“What’s the secret to your success?” I’m often asked. Honestly, there are many contributing factors – the unstinting support of my family, the infectious enthusiasm of my colleagues, the steadfast loyalty of my customers. Not to forget, focus, hard work and dedication. However, if I had to speak about one defining element – that is underrated in almost all success stories – it would be “stay child-like, stay hungry.”
So, this Children’s Day, my advice to every adult is to stay in touch with his/her inner child. Here’s how you can nurture your innate child-like traits:
Try, try till you succeed
Have you seen toddlers learn to walk? They fall multiple times, but that doesn’t deter them from trying again! Their perseverance and absence of fear amazes me. Sadly, as we grow older, we become afraid of failure. Imagine if we could just embrace our mistakes and learn from them – like children. Wouldn’t our lives be less stressful?
Ask a lot of questions
Ever noticed the curiosity of children? They keep asking seemingly innocuous questions like, “why is the moon following us?” Where do we adults have time to even look at the sky? We are so caught up in eternal pressures to survive, meet deadlines, dare to dream that we seldom take time to sit still and ponder. However, unless we ask the right questions, the answers will remain elusive. To be successful, I strongly believe that we must cultivate curiosity and the desire to discover new things. All one needs to do is to question, and find a solution powered by common sense. Back in my home town in Wayanad, in December, my son asked me if it was snowing. I was surprised, however when took a closer look at the hills, they looked snow-clad- with coffee flower blossoms. The sight stretched as far as the eyes could see. Such simple elements of nature are an inspiration to be creative.
Have fun, always
Ever seen a child play with a soap bubble? They find joy in the little things, they seek fun in the mundane. Even when things don’t work out the way they expect – they may make a fuss – but they move on to happier prospects in no time. If only adults could restart the “fun” mode easily! The trick is to not to get bogged down by life and continue to pursue things that bring joy. So, play a sport, go for a run, do whatever it is that makes you smile. Personally, I love playing soccer with my children on weekends.
Be perfectly honest
Only a child can tell you to your face that you are a terrible singer. It might make parents flinch - especially at social gatherings - but I admire the inherent honesty in children. It’s a precious commodity that gets lost in the process of growing up. Let’s reclaim the lost transparency and frankness in our adult interactions, shall we? While diplomacy may be essential in business, at the core, there needs to be honesty. Only then can we work with a sense of purpose. Being transparent in the way you conduct business, not withholding any information and always being honest is of utmost importance to be respected and run a successful business.
Disrupt, by choice
In life, when you try to do something truly innovative, there will be many voices of reason that dissuade you from taking risks. People will give you a 100 reasons to stay away from the road less taken. From experience, I can assure you that in such situations, it pays to behave like a child who refuses to conform to norms. It’s great to explore new stuff, mix things up, and have the courage to do something different!
There’s so much that we as adults can learn from children. From their dogged determination and inquisitiveness to their striking honesty and disruptive essence, little minds work in fun-filled and inspiring ways. These life lessons are not just meant for entrepreneurs but for everyone to incorporate in their daily lives.
Stay child-like, stay hungry. Happy Children’s Day!
(Edited by Suruchi Kapur- Gomes)