11 Tips for Living A Happy and Carefree Life

Do you remember life when you were 5 years old? How full of wonder the world appeared to you? How much FUN everything was? Everyday was filled with anything you could imagine!

Then you got older and suddenly your days were filled with punching the time clock at work, checking off endless lists of to-do’s, and mapping out plans to improve your life over the next three months to 5 years.

The “real world” swept in and with it an unnecessary amount of stress and pressure to do more, reach higher, and go further. 

While the days of childhood wonder may be behind us, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a joyful and lightheartedness approach towards life. We just need to listen to the advice of our inner child, which is how these rules created by Lloyd Burnett, life coach and spiritual teacher, caught my eye.

He realized that his inner 5-year old was actually wiser, in some ways, than his fully grown self, because he lived by a set of rules that we, as adults, could all stand to be reminded of.

Below are 11 rules his inner 5-year-old self taught him for living a happier and more carefree life.


1. Cry whenever you want

If something didn’t resonate, if I couldn’t figure it out and/or felt incapable of changing it, I cried furiously for a couple minutes. Every time I did, something magical happened: The emotion ran its course and went away.

Takeaway: Emotions just want to be expressed or released. If I give them my full attention when they come knocking, they don’t linger and color my experience of reality indefinitely.

2. Look at everything as if you were seeing it for the first time

As a child, I could watch a movie 30 times and find something funny or interesting in it every time.

Takeaway: All it takes to experience or learn something new in a familiar situation is a fresh pair of eyes.

3. Cultivate imagination

At 5 years old, my imagination ran wild. I could find the joy in any situation because my inner world was so much richer and more important to me than my outer world.

Takeaway: If I add a dash of imagination to my life, I can spice up any reality that feels scary, distasteful, or boring.

4. Sing, dance, clap, etc. — whenever you want

As a 5-year-old, if I liked a song, when the beat dropped, I didn’t care where I was or who was looking: I stopped what I was doing and busted a move.

Takeaway: It feels good to move and let music take over my body. The barrier is mental. I don’t need to be afraid of people judging me.

5. Ask a bazillion questions

Without self-consciousness — a sense that you should know or understand something — pretending that I knew anything I didn’t made no sense. I wanted to understand everything: to peel back the layers, discover new truths, and witness the awesomeness of the universe.

Takeaway: Having the curiosity of a beginner (even with topics that I’m considered to be an expert in) is crucial to staying passionate and motivated, feeling the vastness and potential of life.

6. Dream big

I had big plans as a 5-year-old. I was going to become a scientist, be a famous actor, and build a spaceship.

Takeaway: Limits are self-imposed. Being realistic never helped anybody change the world.

7. Trust that everything is OK

I had no fears about tomorrow. I never worried that anyone would want to hurt me. It just didn’t occur to me.

Takeaway: Even if my reality feels uncomfortable, it won’t feel uncomfortable forever. Everything will always be OK if I accept that it is.

8. Don’t take responsibility for everyone else’s feelings

If I didn’t like the food my mom cooked, I had no problem saying “ewww” and spiting it out right in front of her.

Takeaway: While growing up does mean learning to be considerate of other people’s feelings, it is not my job to manage other people’s feelings. My first priority is to speak my truth and honor my feelings.

9. See the good in everybody

Once when I was 5, I was in an elevator and grabbed a stranger’s hand. I thought he looked cool and I wanted to make a new friend. My parents freaked out and made me let go.

Takeaway: We can choose to see the good in people or allow learned behaviors to determine whom and when we open up.

10. Find contentment with the smallest of things

That year, I got a telescope for Christmas and was more interested in the box and wrapping paper than the actual telescope. I just loved the picture of Santa and his reindeer printed all over the paper.

Takeaway: There’s joy to be found in any and every situation — even if others don’t see the value.

11. Change your mind whenever you want

One day I loved tomatoes. The next day I hated them.


Takeaway: When my thoughts, beliefs, values, and tastes change it’s because I’m alive and evolving. Change only stops when I’m dead.

About The Author: Ashlei is the creative director of Kinks are the New Pink, a lifestyle blog dedicated to inspiring & guiding women to style life their own way. To her, style is more than how you dress, do your hair, or decorate your apartment – it’s about how you relate and create in every area of life. In her spare time she enjoys diving into a variety of passions including writing, reading, eating (preferably with a glass of wine or tumbler of bourbon), traveling, and working on her photography skills.  She’s a recent Mrs. and resides in Chicago with her husband, DCT, and 3 (yes, 3) cats.


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