I’ve shown this particular video near the end of every speaking program I’ve done over the past several years. It chronicles an adventure Kim and I had in Colorado Springs in which we became VERY close friends with a herd of giraffes.
It usually gets a pretty good reaction from the crowd, including laughs and giggles of both delight and disgust.
The video is a little misleading, however.
You see, Kim originally heard the idea of feeding giraffes in this particular way from a man we met at a gig. We discussed it in our hotel room and decided it was a splendid idea. But when we got to the zoo and stood face-to-face with the googley-eyed, hairy-chined, goofy-looking animals, we almost chickened out.
One reason we went through with it is because of you.
If you frequent this site, you probably have an image of me and Kim as champions of fun. It’s an image that has built up over the years, one which we have enthusiastically embraced. Now I like to think we’re pretty fun people, but we know a lot of people who are just as fun (and even moreso) than us. But the reason we embrace this image is because it’s a worthy goal. It’s a picture of the kind of people we really want to be.
I often think back on the best teachers I’ve ever had (including my parents). The thing they all had in common was that they held me to a higher standard. They didn’t let me settle for average. They had a vision for me which was higher than where I was at the time. Their belief and expectations encouraged and challenged me to become that person they knew I could become.
Being Jason of “Kim & Jason” is kind of like that. There’s a little pressure to be a happy-go-lucky, never-stressed, perfectly-balanced ball of fun. But I don’t mind it, because that’s the sort of person I want to become. (And some days, I even do a pretty good job of it.)
So Kim and I went through with the giraffe shenanigans largely because of peer pressure.
But the confession doesn’t end there.
The first few attempts in the video are admittedly a little lame, or at least more reserved than the latter ones. Once we got through the first few, we thought we were done filming. We did what we came there to do. We were proud that we went through with it and relieved that it was over.
Then we saw some kids doing it.
They took our idea and elevated it to a whole new level. They were much more daring. And they were having a lot more fun. After watching them for a few minutes, we knew our filming had just begun.
We bought more crackers, got a little bit more wild, and had a blast. The clips at the end of the video are the result, and they are what transform the movie from mildly amusing to magical.
There are two morals to this story.
First of all, we struggle with Adultitis just like you. Our mission is to publicly work on annihilating the Adultitis within is and the world around us, while sharing what works and encouraging you to do the same. We are as inspired by your efforts in the fight as we hope you are of ours. You help keep us accountable, and for that we are thankful.
Secondly, as the kids at the zoo demonstrated, children are the best teachers. They’re little guides with wisdom we often overlook. That’s why we call them sherpas. What we try to do is point out the genius of children and give you permission to be more like them.
So, if you’re ever in doubt about how life should really be lived, ignore us and go watch some kids.
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