you were little that involved play and how long has it been?
If you can recall what The Cat in the Hat was doing when he said it’s fun to have fun but you have to know how, he was balancing all kinds of toys and items he is balancing that end up crashing down. Even though he was precariously balancing all the toys, he wasn’t worrying how he looked, what would happen, or what other people with think. He was in the moment focusing on the joy. There’s nuance here of course- you have to be careful to a degree, but often we are too careful. We are afraid of falling, don’t want to get dirty, don’t want to waste time, or maybe we feel shameful or silly.
From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
Having a sense of humor about life is helpful, especially when things are hard or you catch yourself beating yourself up.
Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try!
The Things You Can Think! Imagination, dreaming big, and thinking outside the box are things we become afraid of doing when we get older because we don’t want to look stupid or we don’t want to fail. We start looking for why we can’t do something instead of why we can. Being open to new ideas, new people, or even just believing you’re capable of more is empowering. But first, we have to try. Ask “what makes you afraid to try?” How can you address those reasons? Are they true? What limiting beliefs are you starting with that make you afraid to think?
If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.
I absolutely love this one from Oh The Places You’ll Go. It’s my favorite Dr. Seuss book because it is inspiring yet includes the lesson that not everything will go your way. We are afraid to start because we are waiting for the perfect moment, waiting to feel motivated, or waiting to be smart enough, fit enough, (fill in the blank) enough to start. Starting is the hardest part and realizing that YOU will start happening too- you will grow into the person you need to be, that you can learn and figure it out as you go is meaningful. By doing something, by starting, we have can use our growth mindset and believe we can change too. I recorded/wrote The Power of Picking Yourself and it has some good examples from my life where I started happening too once I got started instead of waiting for someone else to say I was good enough to do something.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead….Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I love “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” because it has so much reality in it. Sometimes things just won’t go well. You’ll have momentum and be on top of the world and then eventually you won’t. It reminds me that we shouldn’t cling too tightly to successes or hard times, and to accept that they both will be there. It’s part of being alive. Normalizing that there will be good times and times where you may feel disappointed helps us not feel lonely in our plight.
I’m afraid that sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against you.
This quote I can barely read without getting choked up every time I read it. I admit that kids’ books get me emotional sometimes. Our biggest barrier most of the time is ourselves. We fill our minds with doubt, reasons we can’t do something, we’ll give up. We start playing against ourselves. Our negative self-talk, our limiting beliefs, our hesitancy to try something, or even go talk to a stranger stop us for going after a life of meaning. I like to say the most powerful voice is the one inside your own head, and that can be power for good or it can be the power to hold you back.
- Enroll in my Moxy & Grit Mindset Academy
- Check out my newsletter for productivity, mindset, and mental skills
- Read my article/podcast Mental Skills for Athletes