Research shows, and my life experience confirms, that nearly all 5 year-old kids believe they can and will change the world, and they have big plans for doing so.
Conversely, only about 2% of adults believe they can make a profound difference in the world.
Why, and when, do so many of us quit on our dreams?
Children, teenagers, and young adults often view the world with a sense of wonder and, at times, unbridled optimism. This “glass half full” attitude is what leads so many young people to take up new hobbies, try new (and scary) things, take risks, and generally welcome the world with arms wide open.
In general, as adults, we find ourselves more closed off and reserved, less willing to take risks for big ideas and actions, lest we find ourselves in the position to fail.
We buy into the idea of studying hard in school, getting a good, steady job, and having a stable life, with all our basic needs fulfilled.
We accept a shallow sense of security instead of pursuing the audacious goals and dreams we had when we were younger.
We listen to the voices of the world telling us that dreaming is for young struggling artists, and that dreams don’t pay the bills.
When it comes to the collective whole we have been conditioned to settle for mediocrity rather than pursuing our unique genius.
Now, I want you to think back to a time when you believed that you could do or be anything in the world. Did you want to be a doctor? A superhero? Maybe you wanted to work with animals in the zoo or become a famous artist.
If you can imagine yourself back in that time and place when you felt most READY TO DO ANYTHING, how did it feel? The feeling of self-assuredness, confidence, and all around AWESOMENESS was you being fully present in your GENIUS.
Since that time, we’ve let a lot of things come into our lives that push that genius down into the deepest parts of our heart. Bills, jobs, families, and a whole bunch of responsibilities made you put your genius to the side and “do what needs to be done.”
I want to assure you of one thing here today: Your genius is not forgotten. Your genius is not gone. Although it may be hidden, it is still there within you and it’s ready to be found again.
You still have a dream and a desire to not only succeed, but to exceed your wildest imagination—and those traits aren’t reserved strictly for children.
The only difference between the five-year-old you and the person reading these words, is that somewhere along the line you became a nonbeliever.
- Five-year-olds are fierce believers.
- They believe in dreaming big and celebrating the little.
- They believe they can and will make an impact.
- They believe in learning from anyone, anywhere.
- They believe in wonder and value questions, not answers.
- They believe in awesome.
- They own, honor and live into their genius.
- They believe in good and search for it in the world.
And most importantly, they believe us when we say: You are a genius and the world needs your contribution.
How do we get back there? How do we dig deep and find our genius?
We fight. We fight against the mediocrity that has been accepted as truth. We fight for the dreams that we imagined as a child. We fight for our youthful exuberance and optimism.
I’m not saying this is an easy task, as it’s hard to undo years of believing we are less than. But I see the genius in you and I know you can find it, too.