My 4.5 year old daughter woke up in the middle of the night and called for me.  Normally this is because she’s cold, thirsty or had a bad dream.  This time it was a bit different..

Daddy:  Are you OK Maya?
Maya: Daddy.  Have I ever seen a hedgehog?
Daddy: No Maya, I don’t think you have.
Maya: Oh.  I really want to see one one day.  Will you help me?
Daddy: Of course Maya, we’ll try and find one soon.  Goodnight.
Maya: Goodnight.

The next day Maya reminded me of our conversation and drew a picture of a hedgehog to remind herself and my wife and I of her desire to one day see a real-life hedgehog.

Whilst I love any surreal interaction like this with Maya what really struck me about this particular interaction was how Maya had gone about setting herself a new challenge…

– She’d thought about something she hadn’t done before, an experience she’d never had.
– The moment she realised it she took it very seriously, calling out at 3 in the morning to make sure it wasn’t forgotten
– She immediately shared her ambition with somebody else (i.e. a sleepy Daddy) and asked for the help she needed
– She reminded me about it the next day and drew a picture as a formal reminder
– Every time we see the hedgehog picture it reminds us all of her ambition

What a great strategy for personal development and adventure without having ever gone on any formal coaching training!

I decided I’d try and learn from her, base my ambitions on having experiences I haven’t had yet, taking them seriously, writing them down and sharing them with others.

Once again, my creativity mentor had shared her wisdom with me.

And no, we’ve still not found a real-life hedgehog so any hedgehog hunting tips would be much appreciated!