We Are All Children at Heart Posted on Sunday, 20 March 2016
A senior executive, dressed in a smart suit doodles in his notebook while feigning to pay attention to his subordinate’s report. As his reports rattle off figures, he etches out a roaring sea, seagulls, and a three-masted yacht all against the background of a setting sun. On another occasion, a taxi driver, while taking me home, strikes up a conversation about his plans to open an Asian restaurant, like the one his grandfather had; where — as a boy — he helped him in a kitchen. While meeting an ex-classmate from an Executive MBA program, he tells me about an exciting offer to purchase a large, abandoned collective farm, restore it, and move there with his family. He still recalls his early holidays at his grandma’s country house, the smell of fresh milk and hay, as the happiest time in his life.
As adults we are accountable for bringing up children, paying off mortgages, meeting quarterly sales targets and taking care of our parents. We believe that we do almost everything necessary to be happy. Nevertheless — and more often than not — we tend to miss out on those moments of reaching a state of serene and carefree happiness we would dream about while growing up. We commonly achieve much, but don’t let ourselves implement the childhood dream.
We are adults, so we know that milk cannot be green. That there are no stores that sell only sweets. That ice cream should not be made from pumpkin or aubergines. We learn that conformity is good. That standing out, crossing lines and breaking rules, as well as experimenting outside of accepted boundaries will not be encouraged. The happiest of us, however, not only preserve their childhood dreams but make them an integral part of our everyday lives. Those lucky few who can accomplish this are twice blessed—they surprise the world with new products without working a single day, as fulfilling the dream is not so much work but fun.
Long ago, two average Joes decided they wanted to make the most unusual and tasty ice-cream in the world. They signed up for a course at local culinary college and founded a company. They used the best available ingredients and the most unusual flavours, such as caramel with Himalayan Salt. As a result of their great effort, they won hearts of millions of consumers. Cucumber-flavoured lemonade, individually packaged bananas, an umbrella one doesn't need to hold, inflatable hangers, and warming-cooling jackets — all of these came to life because of some open-minded, proactive individuals who realized what they had dreamed about as children. I know kindergartens, architectural bureaus, films and books that appeared this way. Even our company, SPLAT, appeared as the result of realizing some childhood dreams. It should be no surprise that — for two decades — SPLAT has continued to grow and prosper.
We are all children at heart, and each of us has a hidden desire that we keep secret: to become a pastry chef, own a restaurant, sew wedding gowns, save animals, serve as a lighthouse keeper, become a professional musician. These thoughts have been with us for as long as we can remember — they are merely waiting their magic moment when we decide to make them happen. I challenge each of those dreamers not to put this off another day — start making changes today! This may result in an ordinary accountant becoming an excellent teacher, or a mediocre driver discovering his or her artistic talents. Those willing to risk might very well find true happiness and remember those careless days, like when we were children.
Everything will be alright!
SPLAT CEO Yevgeny Demin and the Team