The act of giving - lessons to be learnt from a 5 year old

After our first Happiness get together I began to notice another side to how beautiful our younger generation are and more so, how much we can learn from them. It was an incident on a short bus ride that prompted me to write this. Here's what happened.

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My son is five. He loves ballet. He loves football. He loves chocolate. What he also loves is being happy and rising to a challenge. Part of that means I can use the 'carrot' technique (sometimes) when I need him to get something done. On this particular morning I challenged him to a 'Getting dressed competition'. We drew and he plucked out of his dressing up box two medals - one for him and one for me. We had to wear them and I did. Yep, out in the street on a Saturday morning. The strap broke on mine so I mended it and handed it back to him and told him he could wear two.

When we got on the bus a little boy sat in front of my son. This little boy must have been around three. We'd never seen this boy before yet those two struck up banter. They giggled together like they'd known each other for years.

Now, I've been known to speak to people at the bus stop, on the bus, even in a shop queue. I note that not everybody does though and it made me think: just how wonderful it would be if people spoke to one another with no preconceptions, no baggage, and with the simple focus of being friendly.

My son then asked me whether he could give one of his medals to the boy. Knowing that he most likely would I warned him that he wouldn't see it again if he gave it away but if he wanted to that was fine. His response shocked me with its simplicity: "I don't need two medals Mummy"

Again I realised that so many of us hold on to possessions because we feel we need them. To just give something that we don't need away already makes a clearing. In return it also makes someone else happy.

The day went on and I observed not just my son yet other children of a similar age and these are some of the lessons I learnt from what I observed, lessons I feel we can all learn from a five year old:

- Be brave: try something you haven't tried before

- Don't worry about what other people think: if you want to skip down the street then do it

- Be friendly: smile at the very least; don't be afraid to talk to people you see on your commute

- Be excited to learn something new - don't be put off from learning just because of your age

- Be in the moment - live in the present and be aware of all that's around you from the smells to the sights

- Be bold - if you've done something good then don't just keep that to yourself

- Be energetic - every day requires some outdoor activity

- Be playful - have fun, watch a cartoon, read some jokes

- Be creative - make something, draw something, play an instrument

- Be grateful - cherish every day for what it brings

- Be spontaneous - don't be afraid to do things randomly

- Be unconditional - regardless of what happened yesterday, treat today as a new day

It's been a wonderful observation and has made me feel lively and full of energy.

Just remember that inside us all is that little child just waiting to re-emerge.

Oh and if you want to read some really bad jokes, I've listed some below:

What is the strongest vegetable?
A muscle sprout

What is brown and sticky?
A stick

There were two antennas on a roof, they fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A fsh

I went to a seafood disco last week and pulled a mussel.

Michelle Stromgren

Marketing Consultant and Performance Coach, Owner -

Marketing consultant and performance coach running a business to support individuals and SMEs in their growth and development, fundamentally to increase confidence and get a healthy work/life balance. Alongside volunteering for a number of charities, Michelle is a mum of two and an advocate of clean air and green spaces. She loves nature, photography, writing and most of all learning. "Never stop learning. If you don't think you can do it, change your mind set and at least try."