Like many little girls her age, my daughter who just turned 4, is princess-crazy. So it was with unfettered glee that she greeted the Snow White who showed up on our doorstep on Saturday to entertain 15 preschoolers for her birthday party.
Being a parent is a mysterious and wondrous state for me as it happened late in life, so it was initially the parent in me that sat down to enjoy the spectacle of the kids being entertained.
However, it didn't take long before the entrepreneur coach in me started peering over this parent's shoulder, observing the following and then formulating the questions:
All it took was a dress, a wig, a cute voice and some make-up to transform a hard-working young woman into a credible character. There were no looks of scepticism or disdain on the upturned faces of the seated kids - just pure wonderment.
When last did you REALLY believe in something, enough that it demanded you suspend the judgment and limiting beliefs of your "inner critic"?
Kids have an unlimited sense of what is possible.
As Snow White did her magic tricks and recounted her story, complete with description of her castle and how she got to the house by carriage, the kids peppered her with questions about the Seven Dwarfs and her prince.
What would life be like if you knew there were no limits to what you could accomplish, barring unassailable facts and inescapable realities? And even then, what would be possible?
Kids are not afraid to dance in public with a princess.
How refreshing it was to see the ease with which most of the 4-year olds were able to jump up and dance with Snow White when given the opportunity.
How willing are you to toss aside your inhibitions and just let it rip with your business idea?
Kids have clear priorities.
While most of the children were absorbed by the activities that Snow White offered, a few had other things on their minds. Like eating - two of the kids sat side-by-side in pint-sized chairs next to the low food-filled table and continued eating unperturbedly, despite the commotion next door. Or hanging out with mom - another opted for a game of Chutes and Ladders.
What are your highest priorities, when faced with big distractions?
Kids don't hide their feelings. Restraint was NOT the order of the day - the house reverberated with excitement, silliness, and joy, and even the parents were caught grinning and laughing! And the tears of disappointment and frustration flowed unabashedly when some of the kids didn't get to to stir the magic pot with a wand!
What would life be like if you could sit with the entire range of your feelings, without having to reject those that made you uncomfortable or restrain those that filled you with pleasure?
Kids don't hold back once they are convinced.
One child sat at the back of the crowd and refrained from participating for two thirds of the show. Her face registered little other than a certain watchfulness. Her puzzled mom remarked to me how surprised she was at her daughter's lack of reaction. Suddenly the little girl came over to her mom and asked her to introduce her to Snow White - which she did. The transformation was spectacular! The little girl chatted non-stop to Snow White, did everything she could to get her attention, and spent the last 20 minutes following her around like a shadow.
What energy will you bring to your efforts once you are fired up with conviction?
Most of us were preschoolers so long ago, it is almost impossible to remember that state of acceptance and wonder. And yet, I'm sure we wouldn't have to scratch too deeply below the surface to find our yearning - our longing to believe in the magic of what we could achieve, if we could simply give ourselves the permission to view the world through the eyes of a 4-year old again!
Of course, I realize that this post bears a small and poor resemblance to Robert Fulghum's All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, but I couldn't resist writing it!! After all, I want to dance in public, and not hold back, even when my inner critic tells me that you, my readers, might think I'm crazy.