Do you feel scattered? Do you have many different interests in life? Does it frustrate you when others tell you to just choose one career path and stick with it? You just might have the same personality type as I do. Scattered may not be as bad as you think it is.
It has been called the polymath, the Scanner, the Renaissance Man, and even more recently a multipotentialite. In fact, if I just described you, I would suggest you check out what Emilie Wapnick is doing at PuttyLike.com.
I have my own history of wondering. So far to date I have been:
- a high school teacher
- a basketball coach
- a real estate investor
- an Executive Recruiter
- on staff at a local church
- a blogger, who has 3 blogs
At first glance, you might say I live a life that has a lack of focus. My problem (or gift as I hope you will see) is that I have a passion for learning. When you have a passion for learning, you will seem scattered. The Scanner Personality type has for the most part been shoved to the side in Corporate America today. I am not looking for sympathy, I have seen it first hand in others.
When I was working as an Executive Recruiter, large corporations had no interest in someone with many different skills and expertise. They wanted specialist. They didn’t want someone who had a horizontal working style (over many different subjects). They desired a vertical working style (being a specialist in one thing).
For the scanner, choosing just one thing causes their spirit to die. What do you do then when you have the Scanner personality?
4 Tips for the Scattered Personality Type
1. Embrace your passion for learning – Quit trying to whittle yourself down to just one thing. Fully embrace your love for learning. Allow yourself to remain curious and finally give yourself permission to do so.
2. Capture all your thoughts – If you are a true Scanner, then you never run out of new ideas, thoughts, and projects. Create either a physical notebook or an electronic Evernote notebook and capture these ideas. Even if you only choose to explore them later.
3. Give yourself permission to move on – I am not saying you should just live a life of quitting. What I am saying is in certain situations, you should be willing to move on. Let me offer a personal example. It used to frustrate me that I was always reading 3 to 5 books at the same time. I used to challenge myself to just choose one and stick with it until I finished it. I see it much different today. Maybe I should stop reading a book because I got what I wanted out of it.
4. Have the courage to blaze a different trail – Your resume just may look scattered to the average eye. That is okay. I’d rather live a life that appears scattered to others than live a life that tries to meet the expectations the world has set for me. The point is I am learning more about myself and my passions at each step along the way. I think you will discover the same is true for you.
Are you a Scanner Personality Type? Have you fully embraced the way God made you? Please comment below.