November 3, 2021

How our Childhood Make-Believe play can Awaken Us.


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Can you recall the make-believe games you played as a child?

Jerome Singer, founding chair of the Medical and Clinical Psychology Department at Uniformed Services University, suggests that—with moral support—a child can learn to build on their imagination, which can positively impact their career choices for their future. 

Who were you in your world of make-believe? Were you a musical artist performing on stage? Were you a famous chef with your own cooking show? Maybe your imagination took flight as you fantasized about being a superhero with incredible strength? These few examples can help target skills you embodied naturally.

You might have found enjoyment in developing your thinking and social skills while in your world of make-believe. These reflections could even highlight your strong artistic or creative cognitive skills. One in four Canadian workers has considered a career change since the outbreak of COVID-19. Connecting with a career counsellor can get quite costly, so why not turn to yourself for some answers? 

The games or worlds that we create in our minds as children are generally goal-driven. You aren’t engaging in play for no reason; you enjoyed a particular aspect of your world. Try and recall that admiration. Doing a bit of investigation on your childhood playtime can show you your complex capability in understanding emotional control, self-guidance, behaviour, planning, and self-reliance. Being “captain of the ship” suddenly sounds more like honing solid leadership skills. There is no right or wrong way of reflecting on this; there is just you taking these innocent moments and making them quite innovative for your career development. 

My parents kept a lot of the creative art pieces I made as a child. Sure, there might not be enough room in storage now, but I’m thankful I can look through the things I’ve made. Sifting through old bins might help you discover what you were passionate about if you have access to some old storage containers.

Am I the only one who kind of went through an existential crisis during lockdown? What is life? Who am I? What do I enjoy? Is McDonald’s still open? (Of course.)

What I mean here is, in light of these burdening questions, I was able to acknowledge that I enjoyed playing pretend and imagining I was the author of my book. As a kid, I wrote many short stories, and I stapled books together to bind them. I asked myself, why not bring that imaginative play to life? So, here I am editing my manuscript before I make this dream come true.

My personal experience has led me to believe that connecting to your childhood imagination can bring things full circle. Did I ever think I wanted to become a writer? No. Did I ever consider that my childhood make-believe scenarios would awaken something in me? No.

Will I continue to turn to myself for some answers? Yes. And I hope you can too. 

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