Six Lessons We Learned in Kindergarten that Still Apply Today

December 4, 2014

Something not everyone knows is that I got my job here at Baudville thanks in part to an old schoolmate. Not from college or high school, but kindergarten. Crazy, right?

You never know who will be a connection in your life, so it definitely pays to always play nice, doesn't it? We learned that in kindergarten, and, if we actually applied that early lesson in the years that followed, we probably made it pretty far. What else did we learn...?


Not Everyone Is Norman Rockwell. Now that guy knew how to color inside the lines! And, he did pretty well for himself by sticking to the rules. But you know who else had a successful career as an artist? Jackson Pollock. I'm not telling you to disobey the authorities in your life, but you might find that something pretty spectacular can happen when you lose your barriers and boundaries. Remember, the phrase “think outside the box” came from somewhere!

Recess Is Important. There's a reason we had lots of breaks throughout the day when we were in school—they let us release pent up energy, helped us get the blood flowing, and they gave our brains a rest right when we needed it. Hey, guess what? We all still need those moments, probably even more so, considering that now our lives are complicated by far bigger concerns than who pulled whose hair or what our afternoon snack will be. So, do yourself a favor: get up from your desk and stretch every so often. If you need to, set a reminder. I use Time Out Free (for Mac) or you can try Rest Break for (PC). Just make sure to check with your IT guy before you hit download!

Change Is OK. Mrs. Reagan was quite possibly the best kindergarten teacher ever. Occasionally, she would wear a wig to school and, when she entered the classroom, we would all gasp, thinking for a split second that we had a substitute. In those formative years wanted nothing other than the real deal (this would change, of course, in high school). This simple act taught us that not everything will be as expected—or as it seems. In our working lives, the more we flex our thinking, keep our minds open to new things, and anticipate more than we react the better we'll be able to handle change. Because change is one thing we can all be sure of.

Sometimes You Get to Show & Tell. What a great concept. The spotlight is on you to share with everyone a skill that makes you special or a possession that is meaningful to you. In turn, your peers gain that information, too. The act of sharing is critical to building friendships and relationships no matter what age you are. It's so important that we made it one of Baudville's core values. What wisdom can you impart to your peers that will help them grow, develop, and appreciate what you contribute to the team? Don't keep it inside: show and tell!

Other Times You Need Listen & Learn. You enjoyed your time to shine; now it's your turn to be still, open your ears, and hear what others have to say. When you were a kid, that could be difficult—you wanted to wiggle, you wanted to giggle, and you wanted to follow your mind wherever it wanted to go. But, you got scolded for that, didn't you? As adults, it's not much different. Our own agendas and opinions can prevent us from wanting to listen to others. While we rarely actually get scolded, there are still repercussions when we don't listen: we make preventable mistakes, we limit our understanding, and don't discover new ways of thinking. Shhh...did you hear that?

Recognition Motivates. I have in my possession a Happy Gram that was sent home to my parents nearly 40 years ago. Still have it. Yep. Even as a flighty, daydreaming, mischief-making little girl I knew the power of a positive note. And how to earn one. I knew these notes made my parents happy—and if they were happy, my possibilities were endless. These days, I don't (very often) show my mom & dad the notes of appreciation and encouragement I receive, but I still find them motivating. As an adult, being proud of myself and my work is what matters most—and the recognition I receive when I'm doing a good job is my barometer.

What did you learn in kindergarten that you still use today? Leave us a comment—we'd love to hear it!

Allison is currently living out the elaborate fantasy she described to her now-former staff and colleagues in early 2001. With a hearty dose of courage and absolutely no plan of action, she abruptly left her middle-management job to become a writer—and today she is doing just that in her role as Baudville’s Senior Content Writer. She’s here to tell you everything she’s learned in her 20-years+ professional life, plus a lot more. She’s wordy like that!

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