What Does it Take to be Fearless?
A surprising lesson from a surprising source.
Two things are certain in life, we all live once, but at the same time, we all forget that life is too short. What starts with a kiss goodbye to our parents as we rush to catch the school bus, somehow suddenly ends up with a cap and gown on graduation day; as if someone just snapped his fingers and time flew by. Our childhood, as eternal as it may have seemed back then, is always a treasured time that is suddenly over before we had the chance to say goodbye.
Another snap of the fingers and before we know it, we’re married and working endless hours with a family to support. Stress is now part of our everyday lives, and coffee is rapidly becoming our number one friend. Responsibilities are now our main focus, putting food on the table, educating our children, supporting our families; a simple date with our spouse somehow turns into an almost impossible mission. And while our own children grow up, we find ourselves looking back at our own childhood, reminiscing, admiring their days, sometimes even envying them as we desperately try to convince them “enjoy it before it’s all over”, just as our own parents did with us.
However, this doesn’t really have to be the case for us. Why can’t we have the same free spirit we did in our youth? The whole world was our playground, yet somehow along the way we all forgot that. Yes, we have a ton more responsibilities and our lives might not be as free as before, but why can’t we take on our tasks and duties and still have a playful heart? And who’s to say that our lives were actually free before?
Let’s take a step back here. School, studies, exams, the weight of passing and not failing, peer pressure, heart aches, and the constant crave to do something you’re passionate about or simply hanging out with your friends; how’s that any different from what we are all going through right now? I’ll tell you one thing, the only thing that’s different is our energy. We dealt with our everyday lives, chores, and responsibilities in a much better way in our youth. It’s that spirit that could be an enlightening lesson to all of us.
Finding the fun in anything is something we all should relearn. If we take a look at our children, anyone’s children, as different as they all might be, we notice they have one thing in common: whatever they do, they want to have fun doing it. We think we have explored life to the fullest, but in fact it’s our children, our youth, who are doing that, not us. While we’re stuck prioritizing our careers and making money at the cost of enjoying what we do, they are out there, experiencing what we wish we could.
We do our best to teach our children to be the best they can be and provide our youth with the best possible future. In retrospect, it is our youth that sends us an unexpected and surprising message: the world is our playground and we should never forget that. As we embrace that, we suddenly find a rush of optimism and positivity and a significant improvement in how we approach anything. Our spirit changes, our youth returns; and what we become is something we never expect youth to teach us: fearless.