What You Did as a Child
And how it can provide clues for what to do now.
Posted November 23, 2018
By the time we’ve reached adulthood, our core selves may have been heavily reshaped by external forces: parents, peers, schools, and an ever more influential media.
To live a life more authentic to your natural self, it may help to review your favorite childhood moments and activities. These questions help you do that. (I'll insert my own answers as examples.)
Elementary and junior-high school
The moment you felt happiest? When playing the piano at 6th grade graduation.
What was your favorite in-school activity? Writing a story that contained all the spelling words.
What was your favorite after-school or weekend activity? Playing basketball by myself, pretending I was the New York Knicks and that I simultaneously was Marv Albert commentating the game aloud as I was playing.
What was your favorite summer vacation activity? Making a lanyard in summer camp.
The moment you felt happiest? When I directed and played the piano for the senior musical.
What was your favorite in-school activity? Writing short essays.
What was your favorite after-school or weekend activity? Playing the keyboard for weddings.
What was your favorite summer vacation activity? Hanging out with my girlfriend, Ruthy.
The moment you felt happiest? When I got my only A+ in a course, in Western Civilization.
What was your favorite in-school activity? Doing the listening assignments for my music appreciation class.
What was your favorite after-school or weekend activity? Playing on the college baseball team.
What was your favorite summer vacation activity? Driving to the Catskills for music gigs but back in time to play softball on Sunday.
Do you see anything in your answers that suggest what you might do?
For example, it could be a specific activity you listed, for example, you enjoyed being in your elementary school's student council but haven’t done anything like that since then. If so, you might want to, for example, run for school board or serve on a non-profit board.
Or it could be an activity you do occasionally, but on seeing it on your childhood-favorite list, you want to do more of it, for example, curling up with a novel.
Or you might note a thread that runs through a number of your responses. For example, perhaps in a number of your happiest moments and activities, you were comforting kids. Should you be doing more such activities, if not professionally, volunteering at a crisis hotline or spending more time with needy friends. If a thread is that you enjoy performing, you might join Toastmasters, join a community theatre, choir, or orchestra, or pursue a career in sales or training, in which you get to make many presentations.
Or your answers could reinforce that, despite all the external input, you've retained your essence. As I review my answers, the common threads are enjoying performing, especially solo, and writing, both of which I do a lot to this day, now decades later.
I read this aloud on YouTube.