“Kid” by Joris Louwes

One of the things I like most about the Internet is the capability to find information about anything at anytime.  I continually stumble upon fascinating content and I’m learning something new everyday.

Every so often I come across questions to ask myself, to explore and examine my current life situation. Questions like: “If my life had absolutely no limits and I could have it all and do whatever I wanted, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?” And at times I have absolutely no idea.

Much as I would love to know exactly what I want to do with my life, have everything figured out, life is full of surprises. Once we have a plan and we start working towards a goal, things get in the way and our circumstances change. If we can embrace this, then we’re ready to go forward, to end up somewhere new with a new lifestyle.

Still, we get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we’re inclined to forget about ourselves. There is SO much to do and NOT enough time to get everything done.  And time is running out. And we have taken on too many commitments. And… and… and I hit the brakes! Just the right moment to “modify”.

Under the circumstances, to modify a situation that is not exactly working, I look around for ideas and while doing that, my eyes landed on the perfect mentor: my 6-year-old kid.  I have so much to learn from this little human being that makes the most out of life!

So here is a collection of 8 mindsets that I find helpful to redesign my lifestyle:

#1. Focus on the present. Live in THIS moment.  (Kids don’t really understand what the future means.)

Challenging! Could it be that I’m eternally writing down to-do lists and appointments for the near future?  Always looking ahead. Does that count as “being a visionary”?

The past and the future are illusions, they don’t exist now. Tomorrow is only an idea. The time is NOW.

#2. Reduce your attachment to possessions.  (The ability to easily replace one toy with another or with a new activity.)

In other words: be a minimalist!

We all work to make money to cover our family’s basic needs… and buy things. However, from time to time we might get a little too attached to some “possessions” – Yes, Madonna spelled it out well: “‘Cause we are living in a material world…” -.

But we need to free up our lives and lose the fear of not being in control.  Or worrying too much about losing what we have.

#3 Develop curiosity about this world.  (“Mom, what is…?”)

Or part of it. I consider myself curious above average and I enjoy doing some research.

Questions are key. They take you to deeper levels of knowledge and make you more receptive to new ideas. They also improve your relationship with others.

I learned all this from my 6-year-old son’s “questioning phase”.  He asks, I answer.  I need to have some answers!

#4 Get fit!  (Too much energy stored inside those little bodies!)

Easy to say. And easy to do if you take up a fitness hobby. Mine is Yoga.  I admit that lately I don’t have much free time during my work week for my healthy hobby.  It’s more like an on-and-off relationship at the moment.

If only I had my kid’s stamina! He plays tennis, football, basketball, he knows Kung Fu, swims and still has the energy of lightning minutes before bedtime.

It’s a fact that fitness changes lives. It helps to improve motivation, capability, creativity, confidence and healthy habits.

#5 The alternative track: always choose the stairs  (Elevators are booooring!)

Stair-climb your way to the top!

Did you know that you burn more calories during 20 to 30 minutes during  stair-climbing than you would if you were running? Now I know too!

It also helps to build muscle, tone your lower body and strengthen your core. A strong core enhances balance and stability.  Whatever you do, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it.

#6 Don’t take life so seriously  (Kids laugh about everything!)

Like Elbert Hubbard said: “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

Dramatic but true.

But since we only know a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what the Universe is all about, sounds like a waste of time to overthink, overwhelm and overestimate our everyday life situations.

#7 Learn a new language  (Two languages for little sponges? Piece of cake!)

One of the most important aspects is the stimulation it offers your mind.  You find yourself craving for knowledge and curiosity. The mind opens to new ways of understanding other cultures.  Learning new languages reveal stronger cognitive skills such as creativity.

Just as physical exercise, training our brains to learn something new strengthens our neural network’s capacity to ensure that our brains remain sharp and agile.

#8 Speak your mind  (Kids say what they think and what they feel.)

Not speaking up could lead to misunderstandings and unwanted commitments. Have you heard the expression “Silence Implies Consent”?  Trust me, these are words to live by.  At least for some people.

By speaking up you show that you are involved. That you believe and that you care.  You can offer your own perspective to add a piece to the puzzle.   And who knows, you might even find someone who shares your thoughts and opinions.

Although it’s not always easy to speak your mind, just remember that it will always open the doors to better and more rewarding relationships.

Ready to tweak your lifestyle?  Look for inspiration right here, on MGRBlog’s Lifestyle section!