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child, childhood, children, clarity, encouragement, failure

Beginning: My 4-Year Old Niece Taught Me That There is Always a Reason to Try

Lorelei and I at her Fall Festival. She got her face painted like a butterfly.

I spent the Thanksgiving holidays in Florida, and got a lot of time with my 4-year old niece, Lorelei. She likes to play the game I call “Touch the Ceiling” where she asks me to reach way up on my tip-toes and then jump to see if I can touch the ceiling. I’m 5’2″ and the ceilings in my niece’s house are at least 10 feet if not more. My vertical is decent but it’s not that good.

I laughed the first time she asked me to do that and told her that I couldn’t touch the ceiling because I was too short. “Well, you could always try,” she said to me. This back and forth happened multiple times over the holidays. Lorelei would ask me to do something like figure out how to fly up into the sky, put both feet behind my head, and open up a seemingly un-openable bottle cap. Each time I would say I didn’t think I could do it, and each time she would tell me I could try. And she was right – we have nothing to lose by trying.

After this exchange happened a few times, Lorelei got me thinking about all of the times I say to myself, “Oh, I just don’t think this is going to work.” And then I remember her wise and wonderful counsel – give it a go and maybe I’ll surprise myself. And what’s the worse that will happen? I won’t make it, and that’s okay, too. At least I gave it a shot. Failure isn’t as bad a we make it out to be. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that this advice will serve me well in the new year. I hope it helps you, too.

(Thanks to Yoga Freedom’s prompt yesterday through Reverb11. The question “What lesson or piece of wisdom did you learn from a child this year? Did it surprise you?” inspired this post. And thanks to Jeffrey Davis for suggesting that I participate in Reverb11 through Yoga Freedom. So glad I took that advice!)

About Christa Avampato

I am a product developer and ed tech product manager who is equally inspired by new technology and ancient wisdom, a yoga and meditation teacher who learns from my students every day, and a writer who believes that creativity and determination is the most powerful duo on Earth. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. I now work for an innovative ed tech startup in Washington D.C. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events that make people happy. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. Follow my adventures at My Google Profile+


3 thoughts on “Beginning: My 4-Year Old Niece Taught Me That There is Always a Reason to Try

  1. thanks for posting this one Christa – we’ll see if I have any new learnings to share after Christmas 2011!!! :)


    Posted by ursula | December 14, 2011, 7:39 am


  1. Pingback: Live the questions. (reverb11) | elephant journal - December 27, 2011

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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Sunrise above the clouds today. I'm always grateful for travel & always grateful to return to a home I love so much. Until next time, Europe...

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