Lessons from Little Ones

By Jim Stovall

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
thatunless 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!