Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Quit Acting Like an Adult

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From Jeremy: This is a guest post from Jim Woods. Jim spent years acting like and adult and then found that life was more fun when you stop. You can have more fun in your life by connecting with him at his blog or on Twitter.

For years, I was obsessed with playing guitar.

I still am to an extent. I would buy guitars in bulk and spend all of my time tinkering with all things guitar. Now looking back, my wife might possibly be a saint for putting up with this behavior.

When my guitar obsession was cranked to “11,” I taught guitar lessons as well. I really enjoyed being able to share the gift of guitar with others.

As I taught more students, I began to notice the DISTINCT differences between how children and adults learn.

The creative adult is the child who has survived.

– Ursula Lequin

photo by Bhagath Makka (Creative Commons)

Kids get excited

When a child picks up the guitar, or any new toy, their eyes light up. It’s Christmas morning all over again.

Kids smile. They cheer and laugh. They let you know how they REALLY feel. When a child does a pick slide on the guitar, it’s impossible not to say, “Yeah!!!!” and strike a rock star pose.

A child does things with joy and passion. If you ever watch children play outside at the park, there is no middle of the road. It’s time to play or it’s time to sleep.

There is no in-between.

Adults often act bored

When giving guitar lessons, at times I would wonder if the adults would rather be doing something else.

Adults overthink things. They worry about perfection. Adults constantly ask themselves ”What will others think or say?”

Adults are often quick to overreact and fixate on the negative. Many times adults do not want to pursue something unless they feel they are destined for success.

The truth is you will NOT SUCCEED in everything you do. That’s alright. Don’t worry about it. The key is to try your best and have FUN while you do it.

A Quick Guide on how to Stop Acting Like an Adult

Here are 5 steps to stop acting like an adult and to start being a kid again.

  1. Have fun.
  2. Have fun.
  3. Have fun.
  4. Have fun.
  5. Have fun.

Is it that simple? Yes.

When you are having fun, you will stop being so serious. You’ll quit analyzing everything. When having fun, you can’t worry about money, tasks or duties.

Enjoy the moment. Soak it up. Play with your kids and try to think like them. Act like them. Be silly.

If you don’t have kids, borrow somebody else’s for the evening. Maybe even a week. I guarantee they will appreciate it.

If you have the kids laughing, you are on the right track.

What action can you take in your life to quit acting like an adult?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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44 Replies

  1. Good advice, Jim.  My son has taught me some incredible lessons about life.  We learn so much from our kids.   Good to see you here!

  2. Great post, Jim. 

    As a fellow guitarist and guitar teacher, I totally get what you’re saying! I see the same thing so many times with my adult students. 

    I think it’s awesome how kids have fun with trying something new and don’t take themselves so seriously.

    How long did you teach for and is it something you still do?

  3. Sophie Novak

    Love the post! We should try and keep the child in us for so many reasons, but mostly because it is fun! I am having fun and I’m holding on to that kid inside no matter what. :)

  4. Thanks so much Michael. I taught for about 2 years. Once my daughter was born, my practice space became the nursery. What was once a space full of amps and guitars, it became a changing table and a diaper genie :) I teach every now and then when I can, but ever since I began pursuing writing, I pretty much don’t have time to do both. 

    I’ve written a series of kids books about playing the guitar, and that is what opened my eyes to the fact I’m a writer. I have not been able to find the right illustrator yet,  so that project is on hold until I find the right illustrator. 

  5. Love this Jim.  Stop caring what others think of you and just have fun.  Society inhibits (although people may tell you it refines) our impulses to just have unbridled joy without thinking about appearances.  When you narrow the spectrum or depth of emotions you feel, you lose a part of the human experience.  

    Now, time to go play 

  6. Thanks Eileen! I couldn’t agree more! Kids are absolutely awesome. I’ve learned so much from my daughter it is unbelievable. Jesus was obviously on to something when He said “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them!”

