Berries in an open hand's palm

Multipotentialites.

Scanners.

Renaissance women/men.

Autodidacts.

Or, if you prefer, if you haven’t quite found the beauty in it …

Indecisive.

Lacking focus.

Unable to make a freaking choice and stick to it.

If you’re a creative worker, chances are, you’ve slapped one of these labels — or one similar — to yourself over the course of your creative life.

Haven’t you?

I know I have. Sometimes I see the beauty in my dizzying array of interests, curiosities, dreams, projects.

Sometimes… not so much.

Sometimes I’m proud of those interests — proud of being so curious, so engaged with the vastness of human endeavor.

Other times, I can’t help but wonder: How much closer to my goals would I be if I could just focus on one damn thing?

But inevitably, no matter how hard I try to do just that from time to time, I always comes back to the same inescapable conclusion:

Like Popeye, I yam what I yam.

It’s not a bad thing to be, all things considered.

Buuuut….

That doesn’t mean I have to indulge all those curiosities, all the time.

I’m not subject to the whims of my mad, lovely brain.

I. Can. Choose.

And sometimes, that’s what has to happen.

Like right now.

Remember back in this first post, I described how all my various goals and conflicting projects caused me to cycle through a seemingly endless loop of indecision?

Here’s the next thing I want you to understand about that feeling: It’s OK to feel that way … and not act on it.

It’s OK to choose.

Sometimes, it will even be necessary.

I’m not giving up on my fiction. Or my desire to learn about — Lord, somewhere around 16 discrete subjects (2 human languages, 3 computer languages, organic gardening, watercolor painting, the astrobiology of super-earths, German philosophy – oh wait, make that 3 human languages — and six other things I’m just too bored with myself to list right now).

But right now, I have to choose — on a daily, sometimes hourly basis — to focus on the goals I’ve decided to work on right now.

All those other things? They’ll still be there.

Schedule those other things for yourself, if you like. Get yourself a laminated yearly annual calendar you can tack up on the wall, and block off chunks of time — days, weeks, months, quarters — and assign them to your biggest projects.

Maybe now you need to focus on building your list and creating your online course. Great. Draw a big green line through all the months in Q3 and jot down “ebook” on top of them. Or “podcast.” Or “launch new site.” Or “novel” or “play” or “movie” or “ballet” or “public speaking campaign” or “workshop” or …

You get the idea.

Once our beautiful, mad, insatiable brains literally see that we’ve marked off some time to indulge it, they quiet down a bit and allow us to focus on the task at hand.

It’s OK to choose, so give yourself permission to do just that.

What are you choosing today?

 

photo credit: briandjan607 Bilberries via photopin (license)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dave May 10, 2017 at 6:39 am

I agree. It’s great to have multiple goals going at once but when it comes down to the work, you can really only focus on one of them.

If possible, outsource some of the other stuff.
Dave recently posted..5 Ways to Make Yourself Smarter

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