Intelligent but unknowing.

That’s the definition I would use to describe my daughter. She has the intelligence to do just about anything, but she doesn’t have the knowledge that is gained through experience.

In this way, childish isn’t insulting. It can actually be an asset. Someone who doesn’t have the current knowledge doesn’t get trapped in the ruts of the current industry. Someone who doesn’t have the current knowledge is free to explore the opportunities that actually exist today, rather than those of 10 years ago.

Of course, childish is often meant as a way to say immature, however I’ve seen many “mature” adults behave badly, so I’m not sure what this definition implies. It would be better to simply tell people the nature of the way they are acting why it is wrong, instead of referring to it as childish.

The next time you hear someone mention childish, whether to you or not, think about it in the best way possible.

Here are some things that are childish:

  • Looking deeply at every object to see if you can find a detail you never noticed before.
  • Going back to experience something that you’ve already experienced to see if there is anything new to be gleaned. (Books/Movies/Etc.)
  • Trying something entirely new to you with no expectation of being good.

All of those things can have profound impacts on your life, and even on a business. Take a little more time to be childish every now and again.