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The Best Of Both Worlds

Written by: Dr. Margaret Potter, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Do you sometimes find yourself limiting your thinking or options? Has life become predictable due to ingrained habits and routines? It is easy to get stuck in a rut, but if you actively integrate your inner child and adult self you can optimise your potential. By doing so you will find the energy, focus and inspiration you need to navigate through new, unplanned, and challenging situations. Here are some ideas to help you get the best of both worlds.

1. Make it okay to play - children learn a great deal through play and will readily engage in having a go at new things without fear of failure. As adults, we are often more risk-averse and can become set in our ways. Break the shackles of uniformity and play around to find new ways of doing things. Play is stimulating and can get you thinking in different ways. This will challenge your brain to adapt and that is helpful, especially as we age.

2. Show genuine interest – children naturally demonstrate boundless curiosity in the people and world around them, but often in our busy adult lives we don’t pay enough attention and feign interest to be polite. However, to enable us to make meaningful connections genuine interest and effort is required. Be sure to give your full attention to another person when they are communicating with you. Maybe you need to put down your phone; make eye contact and smile, or simply slow down and listen. Bring a totally focused child-like interest to what is happening right here, right now.

3. Ensure variety - when given opportunity young children often like to try new things, but as adults we tend to stick to established routines and operate within our comfort zone. However, there is much to gain from breaking away from convention and being open to new experiences. Why not change your routine; find a new hobby or interest to pursue or let someone else take the lead instead of you? By adding variety to your life, you open possibilities to new learning and growth that can inspire, engage, and stimulate your interest. In addition, with variety we become more flexible and resilient, and these attributes are valuable to foster throughout life.

4. Let failure be your friend – regardless of age, the potential learning offered when you try and fail at something is much greater, than if at first, you succeed. Consequently, it is helpful to view your letdowns as learning opportunities. When you fail at something, make time for reflection that enables you to sift through the experience so that you learn from your mistakes. This will ensure you have a growth mindset and will no longer need to fear failure. Instead, you will readily embrace the ups, but more importantly the downs as a necessary, even helpful part of the journey of life.

5. Be what you want to see – children are quick learners and will simulate what they see. However, they may not be discerning when it comes to the morality of behaviours they mimic. Consequently, it is important to be mindful that you are a role model for others. Always act with good intent; demonstrate what you want to see and take pride in what you do. By being a positive role model, both at work and at home you will undoubtedly have a beneficial impact on those around you.

6. Find ways to have fun – having fun comes naturally to children, but as adults, we are taught to take life seriously. Identifying ways to have fun should be a priority in every workplace because happy staff will be more productive, energetic, and loyal to their organisation when compared with those who are unhappy. You may be able to set up, or support staff to engage in fun workplace activities that promote inclusion, diversity, show care and compassion, build team spirit and comradery. Embrace the concept that having fun in the workplace should be a non-negotiable priority because the flow-on benefits will be to one-and-all.

It is worthwhile to recognise that encouraging curiosity, imaginative expression, and allowing the playfulness of our inner child to surface is helpful at any age. Being able to integrate and express all the parts of ourselves in healthy and authentic ways is important. We can acknowledge our uniqueness as both flawed and fabulous human beings, and regardless of age the innocence and beauty in that is priceless!

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Dr. Margaret Potter, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Margaret Potter is a highly respected educational leader and an internationally certified performance coach with more than 20-years of experience. She is Director of the TELL Centre, which provides short courses to support health professionals with their teaching, supervision and assessment activities. As a consequence of her PhD research on the patient-practitioner interaction in healthcare, Margaret is a sought-after speaker and expert on various topics associated with optimising communication. Her motto: Keep learning – keep growing!



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