Our kids are constantly teaching us life lessons, whether we realize it or not.
But many times, we’re just so busy that we forget to really take the time to apply them. So, today I want to give you a reminder of just a few of these amazing lessons, and how (and why) to learn and use them in your professional life.
1. Take time to notice the small things.
This is first on the list for good reason. As parents/entrepreneurs, we have so much going on in our lives, that we rarely take the time to notice the little things; the smell of coffee brewing, the sounds of little feet running down the hall to greet us in the morning, sunshine and a cool Summer breeze…
We should take these cues from our children and stop, take a breath, and really see what’s around us. Even five minutes a day can center us and allow us to go about our busy professional schedules just as well!
2. Laugh, smile, repeat.
Children laugh and smile a lot… well, maybe not as often as they throw tantrums but… a lot! They are quick to forgive and forget, and move onto the next thing that makes them happy. In our professional lives, we are often faced with disappointments, stressful communications, and overwhelming schedules.
But its so important to take this example from our children and see the humor and happiness in whatever we can. A smile can make anyone’s day brighter, even your own!
3. Never stop being creative!
As adults, many of us feel like we lose our ability to be creative; if not permanently, at least temporarily (writer’s block, anyone?). But children love to create, no matter what it is! From playing imaginary games, to arts and crafts, singing and dancing, our kids are just treasure chests of creativity. You see, when we lose our ability to be creative, we lose a lot of the fun part of our jobs.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we have the opportunity to be creative and engage our clients every single day; sometimes, we just forget how to do it. So play with your little ones and spark their creativity. Who knows, it just may light the match for yours as well.
4. We are all deserving of love, compassion, and respect.
Children are born as tolerant, accepting individuals. No matter how many times we get stressed, aggravated or overwhelmed, they still see us as the most important person in their entire world. And they give us this amazing unconditional love and compassion. And again, forgiveness. This is something all of us should apply, not just in our professional lives, but every where and every day, in our daily lives.
Everyone around us deserves compassion, love and respect. Yes! That includes you, Boss Momma. Give yourself that love and respect, too. And always remember to be compassionate to yourself, first and foremost. Your failures and short-comings do not define you. Your successes, positive attitude and good intentions do.
5. Don’t forget your dreams.
This may seem like an oxymoron. I mean… we are entrepreneurs, owners of start-ups and successful businesses… we are living our dreams, aren’t we? Well, yes and no. Many times, we get more caught up in the technical aspects of our jobs and forget the bigger picture -our true dreams and goals.
Our children have the biggest dreams out of any of us; from being an astronaut or a rock-star, to being president or a famous A-list actor. They wholly believe in their dreams and see their goals as if they’ve already achieved them. Children know no bounds to dreaming. We should follow suit.
6. Drop the “all work and no play” attitude.
Another one that kind of sounds like a contradiction in and of itself, right? Well, remember that old expression “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Yeah, that applies to ALL of us. We get so caught up and intertwined in our meetings, paperwork, proposals, schedules and bills that we forget to enjoy what we’ve created. We forget why we did it in the first place.
So drop the too-busy professional attitude for a minute, and do something you enjoy. Our kids know when its time to play and get that cathartic release, so why haven’t we learned it yet?
7. Put down your phone, (and get off the computer, too!)
Yes, much of our business work is conducted using technology. Phone calls, team group chats, Skype meetings, online bookkeeping, social media (yes, I know I talk a lot about technology on this blog but)… the list goes on and on (and on!) But its unhealthy for us to stare at our phones and computer screens 24 hours a day. It disrupts our sleep, our ability to concentrate and is even detrimental to our mental health.
So when you’re out of work and at home with the kids, unplug and unwind. They want your undivided attention, and its healthy for the both of you to give it. Work will be there when you get back, but little ones grow up right before our eyes.
8. Live in the NOW.
This is the last and most important life lesson that we can learn from our children. Live in the now. Be mindful. Be present. So many of us are lost in our daily lives, thinking about the past and the future, and we forget that we should be living in the present moment. Sure, our children think about things they want in the future, but mostly, they live in the here and now. They are experiencing things in a way that we forget how to do. They aren’t stressing out over the next business meeting. They’re too busy experiencing life to the fullest. And we should be, too.
My kids have taught me more about life in the few years they’ve been this world than I learned in the decades prior. While many believe its impossible to juggle both family and professional lives, those of us who do it every day know its not only possible, but its beyond worthwhile.
What life lessons have your kids taught you, that you’ve found useful as an entrepreneur? Let me know in the comment section below!