Could childhood pastimes be the key to your earthly pursuits? Some great thinkers and psychologists think you can find the road to happiness by exploring your childhood memories. Are you ready to change your path to find more joy?
The key to success is not a measure of things or money but living a life filled with happiness and joy. You don’t need as much stuff as you think. Nor do you need as much money as is portrayed by our society.
Memories of Childhood Playtime
If you are lucky, what you do for work is also what brings you great joy and happiness. Not everyone has the option to make a living at something that brings them true fulfillment. Getting up and going to work may be something you need to do to make a living. It’s different from what brings you happiness. (1)
It’s never too late to redirect your path to find happiness. Follow your passion, and you’ll be a lot happier. You must identify what drives your passions, desires, and dreams to do this. These childhood pastimes and passions are the keys to success as an adult.
“We want our children to have a childhood that’s magical and enriched, but I’ll bet that your best childhood memories involve something you were thrilled to do by yourself. These are childhood’s magic words: I did it myself!” — Lenore Skenazy
Obstacles to Authenticity
One main issue is listening to what others want us to become. We genuinely don’t know what we want. We have no clue what path will lead us to our dreams. Another obstacle is our well-meaning families.
“Abandoning who people think you are and becoming who you really are is a simple concept, but sometimes it is very hard to do. It isn’t easy to give up others’ ideas of who you are. Yet the key to success is to discover your uniqueness and to exploit it. Your authentic persona, either personal or corporate, is the key to your prosperity.” — Larry Winget
Sometimes our families have plans for our lives and careers, which ignore our passions and dreams. Because we are “good children,” we try to please our parents. We learn to please other people or institutions; this is only a substitute for what we desire. Therefore, our earthly pursuits become a journey of pain instead of a path of pleasure.
We get a lot of programming from our dominant cultural narrative. It always tells us to buy stuff to fill our need for happiness. Those simple pleasures of childhood pastimes lead us to our genuine passions. It’s both as easy as exploring memories and as tricky as unearthing deep memories.
Herein Lies the Key to Your Earthly Pursuits
Carl Jung (2) tells us that memories of childhood playtime are where you’ll find clues about which path you should pursue to fulfill your dreams and be happy. It’s a blueprint that may differ from your family’s expectations or our culture.
“Everything we are is anchored in our childhoods. The drama comes in how we deal with it. Are we slaves to our past, or can we rise above it? This is the stuff of great stories.” — Robert Crais
If we take the time to search for our childhood memories, we’ll find some valuable lessons for building a better future. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, educational, or career level. This exercise will confirm or redirect your efforts to your academic and career goals.
“Consider whether fulfillment of the goal you have chosen will constitute success. What is success? If you possess health and wealth but have trouble with everybody (including yourself), yours is not a successful life. Existence becomes futile if you cannot find happiness. When wealth is lost, you have lost a little; when health is lost, you have lost something of more consequence; but when the peace of mind is lost, you have lost the highest treasure.” — Paramahansa Yogananda
Once you explore your memories and find those nuggets of joy, you have an essential decision to make. Can you pursue those childhood pastimes to some degree? How much time and resources can you devote to making yourself happy? (3)
“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes?
Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.” — Carl Gustav Jung
When a child plays, they live in the moment. They explore what brings them happiness, and then they immerse themselves. Our memories of moments like this are keys to happiness as an adult. Let’s see if we can’t find some of these blissful memories to connect with our genuine interests and passions.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― Carl Gustav Jung
This exercise is simple but powerful. It will give you valuable data to help you make big life decisions. You will get the best results when you gather at least a week or more data, and two weeks is ideal. Don’t let our family and culture cover up the valuable clues that will lead us to happiness.
Searching Memories of Childhood Playtime
1) Get a Notebook or Journal
You’ll need something you can keep handy and jot down handwritten notes for at least a week. It doesn’t have to be something expensive. Think of it as a practice workbook. You can use a legal pad or even a pocket-sized notebook. (4)
You want to keep it handy because once you start the process, these memories can surface at any time, not necessarily when you are ready.
2) “Set” Your Intention
Establish the goal of finding positive memories of childhood playtime. Seek times where you are playing, where you were “at the moment.” Find those times when your imagination created moments of joy and pleasure. Then wait for things to surface. Set your intention, ask yourself, what did I love to do and play as a child? Write this question in your journal.
Don’t force things to happen. Ask the subconscious to seek positive memories. Some people find it helpful to say “find positive childhood memories.” When you do this, it introduces you to the power of the “repeating question.” It is important to remember that our memory of past events can positively or negatively color our perception. Time changes our memories.
3) Do The Exercise Every Day for At Least a Week
Use a timer on your smartwatch or calendar. Set your attention to finding these positive childhood memories at least once a day. You can do it at lunchtime or anytime you have a few minutes to write the things that come to the surface. It’s essential to use a handwritten journal or notebook. Your handwriting connects to your subconscious mind.
For this exercise, we want to focus on positive memories. Recalling memories of childhood playtime can help us understand ourselves. These are links to our inner desires. Many people find it helpful to play music from your childhood. It will help you connect with the target memories. If you run into negative stuff, bypass it for now.
Realize that your subconscious mind wants you to know what will make you happy. Once you know this, it can become a life-changer. Look for positive memories; herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.
4) “Review” Your Results
After a week or so, you will see a pattern emerging in your notes. These patterns are the valuable clues you have been looking for regarding your true passions. Many people find it is just a few simple tasks and themes that resonate. It is that simple, and it only takes a short time to get results.
We use this exercise as a foundational process in our groups; it’s part of our blended learning process. We then use another activity to explore memories further to identify values and potential roadblocks.
These are the tools that can help declutter your spirit and your mind. We divide these tools into four major categories:
This journey back to our childhood through memories is one of the best ways to unlock a fulfilling future. Jung provides an essential lesson. Memories of childhood playtime hold the key to your earthly pursuits, the key to success that brings happiness.
Finding the place to start is only the beginning. The hardest part is redirecting your life to align with the true desires of your heart. It’s not easy because there are so many obstacles in the way. But, you want to have happiness rather than fake happiness; it’s the path you must take.
“Measure your success by your inner scorecard versus an outer one.” — Robin Sharma
“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost”. — Helen Keller
Childhood Pastimes are the Key
Searching for childhood memories may be more difficult for some than others. If you had a childhood dominated by trauma, these positive memories might be few and far between. Be assured that children can find peace in pastimes even in challenging situations. We can recommend a detailed process for exploring memories to help those who have difficulty identifying these nuggets of wisdom.
(1) Happy childhood memories linked to better health later in life: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181105091759.htm
(2) Carl Jung, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung
(3) Childhood Memories: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_memory
(4) Searching Childhood Memories: https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/topss/lessons/memory.pdf