  7. Thanks Cole! You just wait until your little one starts playing with you. It only gets better and better. You’ll learn so much from him that you could write several books :)

     You are absolutely right by the way. I tried not to worry about the weird looks I was getting as I was “hopping” around Target the other night with my little one. It was worth every weird look in the world. (By the way hopping around is harder to do with one of those red baskets and a diaper bag than you’d think..haha) 

  8. Thanks so much Sophie! Fun is good, no? :) haha. Keep doing what you’re doing! Proud of you!! 

  9. tammyhelfrich

    Love it! We have been trying to do this more and more. life is too short! Have fun!

  10. I look forward to being a wife and mother myself but until I get to that stage in life, I’ve decided I’m going to steal my friends’ kids for my own family. I currently have a collection of five children who technically belong to other people but we don’t tell them that… In adult world it’s so easy to be all prim and proper and poopy. There’s something wonderful about kid-time. The dumb stuff is funnier, sarcasm is more appreciated, and being silly is expected. I laugh so much harder.

    Katie(PS: When I shared my kid-stealing policy with the mom of my two newest additions, she said if I stole them for about four hours on a Friday night, I wouldn’t even have to pay the kidnapping fine! ;-))

  11. Admittedly, I’m a bit guilty of acting too much like an adult. My wife often still acts 13 though and it keeps me on my toes. I have noticed this among many kids I know though. They seemed bored with life in general and have no creative ability or passion for life. It really bothers me that we’re raising a culture of people that don’t think for themselves. This probably could get a bit political really easy though. I totally agree with you here. Thanks for the encouragement to be a kid again!

  12. This is something I’ve always aspired to but never accomplished. When I watch my 3 yr old play, I want to be a child even more. She moves and plays with such joy! Well done!

  13. Mary Beth

    IT is true we need to stop acting like adults and be kids again. I know we can take care of responsibilities if we put a little kid in them. Everybody loves a cheerful giver so we need to give ourselves as much as we can and keep the laughter flowing.

  14. You got it Tammy. That’s exactly right!!!!!! It’s a little more difficult to do in an office, but you can STILL do it (and keep your job).  Most of the time. Haha :)

  15. Did you know the average kid smiles 300 times a day. That’s over ten times and hour. once every 6 minutes.

  16. “Prim and proper and poopy…” I love that.

  17. Lisa

    How true this is! When I was growing up, my favorite uncle
    was always in the middle of whatever the kids were doing, having fun, laughing,
    being silly. It wasn’t a get together, party or celebration unless he was
    there. You always knew you would be laughing and having fun when he was around.
    Sadly, he died when I was 25…at the very young age of 44, from cancer. I miss
    him so very much and know one day I will laugh with him again in heaven. I want
    to be like him…laughing and acting silly, but I always find myself being a “grown
    up”. I think about this often and this story is a reminder of what I should be
    doing! I know my elementary school child would find my much more exciting to be
    around if I could just do it!!

  18. Congrats by the way, Cole.

  19. Thanks so much Jared. Sounds like you have an amazing wife. I’d encourage you to be 13 again and not be too serious (all the time).  I totally know what you are talking about with kids. It’s easy to play the blame game isn’t it. I prefer to just take responsibility for what I CAN DO to help instead 😉 

  20. haha love it Katie!! Your time will come, when you LEAST EXPECT IT! I think there is something beautiful about the joy and passion for life that kids have. It’s so endless! They just embrace EVERY moment! I challenge you to do the same!! 

  21. You got it! Just copy her. It will be worth it and I won’t tell anyone :) haha

  22. Absolutely laughter is so key. Without laughter, I’d say we are too robot-like. Gotta keep the laughs coming as much as possible. Thanks Mary Beth! 

  23. Yeah absolutely. Although, I wasn’t blaming by any means. I’m not a fan of the education system because I feel it stifles creativity. I have my thoughts on that but I know we can’t pinpoint any one particular thing. I am trying to help encourage the kids I know to think about their dreams and passions. It’s difficult to do when everything is counter to that in their lives. Like I said, could get political real quick. 😀 Thanks for the encouragement. Take care.

  24. I work in an administrative building where people take their jobs quite seriously. Luckily, one of my new coworkers to do a good job and have fun while doing it. Yesterday this involved dancing down the hallway on the way to a meeting. I’m totally in!
    Katie

  25. jeremy, thanks for handing your platform over to jim today. as usual, jim, you hit me right where i need it. i have always given up on things or decided against trying new things based on my split-second perception of whether i would be able to do it well and be great at it.

    choosing to get back to my writing over the past month has helped me embrace the fun. sure, not everything is going to be perfect. in fact, NOTHING i do will ever be perfect.

    i’ve always believed in the “who cares what others think? just have fun!” perspective, but depending on the situation, i put on my “adult” face instead of let my silly side show.

    thanks for rockin’ my socks off, jim!

  26. I’ve found living with the excitement of a child to be an excellent way to enjoy life and stay young. A funny story from my wife…

    She often recounts how excited she gets over dirt. Yes, DIRT. The brown, rough, dirty soil type of dirt. It’s a reminder of goodness and life. Seeing her excitement creates more excitement.

  27. Wow, what a story Lisa. Thanks for sharing it. Sounds like your Uncle was an amazing guy.  I’d encourage you not to think about it, just do it! If you think about it, you might stop yourself.  (Hence,  I was hopping around Target with my daughter because she asked me to. Haha. )

  28. Thanks Tim! I appreciate it! Rock on and most importantly, HAVE FUN!! :)

  29. Fantastic! The parent in me is thinking oh man, that’s going to lead to a lot of laundry, but the kid in me is thinking I need to throw some of it at Jeremy Statton :) haha.

    We’ll see if I ever guest post again now! :) Obviously I’m having a bit of fun here. 

  30. Jim, you have hit on my theme here today.  Love the 5 steps you list on how to become
    the child you once were. 

    If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of
    wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement
    and mystery of the world we live in.

    ~Rachel
    Carson (1907 – 1964) writer, scientist, and ecologist.

    I want to be that adult.  Nothing makes me
    feel more alive than riding the miniature train at the park.  Kids just want to have fun. So should
    adults!  Does that sound crazy? Fine, then I’m crazy 😉

  31. Then I’m crazy too Debra! It’s much better to be crazy than it is to be “normal” if normal is unhappy, worried and stressed. I want to be full of life and joy instead! 

  32. Great post! I admit it, I’m such an adult. This post is a wonderful reminder to me to loosen up. Thank you for sharing this. 

  33. Love your thoughts Jim. I don’t have kids of my own but I have nieces and nephews. It’s true that kids brand of fun is the freshest, simplest,purest kind of fun. 

    They remind me to just be – no pretense, no frills.  

    Great post!

  34. I love guitars. I lead worship with my electric guitar at my church. I totally see what you are saying about the different learning styles.

    This was a great post! Thanks for sharing!

  35. Thanks so much Brandon! I really, really appreciate that. I’m still a guitar junkie, but I’ve tamed it with writing :) If you’d ever like to talk guitar, I’m always up for it! jim@unknownjim.com thanks! 

  36. Ngina, thanks! Enjoy that time with your nieces and nephews! So well said, kids remind you to just “be.” I really like that! 

  37. Pamela, no problem. So glad to help. I hope you have fun acting like a kid again ! (I definitely think you will!!) 

  38. I’m always up for talking guitar! I write a lot on guitars and worship on my blog: http://www.brandongilliland.com
    I’ll be sure check out your blog!

  39. cool! I had a guitar blog for quite a while that is still up http://www.jguitarnash.com

  40. That’s awesome! I always try to incorporate my guitar/music stuff into a worship related post. That way, it can appeal to more people. However, I do venture out and do gear posts every once and awhile.

  41. Jim,

    Sorry for the late response. Missed this one.

    That’s cool that you wrote a kids book about playing the guitar! Maybe when you have it finished, I’ll buy some to include them with my welcome packets to new students. :)

    My wife, Claudia, is also writing a children’s book. She’s actually doing both the writing and the illustrating. It a really cool process!

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