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  • Writer's pictureMark Milow

Lessons from a 2 year old

I have always been a highly motivated, goal-driven person. Whether in my professional life or my personal life, setting and achieving goals is a constant for me. You might say that is how I am “wired”. But constantly pursuing goals can lead to undue stress and anxiety. And it often takes a reminder from the world around me to slow down and refocus my priorities.

Take for example my grandson Cooper. My whole world changed with the birth of my first grandchild! I never thought I could love anyone more than my son…until my grandson was born! He is an absolute joy! AND…he has been a great teacher to me in reminding me of some basic principles. What can a child who is not even 2 years old teach a man my age? Well, plenty! If I am willing to watch and learn.

You see, one thing that drives me crazy about Cooper (and all children his age) is that Cooper is not in a hurry for anything. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Cooper moves at his own pace. He explores. He looks. He discovers. He is in a constant state of wonder and amazement! And for a grandfather who is always on the go (he calls me “Pops”), trying to get my grandson to “keep up” when we would go for a walk was a major challenge! Until I realized that Cooper did not need to speed up…Pops actually needed to slow down. I realized that I had more to gain by mirroring his behavior than he could gain by following my example. I have included a photograph that says so much. On a walk with the family, Cooper was “bringing up the rear”, lagging way behind everyone else. At moments like that as a grownup, it is easy to say, “Get a move on, Kid!” But what was Cooper doing behind everyone else? That’s right…as clear as day, you can see Cooper taking time to smell the flowers. Cooper wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass to find out what these pretty blooms smelled like! Talk about a powerful lesson learned from an 18-month-old child!

After this photo was taken, taking time to explore, keeping my mind open to learning, and cherishing the time spent with loved ones has become more of my focus and “goal”. Sometimes, the best advice is to “go back to the basics”. And at my age, seeing the world more through the eyes of a child is a very refreshing lesson to learn! Thank you, Cooper, for the valuable life lesson!

young boy bending over to smell large arrangement of bright pink flowers
Take time to smell the flowers


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