When you were eight, what did you think being a “grown up” was? Ice cream for breakfast (obviously). Freedom, choice, bean bags for couches. Brad Montague, founder of Kid President and author of Becoming Better Grownups: Rediscovering What Matters and Remembering to Fly, once said, if we all became the grown-ups we wanted to be, the world would be full of astronauts and ballerinas. Instead, it is full of overworked, unhappy grownups. Somehow we lost that thrill of possibility. By becoming grownups, we lost everything we thought becoming a grownup meant.
Brad is the genius director and producer behind the Kid President series. He is an artist, speaker, creator, man of wonder (check out his IG page). In his new book, he explores what it means to be an adult: not the tired, distracted, cynical adult who is worrying about the food pyramid or getting the inbox cleaned out before the close of the business day…but the adult we wanted to be when we were kids. He thinks we’ve lost our child-like wonder. We no longer see mistakes as opportunities to improve; we get discouraged when we fail rather than laugh and try again. We have let anxiety get in the way of possibility. We look at our phones rather than the people and the world around us. We aren’t playful enough or kind enough.
Brad Montague reminds us that just because we are “grown-up” does not mean we have to lose the joy of childhood. He shares how we can:
· still be playful in the face of adversity (not defensive or aggressive)
· see failure as an opportunity for new ideas
· find joy in the little things (like an unopened box or flowers on the side of the road)
· be kind for the sake of being kind (or for the gracious smile you get in return)
· help those in need (because sharing is caring).
Brad has conversations with an (actual) astronaut, a chance meeting with a Supreme Court Justice, advice from Fred Rogers, and a ninja pop-up art exhibit at the Guggenheim ---all in the hope of sparking the joy and wonder that get lost in the budgeting, commuting, meal prepping, and other tedious tasks that take up our headspace as grownups. Becoming Better Grownups is a look at what it means (and what it will take) to be the grownups we always wanted to be. Brad asks us to be more “childlike” not childish. To be joyous because it is more fun than being sad. To be kind because a smile can go a long way in someone’s day. Everyone has a different moment that makes them stop and think and realize that we are tired, and busy, and distracted. But, by laughing just a little bit more, we are becoming better grownups.
About the Author
Brad Montague is the creator of the web series Kid President and the author of the New York Times bestseller Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome. As an illustrator, Montague has had his work spread across the Internet daily and can regularly be seen in Joanna Gaines’ The Magnolia Journal.