by Jennifer Ottolino

I was taking a walk around my neighborhood recently and was befriended by a six-year-old girl. This charming child decided to impart her life wisdom on me. Here are the lessons I learned:

  1. It’s natural to feel good about yourself. I told my new friend that she had pretty eyes. She looked up at me and said, “I know”. There was no question for her, no debate, and no dismissal. She accepted the comment because, to her, it was natural to feel good about herself. I began to wonder; at what point in the development of our children do we teach them not to appreciate their finer qualities. At what point do we teach children to feel badly about themselves? Appreciate yourself every day. Feel good about yourself –, it’s natural.
  2. Promote your strengths. At one point during our conversation, my new friend looked at me and said, “You know, I can run really fast.” She was good at things, and she wanted to make sure that I knew it. I wonder, why do we tell ourselves that it is not good to promote what we’re good at? At what point do we change from being proud of our strengths, to hiding our best qualities. Can you remember the last time you gave someone a compliment and they did not just dismiss the comment? I can’t. The next time someone thanks you or acknowledges an accomplishment, say thank you and pat yourself on the back. Feel good about your strengths and they will serve you well.
  3. Find enjoyment in everything. My friend found enjoyment in everything from school, to friends, to her family. Her joys were simple things, like riding her bike, passing a test, and swinging on the swing sets. Find joy in the simple things, appreciate them, and be grateful for them. You will find that your world starts to look like a much better place.
  4. Be active. In the 20 minutes we spent together, my new friend walked the balance beam, swung on the swing sets, rode her bike, and demonstrated her running skills. She never sat still. I believe it is our body’s natural desire to be active. Let your body fulfill its purpose. Get some activity. The benefits you receive will be long and many.
  5. Have Fun. I asked her what she likes to do and Her response was, “I like to have fun!”. I think that sums up the conversation into a powerful message; Do what brings you joy and have fun.

Sometimes the most profound lessons are the simplest ones. I went out for a walk and got a lesson in life.

Jennifer Ottolino is a Personal and Professional Coach who works with individuals to create there ideal personal and professional life. We all have a path, are you walking yours? Visit her website at or subscribe to her monthly newsletter Life Tips at

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