Act Your Shoe Size

This past week, while staying at my Grandparents for the Holiday break, I got into a tiff with my Aunt. I don’t remember exactly what it was about. Something to do with the remote control, I’m sure. I decided to ignore her and raid my Grandparents cupboard. I pulled out a Christmas colouring book and some crayons. A few minutes later she walked by me as I was finishing off Santa’s hat,  and said “there you go again. Acting your shoe size.”
While most people would take this to heart, for me it was actually a compliment. Act your shoe size? Why not?
What’s your shoe size? I’m a 9. Sometimes a 9.5. Depending on the shoe and how much salt I had that day. So acting my shoe size would mean I’m behaving like a 9 year old. I haven’t been 9 years old in a very long time. Almost 20 years. But I remember what it was like.
I remember climbing every tree in our back yard. Even the ones my Dad told me wouldn’t be able to hold my weight. I had to test those trees first! He was right. The tiny pear tree definitely could not hold my weight.
I remember thinking up the fastest and most efficient way to do the dishes. There always had to be a better way to do something. If you just stopped and thought about it, you’d get innovative.
I remember spending hours trying to think of a word to rhyme with orange. There is no single word in the English language that rhymes with orange. I didn’t believe it. I spent the better half of an afternoon searching for words in all the books I owned. We didn’t have Google back then.
After wracking my brain I settled on porridge. Porridge was close enough.
So what is the difference between a 9 year old and someone like my Aunt who is in her 60’s when it comes to being creative and innovative? The answer; Time. Children have more time to explore all possibilities, moving from popular to more original ideas. When I was 9 I had all the time in the world. I didn’t have deadlines to meet. Places to be. The only show I just HAD to watch on TV was America’s Funniest Home Videos on Sunday night. And that’s only because I didn’t want to go to bed before 8:00. School was the next day. I had time to climb trees, be innovative with the dish washing process and come up with a word that kinda rhymed with orange.
So my Aunt was right. By spending 45 min colouring, I was acting like a 9 year old. But what she really should have said was “there you go again. Acting like you have all the time in the world.”
We do have time. We think we don’t. We are programmed to think we don’t. But we do. When coming up with a better solution for any issue you might have, channel your inner 9 year old. Sit down. Grab a juice box. And think. How can I be more efficient? How can I solve this problem? Use your surrounding as inspiration. Go out and climb a tree. Think of a word that rhymes with purple. Taking 5 minutes, clearing your head and opening your mind can do wonders for you or your business.
A few tips to help bring out your inner child –
. Explore and play without restraints.
. Unusual ideas are ok. Don’t judge the idea. There is no wrong way to think or be creative.
. Sometimes the process of creativity and coming up with new ideas is more important than the idea itself. Have fun!
. Take time to think. The best solution to a problem is not always the first you come up with.

So I’m asking you, to every once in a while, act your shoe size. I dare you. I double dog dare you!

2 Responses to “Act Your Shoe Size”
  1. John Lepp says:

    same great reminders here… our time is what we make of it – find the balance – give yourself what you need to do everything and more importantly – do nothing! Thanks for the post!

  2. Ljuba says:

    There are days that I sit back relive the days that I used to spend hours playing street hockey with my friends without a care in the world. It is amazing how we seem to forget the innocence of our childhood and how we used to have fun… How much more creative we were when we were having fun exploring wild and crazy ideas. Thanks for reminding us that it really is ok to act your shoe size.

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