As you enter the mall, you can feel that Christmas is in the air. You can see some lanterns and Christmas trees. They want to fill the atmosphere with the spirit of joy. And we love it!
You and I want to be joyful. Perhaps this is the reason why we love Christmas because during this time of the year, almost all people are happy and the atmosphere is scented with joy and laughter.
While happiness is a choice and can be experienced in any time of the year, the joy felt during Christmas is something special.
But sometimes, the special joy felt in this season gets diminished and disturbed when people say: Christmas is only for the children. This could be true. But before you turn sad thinking that you are not a child anymore, remember: All of us are children.
You don’t have to be back to that little bubbly bouncing baby boy or girl to be called a child before you can celebrate. In the eyes of our Father, we are all His children. Thus, Christmas is for all of us! So celebrate!
Last Christmas, while gazing out into the open and being caressed by the cool December breeze, this thought came to mind – you and I are invited to be a child again. What does this mean? Are we going to join the small and young children running around the park and play with them?
You probably may but being a child again can be manifested in these two ways.
First, take time to revisit your childhood dreams.
What were your childhood dreams? Have you achieved them? If yes, how can you take them further? If not, how else can you make them a reality?
It may not exactly be the version you had originally but perhaps in a different form, in a different way.
As a small boy, I dreamt of becoming a priest. Later, I wanted to become a military or police officer. Then I considered becoming a lawyer and then a teacher.
How about you? What were the professions you wanted to pursue when you were younger?
Before I entered college, I took and passed the written exams for the seminary and that of the Philippine National Police Academy. But I did not enter either of the two.
I enrolled as a political science student which I took pleasure in but only for a trimester as I shifted to accountancy after having been convinced by conversations like, “Do you want to pursue law? You had better take up accountancy as your pre-law degree.”
This is not to be prejudiced against AB Political Science as a pre-law degree (I know people who have taken this path and are doing well), but considering my personal position and the surrounding circumstances at that time, the said argument seemed sound to me. I decided to shift courses. Although I had never considered accountancy when I was in high school, the moment I was introduced to accounting, I got along with it well. Five years later, I became a Certified Public Accountant.
Aspirations, when achieved, sometimes come in a different form other than what they first manifested in our minds. Perhaps our previous knowledge was limited to capture the visions of the mind that only when a certain level of maturity is reached that our psyche comes to capture that and that previous thought finally makes sense. But as the mind and heart grow, their longing also evolve… for the better.
After passing the board examinations, I was excited to explore the world out there. I jumped in the bus bound to Makati City, entered the doors of towering buildings and presented my desire to be part of their respected companies.
“Congratulations! The firm would like to welcome you…” read the letter I received some weeks after.
I stayed with that big accounting firm for a year then later found myself working with a multi-national ship management company. For almost five years, I endured and enjoyed accounting practice in those companies.
Thoughts and visions began to unfold and the longing of a child started to whisper. The passion to become a writer and speaker manifested once again and grew stronger through the days, weeks, months and years.
While employed in that ship management company, I gave my best at work. After work, I would give my better best to put together my thoughts in paragraphs and pieces. In December 2013, I self-published my first book – financed by the generous bonus they gave that year.
In the year that came in, I was promoted to supervisor. After twenty-two months in that position, I decided to leave the company heeding the call of that inner voice. A month after, my second book came out.
There were only a few copies of the second book but it was well-received. I realized I have a good number of supportive relatives, and old and new friends.
I still am an accountant but now more of a writer, speaker, and trainer. I realized that while these aspirations were not clear when I was a little boy, the essence of the aspirations I had were actually at the very core of what I do today, that is empowering the young minds through the use of written and spoken words to communicate a compelling message, to instruct and inspire them to live their dreams with love. This is just a different version of what I dreamt of before as a child – to be a priest to proclaim a life message, or to be a protector of life like the police, military, or a lawyer.
The mission is still there, it is just in a different manner.
Dreams do evolve but the spirit of those dreams endures.
Take a look at your dreams as a child. See the essence of those dreams and see how you can align what you are doing now with the spirit of those dreams. After all, our dreams all boil down to living fully and loving openly. They just come in different forms, in different ways.
So stay committed and stay open. Our dreams as children can come to life!
Aspirations, when achieved, sometimes come in a different form other than what they first manifested in our minds.
Perhaps our previous knowledge was limited to capture the visions of the mind that only when a certain level of maturity is reached that our psyche comes to capture that and that previous thought finally makes sense.
But as the mind and heart grow, their longing also evolve… for the better.~ Chris Dao-anis, Living Large in the Little Things
Second, take time to bring back your sense of wonder.
Do you remember the time when you were amazed as you, for the first time, saw the dog wagging its tail? Do you recall how you found it so wonderful as you, for the first time, heard the crow of the cock waking you up at dawn? Do you remember the morning when you, for the first time, walked on the lawn and the dew on the grass wet your feet, and you asked, ‘Where did the water come from? It didn’t rain last night. Did the grass perspire?’? Do you recall the day when you were so excited as you finally got dressed to go to school while you were asking, ‘Mommy, are you going to come with me to school?’?
When you were a child, you experienced a lot of ‘first-times’ and you were so agog and ecstatic to experience them while asking your mother or father, ‘That is so wonderful! How did that happen? How is that possible?’
Sadly, as we grow up, the sense of wonder seems to fade. Exciting things seem to become so ordinary and mundane. We lose that gift of innocence.
As we experience life, we forget the life in those experiences. In the busyness of life, we forget the beauty of the little things. But if we try to take an inventory of life’s events, I’d say that ninety-plus percent in life are the small things – the ordinary events, experiences and encounters. In them are lessons we can learn, wisdom we can gain, and truth we need to be reminded of. In them are beauty, joy and love. In them is life.
Have you forgotten to take notice of and appreciate the simple events, experiences and encounters that come day to day? Have you lost the ability to appreciate the luster of the little?
Today, bring back that sense of wonder and life’s wonder will come back to life!
Yes, be a child again. Those dreams you had before may have morphed into something else that is more suitable to you and your circumstances. And those wonderful moments you had before could again be experienced and enjoyed.
Be a child and live life once again!
(This is an excerpt from the book Living Large in the Little Things by Chris Dao-anis. Know more about the book and order your copy here.)