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Thursday, January 22, 2009


By nature, I'm a very discerning person. Meaning, I perceive subtle factors by nature, as a talent/obsession. Without even using much effort, I am talented at catching the subtle differences that may be making a difference. I zero in on them.

When I was younger, these were usually things I would spot that "stuck out". They seemed to need attention or fixing or were "wrong" in some way. I realized that I was attracted to things that I could influence, and that I gained a nice feeling from fixing stuff that could go wrong, or preventing calamity, as well as mitigating and sweeping up after others who were so directed at doing something important that they didn't have the concentration to deal with details...and the devil was in the details. I so enjoyed being there to put out fires when chaos hit the fan.

But as I learned some wisdom, I began to seek the things that could make a big difference that were not present anywhere or were not obvious at all. I suspected my means, which was to zero in on something, was not the means that would really bring me the benefits I wanted. So I decided to change my actions that I was using to bring about my desires. I decided to change my focus. Instead of "zeroing in" I decided to expand the focal length and regard the bigger picture.

I realized that it was a much more challenging possibility (and a much better use of my observational abilities and intelligence) to imagine what could be done to improve a situation by considering the whole situation. It took relationship skills to reassure and question people who were involved to craft solutions acceptable to everyone involved.

Pretty much anyone could just point out what was wrong with something or someone. It seemed that such judgments about supposed evil motives were so very often wrong. Think about it. People naturally gravitate toward the worst possible motive if they are confronting some event or some person they do not understand. Why is that so common? Because of the commonness of self-preservation.

It's a very interesting discipline, when you find yourself passing a judgment, to realize it is coming from a sense of fear or self-preservation in yourself - or others. It gets to be a very interesting challenge to imagine a reasonable explanation for the motives of the person you have judged to be suspicious. Or to find ways to reassure others that there is no need for their suspicions or fearful concerns.

Turns out it's a very handy and valuable skill too. Fascinating to come up with a reasonable and compassionate explanation when someone does do something in a mean-spirited way to their face. It makes mean people behave, even while they're thinking you're the most inane Pollyanna they've ever met.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Curse and Blessings of Being Eclectic

I am very confused...I have my whole live problems, that I have a lot of ideas, creative writing, being a yoga teacher, playing a music instrument, painting, drawing and have business careers. But unfortunately, I have started a lot, like flamenco dancing, tai chi, yoga, meditation, painting but I don't do something to an and, I haven't goals for my life, what is very frustrating for me, but I don't know, if I am a scanner, or I have depressions, or fear not to be good in the things I do. I am am perfectionist. Do you think I am scanner? What could help me to cope, deal with it? Can I find one goal, what I can reach, go on?

Whoever said "Life is short, but it is wide." - they were an eclectic too.
Yes, you're obviously what Barbara Sher, career counselor, calls a Scanner. No, you don't have to choose between your interests, usually you can do them all.

The challenge (rather than to choose one interest) is to figure out how to accommodate your multi-interests into a lifestyle that works better for you. It's also a challenge of how to deal with the pressure from others designed to get you to specialize. You are not like them, you NEED to have multi-interests. They assume there is "something wrong" with you. You'll find out it is "something right" with you as you learn about Scanner-hood.

It is also a challenge to deal with the pressure you apply to yourself concerning this confusion. Most scanners buy into this idea there is something wrong. This pressure to specialize has been working at odds with who you really are.

You're a generalist, not a specialist. You're a swan growing up in a barnyard of chickens who tell you that you should act like them.

Did it help - or have you read "Refuse to Choose" by Barbara Sher? If you haven't read the book - it's available at your library, usually if you can't afford to buy it.

According to Sher, there are different types of scanners. For instance, there are the popularizers who jump from livelihood to livelihood. These types can learn to record their journey in some way to make what they naturally do useful to others, or another cool solution.
There are the virtual students, who keep learning.
There are the fast-motion scanners who can multi-task, (Barbara calls them "plate-spinners.")
There are scanners who cycle among their interests, or their multi-interests have a recognizable "theme" that's possible for them to make conscious.
There are also many more kinds of scanners, which are in the book.

In Refuse to Choose, Sher gives you templates about how other people who are scanners live their lives in meaningful ways that work to provide a living. If you want, you can use these examples to help you design a lifestyle that fits you personally.

The reason we haven't found these examples is that scanners are rare and unusual characters. Barbara Sher has a forum where Scanners can congregate together. It's a place where being multi-talented is common. There it seems as if EVERYONE is an eclectic!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What People See In Art

There are a number of motives about why an artist is making art. There are some factors in each case: to notice the artist's motives, to learn how difficult it is in factual terms for the artist to follow their apparent intention, and to come up with alternate intentions. The viewer's participation needs to be enough, in either case, to put together the content of what the participant is getting out of the art.

It seems that quite a few people seem to need to learn to understand how to be a participant of the art. My favorite book on this is a little-known book of the past called: Why Cats Paint

If an artist is making images to communicate, then they must release the content of the communication. Mostly because people are going to see whatever they see in the art! In a "really good" piece of art, a person will notice something different in it almost every time they look at it.

That difference may be reflected in what they believe the piece of art "is", it may be a detail, it may be a virtual question such as " is that figure coming or going?" which is something about what is apparently depicted. That is, every person may interpret the art to "mean something" a little differently.

This phenomena seems to work sometimes, even though the artist is self-referent. It depends on HOW the personal vision is displayed. This seems to boil down to - if the artist is an interesting enough person to start with, this will work for others. At best, the artist just displaying their "personal" building blocks is enough, so that the personal becomes the universal.