Friday, June 09, 2006

Passionate Lessons from Children

Conventional wisdom would tell us that, as children and young adults, we go through a period of education, maturation, and learning. We grow in wisdom and experience with each birthday.

Hopefully, the process of collecting knowledge and applying it in our lives becomes an ongoing lifelong pursuit. Contrary to this notion, however, is the fact that there are some things we mastered as small children that we somehow lost along the way.

I regularly speak before arenas, convention centers, and corporate meetings in front of thousands of people. These people are mostly upwardly mobile, intelligent business leaders. They have all been well educated and well trained.

Let’s say, during one such presentation in front of 10,000 people, I asked for volunteers from the audience to come up on stage and sing a song, do a dance, or draw a picture.

How many of these 10,000 well educated people would you think would rush up on stage to demonstrate their talents? I’m sure you can agree with me that it would be far less than one percent.

On the other hand, what if—instead of these mature business leaders—we had a group of five year olds? When we called for volunteers to sing, dance, or draw, how many of these kindergartners would volunteer? You and I both know it would be virtually all of them.

Most of the adults would give the excuse that they have no talent in any of these creative arts. On the other hand, the kids don’t know and furthermore don’t care. The children are willing to express themselves without fear of consequence.

This is an asset we all had that most of us have long since lost. Somewhere along the line we got the message that unless you can do something competently or professionally, you shouldn’t do it at all.

Intellectually we understand that in order to do anything competently and professionally, you must first be willing to do it poorly.

This lack of willingness to be vulnerable relegates most adults in our society to move farther and farther down an ever-narrowing road. They are not willing to try new things and experience that which is outside of their realm of comfort.

As you go through your day today, look for new things and experiences you would like to add to your life. Be willing to be vulnerable enough to be bad in the beginning so you can perform masterfully in the future.

Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television
Network, as well as a published author of many books
including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and
motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South
Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by
e-mail at

No comments: