Children fascinate me.

The coolest thing about kids, I think, is this:  They come into this world as a bundle of wonder and curiosity.


Kids know they don’t know, they’re hard-wired to find out, and they are absolutely single-minded in their efforts.  They are the epitome of relentless, the very best role models for persistence.

Every one of them is working on mastery.  They all want to know how to do it all well.

It doesn’t stop:  walking, talking, tying shoelaces, making friends, riding a bike, playing games, finding out how something works and why you do this and not that.  On and on and on.

Halcyon Days” by Sel Felin via Flickr [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
They notice everything (especially the stuff the adults would rather they didn’t) and they are interested in every single little thing they encounter.

Their major mistakes are usually the result of ignorance.  They just don’t know enough yet and a lot of their plans fall apart because of that.  (That tends to give the people who care about them the heebie-jeebies, but so what?)

When they’re starting out, kids are determined to catch on and catch up.

“Determination” by Susan Lloyd via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
They want to do it themselves.  They want to get good and they want to show they know what they know.


Kids start small.  After all, they are little and they are weak and have to depend on the Bigs around them just for survival.  (But, THAT is gonna change!  Uh-huh.)

“Small Steps” by john mccaffrey via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]
Every time they make a misstep, it’s usually just a small hiccup in their forward progress.

The little guys haven’t gotten to the big stuff yet and if they’ve got Bigs who help to keep them mostly safe from the ordinary life-threatening stuff, kids can pick themselves up and try again…and again and again…until they get to where they want to go.

If the circumstances in their lives are harder, more unfortunate, or even downright dangerous, then the ones who survive learn more and they learn faster and often they get even better at not giving up.

“Ratchathewi Skytrain Stop (Bangkok, Thailand) by drburtoni via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Every little win is its own reward.  (One more down, what’s next?)


Kids know time is on their side.

“Time Is On My Side” by Daniel Novta via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
They’re going to get bigger.  They’re going to get those flabby muscles built up and that tongue moving right.

They already know how to act cute, and they are going to learn how to make friends and influence all those Bigs too.  They’re going to keep on going until they get there.

Kids only absolutely know they have Now, and Now is when they want to do something, so they work with whatever they’ve got going and they do what they can with it.  They’re going to find out everything they need to know about everything they want to know…just, EVERYTHING.


Kids also know that play is really serious work.  It’s how you learn what you need to know.

When they get the chance to play, they will go for it.  Why not?  Maybe they will learn something.

“Hard at Work” by quadrant via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
You can just see the wheels turning as they play.  You can just imagine them thinking, “You watch:  I’m going to get out there and I’m going to rock the world!  Yes, I am!”


Sounds familiar, right?

We all started out like that.  Some of us manage to hang onto the wonder and use it to leverage ourselves up and on to doing more and more amazing things.  The rest of us wonder how come we don’t.

There are a lot of lessons you can learn about mastery by watching kids.  Here are some examples:

  • IT ALL STARTS WITH WONDER AND INTEREST.  Even as adults, we know this.  If you are not interested in something, you just don’t pay attention to it and you don’t notice the lessons that are right there in front of you.
“Wonder” by Cristian via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
  • SMALL WORKS. We’re all little compared to the Universe.  We all have limitations.  We get to where we want to go by doing what we can with what we’ve got.
“Vancouver Snowmen!” by danna & curious tangles via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
  • NOW IS WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING. It’s the only time when you can.  You can’t change the past.  The future is out of reach.  There really is no other when to do something.
“Now” by Kai Schreiber via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]
  • PERSISTENCE AND WILL RULES. If you haven’t gotten to where you want to go yet, then that’s a sign that you’re not done yet.
“Persistence” by Jeff Sandquist via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
  • MIS-STEPS AND MISTAKES THAT DON’T KILL YOU DON’T MATTER. So you fell down.  Ouch!  Now try to get back up.  Not happening?  Well, hell…you can crawl, right?
“Mistaken” by Paradis Photographis via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]
  • KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Whatever you know is what you know.  What you know can be used to get to where you want to go.  What else do you want or need to know?  Go get it.
“Kids at Deep Space 8K” by Ars Electronica via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

“Public Service Announcement” by Jason Mrachina via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Isn’t it funny that these lessons are the same ones that we hear from all the wise guys and life counselors and self-help books?


My theory is that somehow, on our way to learning how to be adults, we got distracted by the details and have forgotten the power with which we were born.

I get the feeling that power’s still there, waiting for you to notice, and if you’ve forgotten what it looks like, then the Universe has lots and lots of little guys who can help you remember.

My own feeling is, if you’re stuck in the suck of trying to be a cog in some wheel not of your own making, the best thing you can do is watch kids…your own kids, kids belonging to your friends and family, stranger kids doing their thing, whatever.

Watch what they do.   See what works.  Do that.

This YouTube video is a compilation of jaw-dropping performances by some amazing kids.  It was put together by People Are Awesome in 2017.

Here’s a poem:


The world is a bigger cup

Than your small hands can manage.

It is heavy and close to overflowing.

The hot liquid heart-blood it holds

Burns your fingers

As you concentrate on not-dropping,

As you try yet again to

Navigate over another

Wide, slick, sparkly-clean floor.


Your wrists ache

And you grit your teeth.

You try, try, try,

Harder and harder,

To hold onto that cup

That seems to get heavier

As you walk along.


There it goes…

Another splat,

Another slip,

Another mess.

The cup’s lying there, emptied,

And all the stuff’s spread out

In one grand sploosh spattered all over

That proud new pair of shoes

As old issues come bubbling up to blindside you,


As the shouting starts you notice that

The issues are not even yours.


Toddler lessons revisited:

My small, but not my bad.

It helps to remember that

The world is heavy

And it’s way, way big for small people…

It helps to remember that

We are all small.



Maybe we just need smaller cups.

by Netta Kanoho

Header photo credit:  “Power” by BadWolfBobbi via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]



(Click on each of the post titles below and see where it takes you…)


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a note or comment below and tell me your thoughts.


25 thoughts on “GET BACK YOUR KID MOJO

  1. Hi Netta, first let me say thanks for exploring the wonder that kids are. All of what you’ve written is true. Kids are forever exploring the world around them by winning and failing.

    When it comes to the failing part they don’t mind, they just dust themselves off and go again.Yesterday was yesterday and they keep on going :)).

    Really like the video on just how amazing kids can be.

    Great work here Netta, thanks heaps :))

    1. Hey Billy:

      Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I’m glad you agree that kids are a marvel.  I think they are also really good teachers for us grown-up types.

      Please do come again….

  2. Francesco says:

    Unique concept for a site!!! I’m loving the layout—very streamlined and pleasing to the eye.

    I loved how organized everything is and how vibrant the colors are compared to your gray and white layout. Smart move visually.

    That said, maybe just my ignorance, at first glance I wasn’t sure what the site was about….poems or mind-maps?

    Either way, fantastic looking site. Great work mate.

    1. Hey Francesco:

      Thanks for the visit.  Your question — What’s this pretty thing about? — is a good one.   I’ll try for a short answer.

      Basically, LIFE-BUILT POEMS is an attempt to explore the meanings and the inherent mana (internal power) that humans have discovered in Life Its Own Self, a kind of eco-tour of mindsets and mind-constructs that people (including me) have found in their journeys through this marvelous, mad world that we make together.  

      Some of these discoveries lead to happy resolves.  Others not so much.  There are, however, a lot of different kinds of happy.  

      Because I am a poet, the site tends to go sideways and is slippery and the whole package can’t be thrown into a microwave to produce easy answers to all of the important life-questions we humans have.  It isn’t meant to do that.

      It is meant to give all the busy-busy people a respite from the cacophony of our mutual world and allow a space where they can think on other things besides the latest trauma-drama and disaster on display or how to get through all the traffic and the noise.  

      The site is an invitation to play and to build something that makes sense to the player.  My answer isn’t your answer.  (You do have to find your own.) 

      I attempt to make the site pretty mostly because pretty is so much more inviting and entrancing than ugly.   

      Ooh!  I do thank you for the question!

      Please do come again.

  3. Once again, thank you for this awesome post!  I loved it because it was about kids, and I love working with kids.  

    I did not find out how much I liked working with kids until after college and I actually got to teach a little online.  I am working on my teaching degree now!  

    I wish I had read this post back then, because it goes over so many aspects on why working with kids, and being around kids is such a joy!  

    Beautifully written and thank you!

    1. Jessie, thanks for the visit and for sharing your story.  I’m so glad the post resonated with you.

      Please do come again.

  4. Hi just been going through your website and it make me think how lucky I am to have three beautiful children and how that I should make the most of my time with them as life is short.  Before we know it they will be all grown up and getting on with living their own lives. 

    Any way just wanted to say thanks for the reminder and helping me to get my MOJO back

    1. DJ, thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  It is a truth, that.  Our children do grow up so very fast.  

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      Please come again.

  5. Growing up is really funny as kids.  So many things need to be learned by the kids and so many things to be put in place by the parents to help our kids realize who they really are because so many distractions fall in and these kids could leave themselves along the line. 

    I am very careful with the things my kids do.  I hope we all are very careful with how they grow up. 

    Nice article and great poem.

    1. Benson, thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I appreciate it.

      Please come again.

  6. Hi Netta, 

    First I say thanks for such a great poem. This poem reminded me of my childhood.  When I was a child and I got the chance to play I never missed. So I know it is child nature. 

    They look at everything very seriously. Maybe they are learning something. Those days will never come again.

    1. Parveen, thanks for the visit.  I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      I agree that we never can get our childhoods back, but I do think that we can try to keep the best of our ways of seeing the world from that time and the best of our ways of interacting with the world as well.

      I learned so much from my daughter and my son when they were growing up.  I like to say they raised me right.  (They just roll their eyes at me.  Hee!)

      Please do come again.

  7. Scott Hinkle says:

    Thank you for this incredibly insightful post!

    I barely stopped to analyze and make such a comparison between how children behave and how adults behave, yet it all rings true.  I think, as adults we tend to focus on “what’s important” like paying the bills and such and tend to lose sight of possibilities.

    There are many lessons we can relearn if we take the time to really look at the world around us through our younger selves perspective.

    Thanks again.  You’ve given me a lot to think about.


    1. Scott, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I’m glad the post is making you think.  That IS what it’s for, after all….

      Please do come again.

  8. Hi, I would like to thank you for the effort you put into making this post about the wonder that kids are. Every single thing you’ve written is true. 

    Kids are always finding out about the world around them and they do so relentlessly without giving up. 

    I really like the video on just how amazing kids can be. It reminds me of my brother’s kids.  They are so lovely and smart you can spend all day admiring them 

    1. Kolas, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I am glad you liked the post.  (I do have to agree.  Kids are just great possibility engines!)

      Please do come again.

  9. Hello Netta. This is incredible, kids are magnificent and lovely. They make me smile whenever I see them and I just can’t wait to have one. Kids can conform to any upbringing or situation; good or bad. 

    All what you have said is true; we can learn so much from kids. They are always learning, they don’t easily give up, they’re always curious, they have good hearts etc.

    Thanks for sharing; nice poem.

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, MrBiizy.  I am glad you found truth in the post.

      Please do come again.

  10. What a great way to look at life! Thanks for expressing this for others to consider.

    As a homeschool mom of 9 (only 2 still to complete as the other 7 are off to careers, college, etc) I have had many years to watch kids explore, learn, and grow. I love the younger years where everything is new and different. They have such a happy zest for life!

    You bring out some great points about that. If we adults can learn to look at each day as a brand new opportunity with great hope, we will probably accomplish so much more and be quite happy doing so. Imagine, for example, an inventor who cannot think beyond the “already done.”

    Have you considered coaching others, perhaps even business groups, in your concept? I think it would be well received and quite helpful.

    1. Diane, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  Your comment makes me smile.

      I did consider (and then discard) the idea of coaching other people.  My problem is that I am not patient and I am still working really, really hard on being kind.  

      Also, I am still just learning my own self.  I share what I encounter with my fellow students and together we can explore all kinds of neat mindsets and determine for ourselves whether they hold meaning for each of us.  

      And that’s the other thing.  I find everybody will walk their own road in their own way and what holds meaning for them is often an amazement to me.  

      This site is the best I can do to help with their explorations, I am thinking.  

      Please do come again.

  11. I hadn’t stopped to think about this, but there is a power in the beginner’s mind. 

    I was in fact wondering why I seemed to be more productive when I started working online than now. Or at least I was more excited about solving each problem. And it’s because I just had that beginners mentality.

    1. Cool!  I’m glad the post helped you figure that one out, Ann.  Now you can go grab that beginner mind and go play!  Hee!

      Thanks for stopping by.  Please do come again.

  12. LineCowley says:

    Spending time with my 5-year old granddaughter always makes me realizes how precious childhood is and how much we can learn through the eyes of a child. How I would love to turn back the clock and be a kid myself again, to try things in a different way and may even experience life differently. 

    Kids are so innocent and inherently they will try things that they feel comfortable with. But often it’s the adults that will interfere and prevent them from doing things. Yes, if different things are outright dangerous, it is a necessity, but the Bigs often prevent kids from exploring and learning through their own eyes and experiences.

    So guide them, without preventing them from just being kids.

    1. It’s always a balance, isn’t it? 

      Please come again.

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