Remember being a kid and having that amazing imagination? You could put on a costume, a cape, a towel, or a dress and instantly become whatever you wanted. Pick up a stick and you could be Thor with his hammer, or a samurai with a sword, Billie The Kid with a revolver. The best part about this was that as long as you believed you were what you were, all of the people around you would go with it. Then we grew older we find ourselves only putting on these costumes and pretending to be whatever we are dressed up as once a year on Halloween. At least that is what we like to think.
As it turns out we play dress up and play make believe far more often than we are consciously aware of. In fact we do it everyday. Once we grow up, or in some cases hit a certain age, it becomes time to put on our adult costumes every morning. No more being The Flash, or Spider-man; As adults we become Empathic Call Center Man, Super Secretary, or Professional Person. Of course we all have to grow up and make a living, but I call it pretend because it is.
In adult life our superhero capes and princess costumes are exchanged for shirts and slacks. Whether we are 30 or 13, we are the same people in our: spider-man costumes, pajamas, workout clothes, jeans and t-shirts, or dress suits. The only difference is the latter will get you into an interviewer’s office because you are showing up as the character they are anticipating you to audition for.
Getting hired means we are now spending 8-12 hours a day pretending to be someone else; and for those same 8-10 hours everyone else plays along. I do mean everyone too; anyone who has ever called a call center, talked to a car salesmen, or interacted with a cashier at the store has heard the scripted and practiced lines that said employee forces through a fake smile.
Now back to what I was saying about imagination doesn’t change and we still play make-believe? Oh yeah…once we get dressed for work and we are in our costumes. We clock in and become actors while our bosses and co-workers play along, seeing us as the characters that are agreed. We become who we decide and things are just like they were on the playground as kids.
When you think about it we play the same games as adults that we did as kids. The only differences being the costumes we wear and the characters we play. Funny how the more things seem to change, they really stay the same.