I Wish...

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about wishes. 

For many of us, when we were kids wishes were ripe with the magic of possibility.  And I see that in my kids now.  Blowing out birthday candles, or tugging on a wishbone, or tossing a coin into a fountain, or blowing  a dandelion into the wind… all of those are invitations to wish, and wish they do. With sparkling eyes and a sense of excitement, they wish. And they believe wholeheartedly that their wish just might come true—because why wouldn’t it?

Something changes about wishes when we become adults. For many of us, wishes are no longer full of magic and possibilities.  Instead wishes are associated with fear, regret, or disappointment.   I wish I could go back to school; I wish I could ask for that raise; I wish I hadn’t yelled at my kids; I wish that relationship had worked; I wish I had time to go to the gym; I wish my house was nicer; I wish I could take my family on vacation; I wish I was skinnier; I wish my life was like theirs; I wish I could figure out how to set up this computer; I wish I had a dog; I wish I didn’t have so much debt; I wish, I wish, I wish.

I want to get back to the first kind of wishing. The kind of wishing that fills me with excitement rather than regret. The kind of wishing that, instead of saying “How could I possibly…?”, says “Well, why not??”

Why not?

I think kids are also good at pushing their wishes into actions.  When they say “I wish we could…” or “I want to…”, it’s usually immediately followed with a version of “So, how are we going to make that happen?” or “When can we start?” There is a built in assumption of success.

When I get caught up in the second kind of wishing, I can easily fall into a helpless state of mind—throwing my hands up in the air and declaring defeat. Declaring defeat before I’ve even entertained the possibility of success. That’s not very productive, is it?

So today I’m going to start wishing like a child again. I wish to be done declaring defeat. I wish to entertain the possibility of success. I wish to explore options, discover pathways, and dream BIG. I also wish to remember that “life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful,” and that beauty is all around me if I just open my eyes to see it.

And I wish the same for you, too.

How can you wish like a child today?

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.