It’s hard to be an everything person.
I just couldn’t commit. With my Sagittarius moon and sun (humour me, let’s say it’s because of that) – I like shooting arrows out into space in all directions and flying swiftly after them until I’m ready to follow something new. Which might be about 30 seconds later.
This is awesome in many ways. I know lots of different things. I am connected with a whole spectrum of curious, delightful people. I have studied. And studied. And studied. With fervour, with passion, with ants in my pants.
But there’s a dark side to all this inspiration. When I truly wish to excel, to commit, to become an authority on something… I’ve been too flighty. I’ve looked at other people coming out into the world as a very specific someone. They can define themselves and what they offer, they follow that through to fruition before they start adding new tools to their kit.
And as far as I can tell, it pays off.
So I have applied myself in recent years to quelling my adventurous spirit somewhat and narrowing my horizons. Not in a limiting way, although it can feel that way to a wild child. In a loving way.
By being very selective about new projects and disciplines, I can no longer sabotage my success by never being ready to ‘come out’ with any single offering.
I’ve found that by being stricter with myself in this respect, I’ve found a different kind of direction and opportunity. The whole 10,000 hours thing may be a misrepresentation, but there’s truth in the idea that great things take practice and dedication.
So how do you know if you’re scattering your creative attention too much?
- You feel envious of people who get recognition and praise for their work
- Your creative endeavours emphasise learning and experimenting in private
- You don’t tend to get to the point in a project where you’re ready to share it, or call it ‘complete’
- You find yourself starting a new project before you’ve really made any breakthroughs on the previous ones
- You may be a little addicted to that initial ‘flush’ of excitement when there’s something new on the horizon, but less inclined to experience the deep satisfaction of a project followed through.
If this is you, here are some practices that can help you focus and be fully seen in your creative expression:
- Practice finishing one book before you start another one. If you don’t want to finish it – then why not? Is it truly a bad book or have you simply got distracted by something new and shiny, but not intrinsically better?
- Work on your creative and personal goals for this time. This isn’t so much about achieving goals, but it is about finding some better boundaries. If this doesn’t get you closer to your core values and desires, then is it really worth your time?
- Get grounded. That flighty, excited kind of creative fire can be great, but it can also have you chasing your tail and getting tired. If you really ground yourself and slow down, what is the most important project to you to work on?
- Commit for just 30 days. Choose one practice or idea, book or endeavour and sticking to it for 30 days. This removes the decision-making process and allows you to deepen into something whilst reassuring yourself that you’re not shelving the other things forever. Chances are you’ll stick with it for longer than 30 days because you’re feeling the benefits.
Beyond all of this, accept and embrace your own nature.
By doing the above, I’ve limited distractions so that my energy is focussed and I can be seen and heard because I’ve come up with something coherent enough to graduate with.
It was time in my life to be acknowledged and known in more than just my immediate sphere, and this is hard to do with a scattered skill set.
Having said that, I also appreciate and cultivate my multi-passioned scattered self. It keeps me balanced, open, excited. And actually whilst things I’ve picked up on the path can seem disparate, it’s amazing how the dots can later connect in miraculous and unexpected ways.
So keep shooting those arrows to the stars, just remember sometimes to stick around when they’ve hit your target.