What are your earliest childhood memories and what role do they play in your adult life? With an eye toward memories that shape our approach to money, Jean talks with psychologist Kevin Leman about his new book, What your Childhood Memories Say About You and What You Can Do About It.
Kevin says we tend to remember events affirming who we become as adults. For example, in his book, Kevin asked successful leaders such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and developer Donald Trump what they remember from childhood. Bill Gates recalls negotiating a deal with his sister—$5 for unlimited use of her baseball glove. Donald Trump remembers borrowing his brother's blocks to build a tower, and then gluing them together when it was time to return them.
It's not so much what we remember but how it made us feel that gives us insight into who we are, Kevin says. As a child, Kevin remembers dressing up as a goat—the high school mascot—to help the cheerleaders. Everyone laughed at him when he forgot how to do the cheers. Instead of feeling embarrassed, Kevin says he was thrilled with the attention, something that stayed with him the rest of his life along with the memory. Memories "give us a picture of who we are," he says. "If you look at those memories, you can see there's some positive in there."