Acting like a child as an adult is looked down upon by many. When you become an adult, people expect you to do things a certain way. They expect you to be polite, to lower the risks you take and to “think before you act”.
While this idea in itself isn’t wrong per se, the problem with it is that it limits the opportunities that can present to yourself.
One of the main advantages of children is that they fear nothing and want to try everything. This lack of understanding of control is crucial when it comes to trying new things.
When you are afraid of something, you end up not putting enough efforts in it. This allows you to lower your expectations and thus disappointment when it doesn’t work, but it also lower greatly the probability of it working out.
The reason behind this is that when you try something while being afraid or worried, it becomes like putting limits to yourself. This means that you lower the efforts put into whatever you are doing.
We want to avoid failure so bad that we end up making it more probable. Indeed, decreasing our efforts obviously makes things harder. Yet, when we fail, we close our eyes to the obvious reason that is a lack of efforts and instead decide that the reason we failed was that we were right all along, that the task was too complicated to begin with.
Some companies have realized this and have tried to put forward the importance of acting with a child’s mindset.
One of those is the company responsible for Rosetta Stone, a software to help you learn a language like your native one, meaning without translation and simply context. I have tried it and the concept in itself is interesting and worth a try.
Yet, it also brought to my attention the disadvantages of having only the mindset of a kid.
As stated above, children are not afraid of anything and without any background in anything, they try and try until things work out in some way.
However, kids do not take into account time efficiency at all. As adult, on the other hand, we value time above everything, often saying we don’t have enough time. As a result, while Rosetta Stone is a good software, its problem is that it ignores the time needed to improve.
As adults, we have already gone through many trials and errors and have learned what we like, what system works for us, etc. For this reason, ignoring what we have gone through to start afresh ignores all the advantages we could use.
To stay with the example of learning a language, we are well aware of the grammatical structure and vocabulary of our language. Using this knowledge allows us to leverage our past experiences and shorten the time it takes to learn new words and grammar patterns.
For instance, the word “taxi” in Japanese becomes “タクシー” (“takushi-”)and in Korean “택시” (“Taeksi”) . As they are written in a different script but both come from the English word. A child would learn the three of them separately but an adult can leverage his knowledge of either to learn the others.
As for grammar patterns, the sentence structure of languages may incredibly similar or differ greatly. Yet, in either case, you can use the knowledge you have to remember that it is “the same of X language” or “the opposite of Y language”. Both of those will make the process of learning faster.
In conclusion, acting as a kid while being an adult can be rewarding manifolds but only if leveraged the right way. Don’t look down on children. Learn from their enthusiasm for new things and combine it with the knowledge you have acquired through decades of experience.
You can thus become the most knowledgeable kid in the world.