With bills to pay, mouths to feed, and never-ending lists of things to get done, it’s common to think, “I wish I could be five again.” While traveling back in time is impossible, perhaps there’s a lot to learn from that five-year-old. For insight on how to better manage life’s challenges, be a better person and truly enjoy each day, here are some simple but important life lessons learned in kindergarten.
Work some, play some, then nap some
Life is not work all the time or play all the time. It’s about balance. Working hard enough, but also enjoying personal time without feeling pressure to work or guilt about not working. There will always be that email to respond to, project to finish, and pile of dishes to deal with, but rest and play are hugely important to quality of life and well-being. In kindergarten, naptime was enforced because sleep-deprived kids are fussy, restless and miserable. Same goes for adults. Without enough sleep, people are more irritable, less productive, and usually not fun to be around. This year, work toward making choices and changes to enhance life balance and enjoy simple pleasures.
Clean up your own mess
Is that your month-old salad rotting in the work fridge? Still not recycling? From cleaning up clutter to keeping the planet healthy, it’s everyone’s responsibility to do their part. And beyond the literal ‘messes’ of the world, we make plenty of mistakes at work, in relationships, and in life that we should own up to, and try to work out whenever possible.
Say please and thank you
The life lesson here is to be professional and civil in all interactions. No need to yell wildly at the truck that just cut you off, or to be texting and completely distracted while someone is trying to talk to you. At work, acknowledge contributions from coworkers, and express appreciation for time, effort and hard work.
Babies first words are typically “mama,” “dada,” and “MINE!” A big lesson in kindergarten is learning to share and work together; something adults are constantly forced to do in their families, neighborhoods and workplaces. To achieve shared goals and accomplish big things requires people of different backgrounds, beliefs and personalities to learn to work together, communicate and get along.