As well as delivering The Art of Being Brilliant, I also moonlight as a children’s author. That means I get to visit loads of primary schools.
I always choose to park around the corner, and walk. It’s awesome.
Because as soon as I step out of the car I can hear the buzz. And as I get closer, the noise builds. There’s excited screaming as well as peals of squealing, yelling, laughter and unbridled joy. (Let me add that the excitement’s nothing to do with me. It happens every day, in every school, author visit or no author visit.)
As I arrive at the school gates I sometimes stand and watch. (Yes, yes, I know. You’re not supposed to do that kind of thing in the modern era, but I do). The energy and excitement generated by 300 kids is something to behold. They’re playing, skipping and jumping around. There’s always an awful lot of running. And hopscotch is alive and well. I have to say, it’s a joy.
And the following day, I’m booted and suited, for a meeting in a company. It feels all business-like and professional. There’s no screaming or excitement. Nobody’s ever invited me to play hopscotch. There’s hardly any skipping and, if I’m being honest, very little unbridled joy.
Children (particularly of primary school age) are a wonderful example of our natural state of being – playful, delirious, curious, fun, joyful and excitable.
So what happened? At what point did we become dull, grumpy and negative? At what point did we stop jumping in puddles? When did hopscotch become a bad idea?
Maybe it’s ‘life’? Maybe it’s ‘responsibility’? Or ‘stress’ or ‘routine’ or the ‘dullness’ that life can become? But here’s a thought. Could it be that we’re happy, positive and curious by default, but somehow we just… forgot?