Are You Delightable?

art by jason

How delightableare you? When it comes to delightability, kids are king.

The next time you’re around children, pay close attention to them. Notice how delighted they are to find a penny on the ground (even more so when they get to throw it into a fountain). Observe how excited they become when they get to push the elevator button. It won’t take long, but after some serious study, you’ll start to smile at the little things kids get excited about. Kids are thrilled by lightning bugs, bubble baths, and the intricacy of a snowflake. They’re turned on my helium balloons, bedtime stories, and cereal box prizes. It is undeniable that kids make a big deal out of little things; as far as I can tell, they seem to be having a pretty good time.

Adults however, are a different story.

As we grow up, Adultitis sets in. We walk around with a “been there, done that, got-the-t-shirt” attitude. We’ve seen it all (or so we think), so it takes more and more to impress us. And that is a dangerous and expensive road to be on.

Eventually, complacency and cynicism set in, and that’s the kiss of death. Not only to a passionate life, but a successful one as well. The fact is that people who are delightable are way better off than those who aren’t.

People who are delightable have better relationships.

If you’re not delightable, good luck finding friends. Who wants to be in the company of a know-it-all who is impossible to impress and is always looking past you for the next big thing? On the other hand, people who are delightable are more fun to be around. They ask great questions. They respond to your stories enthusiastically. And they have a sense of anticipation about them that just makes life feel more exciting when you’re together. Who would you rather be?

People who are delightable are more successful.

The more delightable you are, the more receptive you are to the little things that can make a big difference. Anything can be interesting, so you live life with eyes wide open. You’re more able to see opportunities that others miss and notice connections that can help you solve your most pressing problems. And the ability to celebrate tiny successes keeps you fired up so you don’t burn out on the path to your big goal.

People who are delightable enjoy life more.

Kids go crazy for Cracker Jack prizes. Guess what? Life is FILLED with Cracker Jack prizes; those little treasures hidden just below our hurried consciousness. The smell of a newborn baby. The watercolor sunset of a summer day. The feeling of walking barefoot on a beach. The sound of rain on the rooftop — on a day you get to sleep in. It’s the stuff we miss when we’re racing through life like a chicken with its head cut off. Life really is all about the journey. And the journey is made richer when you slow down enough to notice and appreciate the Cracker Jack prizes along the way. To become awakened to and get caught up in the mundane details and hidden surprises that often get lost in the ebb and flow of our busy days are among the greatest blessings life has to offer.

If life seems to have lost its magic, take a cue from kids and practice becoming more delightable. With a potential new discovery just around the corner, your life will surely become more exciting, fulfilling, and fun.

P.S. This post was inspired by the newest book from my nametag wearing buddy, Scott. It’s called ABLE: 35 Strategies for Increasing the Probability of Success in Business and in Life. He’s got ideas to make you more buzzable, meetable, pursuable, retweetable, and successable (among other things). I’m not sure if delightable is actually a word, but it should be. And speaking of shoulds, this book (and all of Scott’s books) should be required reading for every human.

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  1. Scott says:

    Great post! I forget to delight sometimes. Ooh look something shiny!!!

  2. I LOVE this post. So perfectly timed, too. Heading to the beach for a few days with our kids, and I’ve been just an overworked hag lately. I am going to focus precisely on recognizing and enjoy those “Cracker Jack Moments.” Thank you!

    • Yikes. “Overworked Hag” sounds like a Disney character (and not one that resembles Snow White.) Here’s hoping a little sand and surf served you well ;)

  3. Being easily-entertained is such a great trait. We’re all born with it, but somewhere in the teenage years it gets suppressed, and then dies off.

    I find that running, walking, or riding bicycle along roads that I often drive through helps to foster a delightfulness and curiousness that wasn’t previously there. Driving along at 55ish mph causes me to miss much of the little things that I later notice when I slow down. Even the ugliest of roads has its own wonders if and when you go slow enough.

    Just thought I’d share that tip :)

    Thanks for sharing guys!

    – JC

    • Good tip, Josh! I think any time we can get out of our daily ruts (those moldy places where Adultitis likes to fester), we are sure to see and enjoy things we wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

  4. Hey there! Came across your site via Josh (from comment above) and love it! I have a 2 year old son and my eyes and therefore life see things like never before. I want to learn to live like he does and yet more than that I don’t ever want him to grow up and become an adult and loose his zest for life. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out on here…good stuff.

    Thanks, Nichole

    • Thanks Nichole — great to have you around! Our little girl is almost two, and I LOVE seeing the world through her eyes! Some people have claimed that kids are the cause of Adultitis, but I believe they are actually a pretty good cure!

  5. Great post and something I can really attest. Trying to come up with a strip based around children (just like yours) has led to a good deal of observation on my part, and that is precisely one thing I’ve noticed. Kids are masters of finding joy in the simplest things in life. It makes you ponder how -and specially why- you lose that sense of wonder and joy over the years. There are too many times in life where my critic, cynical and wary adult self tries to sneak in and be all self-important and when it does, I’m not really proud of that. Truth is, nobody likes a sourpuss around. Bringing in joy and enthusiasm to those who surround you can only bring in more joy and good vibes around you, and we can’t have enough of that.

    • Yes, we adults often walk around with a “been there, done that, got the t-shirt attitude.” It takes more and more to impress us. What a shame, huh?
      But well worth trying to fight against, that’s for sure!

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