On Recapturing Childlike Wonder.

‘Inside every old person, is a young person who wondered what happened.’

Sir Terry Pratchett

Think back to when you where younger. Think back to a time where you saw the world with fresh eyes, full of awe and wonder. When you studied the world for the first time. When you dreamed of all sorts of possibilities. When you made up endless stories and adventures and let your imagination run wild.

Every detail in life was wondrous. Be it the crisp snow underfoot. Be it the sounds of nature, full of birds and the whispering wind. Where you truly saw just how wondrous life can be. Your imagination crafting stories for all of these things, telling yourself stories and adding more excitement to life as you did so, living life with a sense of grand fantasy.

When you where able to wake up to a gallery of wonders every morning, when everything was ever so special and mystical.

So what in life changed, what happens to so many of us when we grow up?

Perhaps you let yourself grow increasingly busy, rushing around like mad. To consumed with the next task, the next deadline, the next crisis. To slow down, breath, and actually see the beauty of the world around you. The more and more busy you get, the more the tunnel vision sets in. And you stop being able to see pretty much anything besides the next obstacle in your path.

It is also ever so easy in modern day to become overwhelmed with the more negative aspects of life. The endless news cycle of every single thing that goes wrong in the world. Every disease, every murder, every bit of scandal. All of these get obsessed and talked about to the point where it can be hard to see what else there is in life. With all of the constant scandals and outrage culture, it is no surprise that people become jaded. But I would say that you should remember that there is beauty to the beast of life, and that while, yes, there is darkness in the world. That there is also an equal amount of beauty and light.

There is also a common train of thought these days that is equally harmful. That being an adult requires loosing all of the aspects of your childhood. That to be a fully formed adult, that you need to be cynical and guarded at all times, dulling yourself to the joys of life in the process. That you cannot be responsible and also look at the world with awe. However, I would say that it is perfectly possible to both be mature, and still have a childlike wonder about the world around you. I also think that in being able to do both, you give yourself the best chance to live your best life while avoiding becoming cynical and nihilistic.


‘He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed’

Albert Einstein

So, how can we start recapturing a sense of wonder around the world around us? I have a few ideas, which I feel are worth trying:

  • Admire the Scenery: Slow down and admire the scenery. Listen to nature and the songs of birds. Take time to smell the aroma of a good cup of coffee instead of instantly chugging it. Take the time to let yourself enjoy things.
  • Watch less News: While it is useful to know the goings on around you, moderation is the key here. Does knowing every single bit of celebrity outrage in the world help you? Or does it just make you irritated and angry?
  • Read more Fantasy: While it is not based in this world, reading and immersing yourself in fantasy books is a wonderful way to strengthen your imagination. And allow you not only to see more in life, but also will help improve your creativity.
  • Play with Kids: If possible of course, but what better way to recapture your inner child than spend time around kids and join in on their games and stories. Relax your pride for a bit, and just go along with the games.
  • Be more Romantic: By being more romantic, focusing on the small sweet gestures and details in relationships. Can not only make relationships better, but they can also add much more colour to them for you, even if you have to go out of your way slightly to do so.

So take time, slow down and focus on what is wondrous in life. Take time to recapture that lost inner childlike wonder of the world around you, as to do so is to make your life all the more wonderful.

Published by Duncan Hookey

A British/Canadian writer who writes about various topics related to how to make the most out of life.

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