Strength and Fallibility

My greatest strength is also my greatest fallibility.

I know this is the case for most people. I’m just trying to sift through the implications of my particular combination.

I am insatiably  curious, always wanting to learn. I love learning for its own sake, and it’s an extra bonus if I can simultaneously be helping friends on interesting projects. Because I seek out information from everywhere, it feeds my ability to see things from many sides and view multiple perspectives as equally valid and true.

I am also loathe to turn down opportunities to learn and do new things, and often find myself stretched way too thin. I value the act of learning itself over any material gain, and as a result find that I’m often overcommitted in terms of time without a complementary large flow of income. Right now I have a full time job, am trying to start a new business, and am trying to be sure that I also spend enough time on various activities that feed my soul, including seeing my friends. I have been feeling recently that I have lost this balance. I am already feeling guilty for having stepped back my current role on my films. I have also recently been approached about other interesting work and feel myself pulled to see if I should do them.

I see many options as valid and often find I have a hard time figuring out what I actually want. I’ve been trying to tap into feeling my own excitement and am confronting the fact that it’s often catalyzed more by novelty or difficulty than anything else. If it’s new or if I’m going to have to learn a lot to do it, I’m more likely to feel engaged and excited.

One thing I have had a lifelong resistance to: routine. In the past, as soon as anything got too predictable I felt the urge to change it. I have the capacity to be insanely focused for a period of time but then after that have generally either felt the need to augment, change, or depart. This has maxed out at 3 years so far.

So where this leads me: One of the things that I’m starting to understand is that consistency may be the key to success in the areas that I want my life to grow. And I’m feeling afraid because that’s not really my strong suit. I’d say that I’m more likely to have been criticized for inconsistency than anything else.

I’m not sure how to get through this. Maybe I only need to lock in to a consistent routine for 3 years and then figure it out after that…

I’m going to be thinking about this a lot. It feels like a big one to sort out.

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4 responses to “Strength and Fallibility

  1. I love how you open you are in this unpackaging process. You have a fair and clear eye.

    I’ve begin exploring the possibility that I have ADD (I refer to myself as ADDish 🙂 at the ripe old age of 44. It has been helpful and validating to do some reading (though the books were abandoned once the novelty wore off!) and I am slowly adjusting my habits and processes by integrating tips and strategies I have learned about.

    This isn’t to say that I think you have ADD, at all. But, I can relate to that grinding awareness that comes with some difficulty and a renewed feeling of wanting something different for myself.

    • Thank you, Shirley! I love your comments and hearing how my thoughts impact you.

      I can understand the feeling of being ADD-ish. I can see that as a possibility for some of your world and way of being, and at the same time that I have a picture of how deep and focused you’ve been on so many things at different points in your life so that I think the -ish is key, it’s not a full description of you.

      I wonder how having that part of you validated has helped? Have you been able to move past any of the self-talk that showed up before you had a way to explain that?

  2. Interesting… we’re so different in this regard.

    To me, consistency is the path to mastery. Repetition never really happens, because every time is by nature different. The mastery happens when I learn to control each time to get the effect I’m going for, or even to find the differences between sequences.

    What are your thoughts on mastery and how to achieve it?

    • Jeanine – Yes, we are so different in this way. And I fully agree with you that consistency is the path to mastery. Thing is, I don’t see myself as having mastered anything – and this consistency question is about whether or not I’m able to master anything in the future. I see myself as always working towards proficiency, but falling short of mastery, seeing that as the arena of those who focus and devote themselves. They (you) earn my highest respect in that regard.

      I think that mastery happens through repetition with an attention to the details. Minor incremental improvements, training the muscles until a movement is unconsciously precise, the ability to discern minute differences that make a difference.

      I believe that I have a certain level of diligence and natural talent that moves me along the continuum from “capable” to “proficient.” And that there are others who I look to as “masters” and I admire them. I’m trying to improve my ability to be consistent and diligent for longer periods of time. That’s one thing that would be awesome for me to master.

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