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Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds.

Don’t Grow Up, It’s a Trap: Why protecting your inner child will save your sanity

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Youth is not an age bracket with an expiration date, it is a luminosity that comes from within and shines out of your face like golden sunbeams, no matter what age you are.

Looking and feeling young is not some egotistical need that exists for the purpose of appearances. It is critical for our mental stamina and emotional health and should guide our thoughts and actions on a daily basis.

Youth is where our innocence, curiosity and passions lie. When you think about children and the way they experience smells, sights, tastes, sounds – what a lust for life! It’s being connected to that freshness of spirit that allows us to be brought to life day after day, no matter how many times we’ve circled the sun.

Now, I love jewelry and expensive sushi as much as the next Los Angelean, but it’s quite clear that material wealth does not equal a life of happiness. Abundance comes not from getting everything we want, but from having an open heart and a youthful approach to every experience we have.

When we wake each day, we have a clean slate, a tabula rasa. This means the dust and the grit from yesterday has been washed away and we’re able to take today with the newness of a dew drop. This, I know, is not necessarily easy. We’ve all been lied to and had our hearts broken and had our dream shattered once or twice or more, and the weight of these old experiences shapes the way we view the world. But, if we can remember to remain innocent, optimistic, open-hearted – childlike, if you will – we can remain attached to the wonder that keeps life bold and bright, and full of possibility.

In a world where 27 is over the hill – a sincere thank you to everyone who reminds me of that each time they find out my age – it’s up to us to decide how we want to take on each moment, each hour, and each day.

Here are some tips on how to do it.

Have a lightness of heart

Life is not as serious as we make it out to be. Dry cleaner ruined your shirt? Get a new dry cleaner. Flat tire on the way to work? Get it fixed and go to work. Family driving you crazy? Take an afternoon to relax, explore, create.

Learn to go with the flow, to accept that you are in control of pretty much nothing but your perspective, and don’t get tied to plans because things mostly don’t go according to plan.

Don’t let the minutia of life make you a cranky c*nt. It’s not worth it. Loosen up and let it go.

Do what makes you come alive

We all know those people that look, just, tired. They’re not very friendly, negative, groggy; life does not look good on them.

DON’T BE THAT PERSON.

What get’s you enthused? Riled up? Motivated? If one thing doesn’t come straight to mind that stokes you out, find it and chase it. I’m not really one to say to “do one thing a day that scares you,” because that’s not super realistic, but you should be getting stoked out at least once a day. Whether it’s a bike ride, a jump in the ocean, or having a lively debate with your mates, get excited about something and get after it.

Be a life long learner

A curious and open mind will keep you young forever. Find things that pique your interest and read, study, listen to talks, whatever you can. The mind of a student is always expanding, and always empowered. You never know what information will serve you down the line, and knowing a little about a lot will enable you to connect with anyone in any situation. The best part about the internet is that we have access to all of the information – get curious and get some!

Smile

Smiling is good for your endorphins, and almost as importantly, public opinion of you. Smiling makes you more attractive, puts you in a better mood, and increases good vibes. It’s simple and it works, so do it.

The bottom line is, you weren’t put on earth to go to school, get a job, get married, have kids and grandkids, retire, and die. You were put on earth to have reverence for its wonder and make it a better place. Each day is an opportunity for that, regardless of how big or small. Have fun, get lively, and stay young; the world, and your spirit, will thank you for it.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

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