“Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shames, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.” — Aldous Huxley.
I am a father of four boys who are very close in age, at a point they were all under three years old, so I would joke with my wife about the prospect of making our own reality show and name it “Four under three”. Fatherhood has changed my life in many ways, one in particular is how dramatically my priorities have shifted. Recently I have started to pay close attention to how they think, interact and behave. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed watching them since they were moving and kicking in the womb, but analyzing their behavior is new territory for me. These are the five lessons I have learned from my kids on how to think big:
1. Question everything, even the questions are questioned.
There is a relentless hunger for knowledge in every child that most people loose with time. Imagine having the same interest for learning as adults, very few do, these are the crazy ones, the rebels, the troublemakers, the ones who see things differently, the ones that change the world. Think Different!
2. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team
If you have seen The Lego Movie then you know this tune, everything is awesome! Individuality allows you to think for yourself and be original, being part of a team allows you to accomplish goals and change the world.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” — Michael Jordan
3. The world is a playground
As a designer my job is to find solutions to problems, sometimes identifying problems before they show up, this requires observation and an open mind. Children find joy and pleasure anywhere, at the park, school, bedroom, on a chair. We should be using our surroundings as a lab, constantly studding how to make processes more effective and efficient.
4. Live like there is no tomorrow
A very wise old man once told me: “When you go up on that stage, you have to do it like if it was the last time”. The most difficult part of our day is when we put our kids to bed, they refuse to accept that the day is over. We reassure them that tomorrow they have plenty of time to continue their activities, but they always resist. Do not settle for good enough, whatever you are working on today will propel you to where you want to be, and if you go out then you will go out like a leader, like a champion.
5. Embrace the day
We have not used the alarm clock for years now, every night before going to bed my kids ask: Papa can I wake you up at 6? Their eagerness to get up and start a new day is a source of inspiration. We see every day as gift and another opportunity to do the best we can, also to remind us that there is a kid inside all of us, embrace it and the world will be a better place.