I recently heard about a study that was conducted on why adults have such a difficult time making friends. The premise of the study made me a little sad. It seems that as we grow older, we put up barriers. The noise in our heads tells us that we are too busy, that others already have enough friends, that we will have a hard time starting conversations, that it will be difficult work. While understanding societal norms and operating within a pre-defined set of rules may be useful for basic survival and simply maneuvering through life, it can pose a stumbling block when it comes to building relationships, engaging in meaningful work, and achieving our potential.
On the flip side, the way children see the world is so fascinating. Free from biases or conventional wisdom, kids have the ability to express unfiltered creativity in a way that adults simply cannot. Children eagerly invite others in – or ask to join when something looks like fun. They never think, “I’m too busy,” or “that child already has enough friends,” or “playing will be difficult work.”
In fact, creativity master, Roger von Oech, tells the story of a high school teacher who drew a dot on the board in front of the room and asked the class what it was. The only response, “a dot on the board.” The teacher reacted with, “I’m surprised at you. I did this exercise with a group of five-year-old students and they thought of 50 different things it could be including a squashed bug, an owl’s eye, and a cow’s head.”
So, what would your five-year-old self say to reaching out to someone to ask if they want to schedule a playdate? Perhaps neither hopscotch nor T-ball is in order, but a cup ‘o Joe or a brisk walk around the lake sounds like a lot of fun. What do you think?
P.S. – Today, I AM thinking like a kid… like my father’s kid, that is! It’s Daddy Max’s 74th birthday! Please join me in wishing a VIP a very happy celebration. Happy, Happy Birthday, Pa! I love you so much! xoxo