Harvey Mackay Academy's Blog

During an open house at school, little Jenny began talking to one of her classmates.

“Who is that little boy?” asked her mother.


“What is Tommy’s whole name?

The daughter responded, “The teacher calls him Tommy Sitdown.”

I’m celebrating kids today in honor of National Children’s Day, June 9, because kids teach us so many lessons that we forget as we become older.

For example, kids are more creative and are more imaginative. Children don’t know what is and isn’t possible. To them everything is doable.

Kids also dream more and dream bigger. I remind my audiences to believe in yourself, even when no one else does. No one does this better than children. They believe they can do anything and everything. 

Children are fearless. They don’t fear rejection or what people think of them. They don’t worry about the future.

Children start anew every day. They are not afraid to try new things. They are happy. They strive to do what makes them happy. And they laugh a lot.

Children forgive and forget. If they get upset, they are typically on to something else soon after, and they forget what was troubling them. They don’t hold grudges.

Children make friends easily. They understand that the best vitamin for developing friends is B1.

Children are incredibly perceptive. They can spot a phony with dizzying speed, and while tact isn’t always among their strongest attributes, their blunt honesty is hard to argue with.

Kids get excited about life in general. They see everything with fresh eyes, knowing they will find something new and different every time they look.

My friend, the late Jim Rohn, a master speaker and motivator, encouraged folks to “practice being like a child.” Jim said there are four ways to be more like a child, no matter how old you are.

First, become curious. “Learn to be curious like a child. Kids can ask a million questions. You think they’re through. They’ve got another million .… Kids use their curiosity to learn.”

Next, “learn to get excited like a child . . . so excited you hate to go to bed at night. Can’t wait to get up in the morning. So excited that you’re about to explode.” Then he takes it a step further: “If you’re too old to get excited, you’re too old.”

Faith is Jim’s third childlike quality. He said: “Adults too often have a tendency to be overly skeptical. Some adults even have a tendency to be cynical.” He added that adults need proof that something is good before they will believe it. Kids aren’t that way. According to Jim: “Kids think you can get anything. They are really funny. You notice the difference?”

Finally, Jim cited trust as a childish virtue that many adults have forgotten. “Have you heard the term ‘sleep like a baby?’ That’s it. Childish trust. After you have gotten an A+ for the day, leave it in somebody else’s hands,” he said.

Herb Cohen, author of “The New York Times” bestseller, “You Can Negotiate Anything,” thinks children are among the most successful negotiators. He told me, “Children are people without formal authority or power, yet they seem to get what they want.”

Herb listed four examples: Number one, children aim high. They understand that if you ask for more you get more.

Two, “No” is an open bargaining position. A lot of people think “no” is final. Not children.

Three, kids form coalitions. If they get a no from their mother, they go to their father, then to their grandparents.

Lastly, kids tend to be tenacious and persistent. They wear you down. So be persistent, repeat your point over and over again. Wear the other side down.

Children are good negotiators because they are naïve. They say things like, “I don’t know. I don’t understand. Help me.” So, think like an adult, but negotiate like a child.

Biologist Rachel Carson observed, “A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I would ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life….”

Mackay’s Moral: Listen to your inner child. 

About the Author

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.