What did you want to be when you grew up?

One of the exercises in our workshops is called Childhood Revisited and we developed it to help attendees think about what they might like to do with their lives after full time work.

The exercise has helped a lot of people, in part because as we age we tend to become less creative, or even our creativity ceases altogether. Part of the problem is that once on the path to career, starting families and just getting by we tend to stick to what we discover works. Whereas children experiment and play.

Play has been found to help people of all ages. Aside from making you laugh and joyful play can improve critical thinking and reduce stress. Enhancing our mental capabilities as we age is a great way to slow our rate of decline.

In 1971, British Psychologist Raymond Cattell published the book Abilities; Their Structure, Growth and Action in which he outlined his thoughts that there are two types of intelligence, fluid intelligence and crystallised intelligence. What he had found was that the former wanes quite rapidly in our thirties and forties, whereas the latter begins to increase.

Space does not allow me to write more about these two types of intelligence, but things such as teaching and most fundamentally the ability to understand how to apply knowledge increase with age. Therefore, as you consider your next act in life perhaps it is worth experimenting as you once did as a child and seeking out ways to make the most of your crystallised intelligence? 

Another thing to consider is whether there was something in your childhood that you never followed up on in later life, or maybe something you loved but stopped doing. Why not take a look back, you never know where this might lead.