“Everyday is a new day to learn something new” and if you work with children, this holds true. We asked all of our teachers at Choo Choo Train to share some lessons they have learned from the children and three things came up repeatedly: to live in the moment, to be curious, and to keep playing. While these things are easy to say, they are undoubtedly hard to do but our teachers are lucky because they are surrounded by the children to remind them! All they have to do is simply joining in and let the time pass. What about the rest of the adults who work away from children?
Live in the moment
If you want to live in the moment, stop thinking about your past. Stop thinking about your future. Look at your surroundings and start to notice things. Is there a painting on the wall? What is it about? Go closer and touch it. Can you tell the materials it is made from? Your work is an opportunity to live in the present. Write down a single task on a sticky note and stick it in front of you. Do that task only until you finish it. Then, take another sticky note and write another single task. Work on that task only until it’s done. This is how children do it. They think about now and they only care about now.
How often do you eagerly want to know about something? With the spoiling help from Internet, most adults are no longer excited to learn about anything. We could easily search for things online so we become less curious because oh, this is what it’s like. Children are saved from this misfortune, at least those who are not given gadgets. They remain curious and approach everything with an open mind. You bring a child to a new playground, he or she will explore it excitedly without an idea of what it would look like. Most adults will search for what a place would look like before going and thus they stop being curious and thus things become less exciting.
Ask yourself, how would you play? Let’s take the noun meaning of play from the dictionary: activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation. Basically, anything you like doing! It could be a board game, it could be a physical game, it could be karaoke, it could be so many other things you find interesting. You could go out to do the things you like or you could also make your own play area at home where you immerse in your hobbies. The point is to take a break from work, mentally and physically. That is one way for you to play. Now what if we tell you, you could also play while you work? It’s actually easy, you must see everything as play like children do! As Alan W. Watts put it, “Instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” Consider the task at your hand as play whether typing, whether arranging, anything. One way to do it is to make a little game like how fast you can do that task today.
If you can keep doing these three things throughout your life, you will feel the changes that your life is meaningful. There is a lot that adults can learn from children and children are happy people because they are aware, they are curious, and they play!