I don’t think it will surprise my regular readers here on my blog to learn that there are not many things in this life I am lukewarm about. In fact, in this moment of writing, I can’t think of anything I would file in that box. I am either all in, or it doesn’t appear on my radar at all.
This means that I have to have a very good filter system otherwise my completist tendencies would exhaust me. When I recently discovered The West Wing I simply inhaled all of the episodes in all seven seasons until the job was complete. I could not rest until it was done; I didn’t want to rest. In fact, in many respects, I am never so happy as when I get the opportunity to do something like that. And there’s nothing like discovering a new crime writer who’s written lots of novels. Yippee! I do, of course, insist on reading them chronologically, not dotting about with the timeline of my new hero.
This tendency has lead to workaholism in the past, now somewhat tempered, but clearly addiction is a risk. The opposite is also true. I am either hot or cold, never in the middle. I’m all in, or it is completely irrelevant to me, whatever it is. This level of enthusiasm can be difficult to maintain and friends often accuse me of being fickle as first I am in love with Prof. Brian Cox, then Damian Lewis, and then over them both before I move on to Idris Elba, now surpassed by Ben Wishaw. Fickle, I told you, when it comes to my latest acting heart throb.
I’ve been reminded about this aspect of myself in the last few days when agreeing to be a YouGov panellist and taking a handful of their online surveys. You are required to rate how important certain issues are to you. You Gov have not yet polled me on any issue which has any importance to me whatsoever. I see a pattern emerging. I wonder if they will eventually luck into my passions or whether they will decide I am of no value to them as what’s important to them and their clients simply isn’t to this 60+ woman they sought out.
I can look at every opportunity to do or join something or invest my time and make up my mind very quickly about whether or not there’s something in it for me. WIIFM? That’s what they say we are all interested in – What’s In It For Me? And simply because of the huge and ever-growing quantum of information bombarding us every minute of each day and, whether it be emails, webinars, bright shiny objects, courses, books, or new things, it has been a necessity for me to have developed a very fast scan/delete system. Very few offers or opportunities incoming draw my attention for much beyond the first cursory scan.
I don’t think I am unique in this attention thing. Just look at what holds your attention. How successfully does it do that, and for how long? Although I was recently described as a polymath, and I see that tendency too amongst my clients, success lies in focus and deciding what’s important to you, what you will make important.
I am interested in my work and in my clients, reading, writing, resting, peace and quiet and self-care and not much else. The things for which I have no time whatsoever include politics and the news media and anything where I can’t make a difference with my contribution.
I suppose that’s it, in a nutshell. Where does my energy make a difference in this world, however tiny, and how can I look after the energy I have and create more through inspirational input?
And there you have it. Tempt me in any one of those directions and I’m all in.