As children we were in touch with our innate happiness.
We found happiness in simple pleasures. How many times have you watched a child have more fun playing with the box a present came in than the present itself? MasterCard even created a TV commercial in its “Priceless” campaign that features a toddler playing with a box instead of the expensive toys that came in it.
Children don’t understand the concept of money.
They don’t know they’re supposed to covet the expensive toys and leave the box. They simply do what feels good to them. When my daughter was a toddler, she found endless enjoyment playing in the plastic bowl cupboard in my kitchen. She did the same thing at Grandma’s house, despite having a living room full of toys.
Children also don’t worry about what other people think.
They don’t set goals. Instead, they experience life moment to moment. They are happy when what they are doing makes them happy, and they are sad when they don’t get their way. Children know how to experience and express unbridled happiness (and sadness, too—we’ve all seen the child throwing a temper tantrum in public, oblivious to all the people gawking).
Clearly, as adults, it behooves us to exercise some control over how and where we show our emotions, but we could learn a few things from the emotional authenticity children exhibit.
Excerpted from Breaking the Spell.
Watch the Mastercard commercial here: