In this Laughology blog post, the timeless and forever youthful Kerry Leigh asks the child-like you, "are you excited by the thoughts of 'musical farts', 'cake' and 'dancing like a lunatic?'
I have to ask my kids how old I am. Somewhere after thirty age becomes less significant and we stop caring and paying attention to how many years we have managed to stay alive each birthday (incidentally nobody else cares either when your birthday is in January).
On stage I often joke that I am a child trapped in a woman's body. Friends have commented that I have quite a child-like view of the world. Less kind people have suggested I'm childish. I AM NOT! ( flicks hair, stomps to bedroom and slams door).
Can you relate?
Here's a quick quiz to find out:
Do the following things make you clap your hands with excitement?
• Clouds that look like animals
• Jumping in puddles
• Dressing up (careful)
• Musical farts
• Dancing like a lunatic
If you scored highly then join the club. New members win a badge, a retro space hopper and lose all their dignity.
Aged 39 I decided it was imperative that I learn to backflip so I could do this at the opening of a show I was writing at the time. Not once did it occur to me that I wouldn't be able to do it, despite the fact I have never done gymnastics and whilst I am reasonably fit I am not particularly flexible. I never did get the hang of it but it didn't occur to me once that perhaps my age was a factor that would go against me until one of the gym instructors mentioned it. I mean, yes, occasionally I get up in the morning and wonder who on earth that woman is in the mirror with suitcases under her eyes staring back at me in the bathroom, but she tends to go away if you ignore her.
Tapping into our child-like qualities can actually be quite useful. Of course us grown-ups have responsibilities and stuff to do so we can't bunk off and spend the day at the beach (well, not often) but we can find room for play in our day-to-day which can help us break patterns of behaviour and solve problems. 'Kerry, really? I have got far more important things to do than play silly buggers. For starters I've got a meeting with that difficult client in an hour.' So you tense your body and you grit your teeth and 'get on with it', with the same frustrating result.
When we are child-like we look at the world in a different way. We laugh at our mistakes, we don't take ourselves (and others) so seriously. Can you meet your client somewhere new? Have you taken the time to find out what makes your client laugh, or feel good? You can use these 'humour triggers' to change the way the client (and you) feel when you meet. The way we feel has a direct impact on our behaviour and consequently the decisions we make.
Introduce a new kind of 'Take Your Child to Work Day'. Find out more about how to realise your inner-child thinking and increase creative problem solving at your work.
Kerry delivers sessions to high-end clients specialising in communication, leadership and the importance of happy, engaged teams. She has recently delivered the Laughology sessions, Unconscious Bias to DTZ and a Confidence Skills for Women in Business seminar to the Blackburne House Group.