habit zero #117

my insight


I took my youngest child to the kindergarten today, and during this five-minute walk, we tried to find interesting things in the street.

We saw a heart-shaped balloon stuck on a tree, and a cat crossing the road. We saw some puddles left from yesterday’s rain. And then we saw a big tree with purple flowers — so unique among all the naked trees at this time of the year. And with it came the beautiful mistake which is today’s Insight, when my son called it is a cyclamen tree.



We all love those innocent “mistakes” children do. Most of the time they make us laugh. We might even write them down so we can remember them in the future and maybe even manage to embarrass our children with them.

I love these “mistakes” because they give us a peek into a mind not yet rigid and aligned with “the right way” to see the world.

This beautiful mistake my son made is the result of a surprising connection between a particular kind of a purple flower and this tree which happens to have purple flowers. Maybe he thinks every purple flower is cyclamen, or perhaps the purple color just triggered this association now. It doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that an adult would probably not make such a mistake, but it is such mistakes — such strange surprising associations — which are at the heart of so many creative insights.

Listening mindfully to how kids see and experience the world is priceless. Not just because their view is still uncorrupted by experience and things we consider truths, but because it is a reminder that everything is possible and constraints are often only in our mind.

mental notes


  • Learn how to see the world from kids.

the challenge


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