Unleashing the Power of the Inner Child

Avinash Jhangiani’s book ‘Play to Transform’ focuses on the importance of shifting mindsets to allow the expression of one’s innate creativity. It encourages business leaders to bring out their inner child to accelerate transformation in business

Unleashing the Power of the Inner Child

Avinash Jhangiani has designed his book, Play to Transform, to be “down-to-earth practical, meant for the overwhelmed leader of change, who genuinely cares about humanizing business and is looking for a refreshing, more intrinsically motivating way to thrive in uncertainty”. The subtitle—How Your Inner Child Can Accelerate Change and Rehumanize Business—is an apt teaser to what lies inside.

The only way to stay relevant is by keeping the inner child alive and continuously disrupting the self, says Jhangiani, as he adds that he learnt this lesson “after making three seriously playful career shifts”—from technology consulting to digital marketing to transformation and innovation consulting—across 25 years and having worked with 40 brands across industries”. 

Jhangiani writes:

By the time I finished writing this book, ‘I’ had long become irrelevant. My inner child had taken over. So, you will be experiencing the book through his eyes. He will be your coach as you go island hopping, bungee jumping and deep-sea diving into the actionable strategies and stories based on real experiences, mostly backed by scientific evidence and some as they appeared in his head.
We live. We die.

We sow. We reap.

We play. We achieve.

Quite possibly, the secret to thriving in the new norm, where uncertainty is an unavoidable constant, lies here, between these pages, amongst these anecdotes, epiphanies and activities. More than anything, in this reservoir of contemporary experiences, is one big truth. She might have been the last to come out of Pandora’s box. Here, hope is in every page, every image and word. I believe this, in itself, is a good beginning.

 All of this is what you hold in your hands now.”

Discovering the Inner Child

The book is inspired by children, says Jhangiani. “Have you ever wondered how they intuitively know how to draw, build castles in the sand or role-play their favourite superheroes? Or how they instinctively know not to cut trees, kill animals for meat, differentiate between men and women or ignore a homeless person in need? It is because we are all born as creative geniuses with an innate ability to empathise deeply with others,” he remarks.

In the hustle and bustle of earning a living, we often forget who we have become and who we are meant to be, he opines. “We become so fixated on chasing our goals that we deny ourselves the opportunity to course-correct and embrace playfulness. In the garb of a ‘professional’ in the workplace, we hesitate to tap into our inner child, fearing the unknown and worried about disrupting the status quo,” he adds.

Jhangiani argues in the book that by neglecting to rediscover the child within us, we deny ourselves the chance to become the truest and best versions of ourselves. “We limit our potential as leaders of our own destinies and as humans deeply connected with ourselves and nature,” he notes. 

Learning Curve 

Writing the book came with its own share of learnings, Jhangiani confesses. “When I started writing, I felt trapped by the professional experiences in my conditioned mind,” he says. “It was not until I took a joyride back to childhood that I found moments of sweet joy and sour pain, like tasting a lemon chewing gum. Stepping back and visualising my journey, I discovered many ‘eureka’ moments but above all, I discovered something precious that had been propelling me all along,” he adds.

Play to Transform is a movement, not just a book, says Jhangiani, explaining that it is a drive to rehumanise business and live life more consciously yet playfully. He now aims to build a community and scale up efforts “to take the book’s message, along with methods and mindsets, to a larger audience of leaders and decision makers responsible to build better, more conscious, sustainable cultures for a better business and humanity”.