Why you should act more like a child

There’s magic in youth – a certain unmasked and undeterred vitality – which allows the young, and young at heart, to experience the world in all its colours.

Unfortunately, as people get older they tend to deliberately dismiss this energy – which, in my opinion, is a big mistake. There’s nothing wrong with being a kid at heart. Children look at the world with wonder and inquisitiveness, and often see the best in people and situations.

I try and remind myself of this when I spend time with my children and grandchildren. There is nothing better than seeing them smile and I’ll often go out of my way to try and get a giggle out of them. 

I loved surprising Sam, Bellie and the grandkids when they were in Bali a while ago. They didn’t know I was going to drop by so I decided I’d play a prank on them and get delivered in a box. It was great fun jumping out and seeing the delight on their faces. 

Special delivery! Love surprising my family, and this certainly did!

A post shared by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on

Kids really live in the moment and make the most out of each hour. They laugh, sing, dream, and use their imaginations without thinking about the potential perceived repercussions. They don’t view work as work and play as play, instead it’s all living. To a child, life is one wonderfully big adventure.

It’s easy to get weighed down in the stresses of adulthood; however we should never lose our sense of adventure. If happiness is the goal – and it should be! – then adventure should be a top priority. And the best way to enjoy the adventure is by invoking childlike sensibilities and seeking out fun.

This is the theme of my new autobiography Finding My Virginity – which is full of all of my adventures from the past 20 years. My number one rule in business and in life is to have fun. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then you shouldn’t be doing it. It’s that simple. Life is not a dress rehearsal, so, like a child, we shouldn’t waste time doing things that don’t light our fires. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and instead ask yourself is what I’m about to do going to make people smile. If the answer is yes, then do it. 

My favourite character has always been Peter Pan. Growing up can be a trap, but it doesn’t have to be. We can all be kids, if we choose to be – at heart anyway.

 

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