The 8 Life & Business Lessons My 4 Year Old Little Buddha Taught Me

boy swingingNext door to me lives a precocious four year old who I am convinced is more wise than many of those I have met throughout my career journey.  Instead of calling him my buddy, I might just have to start calling him my Little Buddha, although I am not sure how to explain that one to him.

This week his mom and dad needed a little help in adjusting to dad’s new job.  He does not get home by the time mom needs to leave for her job so this is how I get to help. It has not been for quite an hour each day, but boy, can that kid pack a lot in an hour!

“I have to fart”

My buddy is a huge car guy, he loves to climb in and pretend he is driving. The other day he abruptly stopped while we were ‘driving’ and looked at me and said, “I’ll be right back” I asked where he was going and he told me he had to fart. He then got out of the vehicle, pointed his little butt away from the car and then hopped back in to continue driving.

Be kind and respectful to others

“I’m sour”

As we were sitting outside there were a few bugs that were swooping down on us. He swatted at one and told it, “You don’t want to eat me, I’m sour”

We are not all the same – accept yourself just the way you are

“I’m scared”

I have three dogs, two are pretty good size. Luke is his favorite, and the biggest. Luke is a Lab mix who we have decided bounces like Tigger. Every day we come in the house and are greeted by three exuberant dogs.

Every day he huddles behind me when we first get in the door and the pack runs toward us tails wagging and says, “I’m scared”. Every day he then comes out from behind me and giggles when Luke gives him a puppy kiss.

It is okay to be afraid, come out from hiding anyway

“Can I have a pickle?”

He has been helping me feed the dogs. After he counts out the food scoops, puts the bowls down and gets them all settled, he asks for a pickle. He loves to eat a sweet pickle that I have stabbed on a fork (so he doesn’t get pickle juice running down his hands and arms). I am not sure if it is the pickle or the neat way of eating it that he likes, either way, this is a new tradition.

Define your own rewards

“Can I do that?”

He has helped me feed the dogs, fill up the fountain, pull weeds and fill the bird feeder. He has asked me if what he can do that day. He loves helping – plus these are all short little tasks perfect for our short attention spans. He takes great delight in performing these tasks and makes sure he does a good job.

Look for something new to do, even if it is work, you might just enjoy it

“I love you Lisa”

Yesterday we were in between driving (him driving us to the drug store for cough syrup, then the store for dog food) and I found a sheet of bubble wrap. He popped it with his fingers, twisted it with his hands, stomped on it with his feet and even tried to elbow it to pop all the bubbles. In between the fun his little voice said, “I love you Lisa” and then went back to bubble destruction.

Take the time to say nice things

“When I am a dog I can eat that”

When he was helping me feed the dogs he asked that when he is a dog, would he be able to eat their food. When we were filling the bird feeder, he asked that when he is a bird, would he eat that bird food. When watching the bees on the flowers – you get the idea. I never questioned when he was going to transform into these things or why he thought he would, I just enjoyed the imagination and his process of learning.

Put yourself in new situations and take a look at the world from there

“It’s gone now”

He was telling me about a recent injury and trying to describe it in as much detail as possible. When it got to the point of showing me the “owwie”, he could not find it. He looked and looked then simply said, “it’s gone now, it does not hurt”

Let go of the past, it is gone now, it does not have to hurt anymore

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I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:

Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility

Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.

–Lisa

Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at colleges, professional organizations and companies around the US speaking to leadership, sales and athletic teams; transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.

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