Why Our Inner Child Matters

Blog_Inspiration_LittlePrinceby Benton Olivares

Do you know what I did with my Saturday night? As I curled up in bed, blankets swallowing me whole, I blubbered and sniffled while watching Netflix’s newest original film, The Little Prince. Now, I don’t want to hear any judgment or japes – you try watching that movie without feeling a vice grip tug on your soul’s strings. I won’t spoil the movie, but it’s an exploration of life, death, and the importance of your inner child. It got me thinking about my inner child; is he well nourished? According to my recently watched category, my inner child is probably fine. (Bob’s Burgers, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman… No, I don’t have a problem, thank you.)

The trouble is, where does our inner child go? We’re constantly trudging through a fog of emails and conference calls –– worrying about this and that. We need our inner child.

“Growing up isn’t the problem, forgetting is.” Sometimes I find it odd that I’m getting older. I still feel a wonderment and an unreadiness – much like what I felt when I was 18 years old. Then, I get caught up in the humdrum of bills, worrying about money, or fear of never having a career. Those ought to be an afterthought. The Little Prince showed me that things that mattered to me when I was a child ought to have more weight now that I’m an adult –– things like heart, friendship, and curiosity.

What happened to going outside and playing? The world is alive around us, and we’re too busy to live with it. As a collection of storytellers, we ought to remember that the nature of telling a story is to make a world breathe and come alive; if we can’t recognize the pulse of our environment, how can we tell a truly great story?

“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” When we create, we’re creating a world. We need our inner child because when we create we harken back to the time when we saw the world with wild-eyed curiosity. We made our first joke and we saw how we can make people laugh. Thinking like an adult and worrying about deadlines and budget hinders the creative process, and stifles the inner child that is trying to play.

Science can back me up. According a study done by Neuro-Insight and ThinkBox, higher levels of emotion and affection in branded content elicited a 10% higher response in audiences than those with lower levels.

Make your ideas have heart because that’s the only thing that audiences are going to attach themselves to. You could have the most beautiful prose, or the most astonishing cinematography, but it’s all just a pretty shell, in the end. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and pour everything into the creation because, while the essentials are largely invisible, they can be felt. When you make people feel, that’s when you’ve engaged them. When you’re operating under the constrictive guise of statistics, demographics, or trying to go “viral,” your content loses its heart. When you’re creating freely and letting your inner child take the reins for a while, you might stumble upon something truly extraordinary.