High achievers are keen on self-improvement, often have mentors, and look to others they want to emulate. But the best role models actually are little kids, says Denise Fournier in Psychology Today. She makes the great points that children tend to say exactly what they're thinking, are naturally mindful and good at enjoying the here and now, know how to have fun, and understand the value of playing. They also are authentic and express themselves without pretense, and ask for help when they need it.

What about you? Do you say what you mean? Are you head-up (off your phone or computer) enjoying the moment? Do you have enough fun? Do you try to impress people, or are you comfortable in your skin? Are you humble enough to admit you can't do everything on your own? Many adults would be better off behaving more like kids.

Here are a few more things children tend to do better than big people.

1. They look forward to the future.

Getting older is something kids actually want. But adults can have a hopeful mindset, too. Instead of dreading your next birthdays, imagine a future life in which you are happy and healthy and surrounded by people who love you. Do whatever it takes now to increase your chances of making this a reality.

2. They laugh a lot.

When is the last time you had a good belly laugh? Lighten up, learn how to laugh at yourself, and make laughter something that you practice every day. It's attractive and contagious and will make the people in your world smile.   

3. They understand the value of their relationships.

Young children need their parents and want to spend time with them. It should be the same thing with you and the people you care about--researchers have found that love is the key to happiness. A famous longitudinal study that followed 268 Harvard undergraduates throughout their lives found that even if a man succeeded in work, amassed piles of money, and experienced good health, without loving relationships he wouldn't be happy. So, what are you doing to invest in your relationships?

4. They don't worry.

Kids shouldn't have a lot to worry about if they're part of a normal functioning family. But neither should you. Nearly one in five people has some kind of anxiety disorder, which is the most common mental illness in the U.S. If this is you, be honest and admit that 90 percent of what you worry about never comes to fruition. The other benefit to removing fear and anxiety from your life: You'll appear more confident, a character trait that breeds success.

5. They bring their mom flowers.

The thought behind a bouquet of dandelions is priceless. If your parents aren't close enough for you to see in person on a regular basis, make it a habit to call them at least once a week. Good people do this--just put it on your calendar.

Published on: Oct 21, 2017
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