Scanner Self Observation - Greetings, New to Forum!

What should you do when you want to do everything? If you're fascinated by everything, and you've been called dabbler, dilettante, undisciplined, indecisive etc., this forum is for you.

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Scanner Self Observation - Greetings, New to Forum!

Postby srisk » Thu May 17, 2012 9:15 am

Greetings! I'm a lifelong scanner who, after struggling my entire life trying to find the 'right fit', has begun to make peace with the fact that I am fascinated by any number of topics all at the same time. I don't know why that never occurred to me before, but thank you Barbara for helping me to realize this is 'ok'.

One thing that I've observed in myself is that I get discouraged when I'm researching a topic when I see that there are lots of people who are practicing in my current area of fascination. I get intimidated and start to question what value I could offer to that field by dabbling in it, and so I end up talking myself out of proceeding. Is this typical scanner behavior, and are there specific techniques to help get around this perceived limitation? Or do I just need to remind myself I'm doing it for my pleasure, not for theirs?

I would love to be able to be the one to find a breakthrough in robotics or artificial intelligence, or some other significant field. Perhaps I'm putting too many expectations on myself for what I would like to be able to achieve and should let things develop organically. The alternative is to do nothing, which I would otherwise tend to do.

I should add that I've been relatively successful as an IT consultant, helping companies build comprehensive Business Intelligence solutions. I do enjoy my work but I feel it takes away from all of the other activities I would prefer to be working on, but of course I have good days and bad days. The most challenging part is to force myself to focus on a project when I've got 30 other things I'd like to be doing :) .

Has anyone else struggled with this? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Some insight would be most appreciated.

Thanks again Barbara for the radical realization that it's perfectly adequate to be fascinated by more than one thing at a time :D.
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Re: Scanner Self Observation - Greetings, New to Forum!

Postby emspace » Thu May 17, 2012 3:20 pm

Ditto all of that. I stop getting excited about a certain field or topic if someone I know starts doing it. Perhaps it's my competitive nature. I was interested in osteopathy until my friend signed up for osteopathy courses; she’s now a certified osteopath while I’m…not.

A couple of options:
1. If you're dissuaded so easily from a possible pursuit, perhaps that’s part of your brain telling you it’s not for you.
2. You’re partially in conflict with an external (or even internal) pressure that says you’re nobody unless you’ve made a significant contribution.

You’ll know if it’s the first because if you move on, do you miss that activity? Do you get urges to go back?

The second is a tougher nut to crack. Everyone is impressed by contribution. We love lauding people who stand out in their field. Only in a few rare cases do people who set out to be recognised for their significance actually achieve that significance. I'm thinking about actors and pro athletes here, perhaps a dotcommer. But even among those groups, the larger majority make their mark unintentionally just by doing what they love no matter the obstacles.

My armchair opinion is that you’re approaching this from the wrong end. You have to pick something you’re compelled to do and really go to town on it. Get sticky with it. Immersed up to the ears. In other words, you need to have the goal first. And by that, I don't mean the abstract vague goal of making a significant breakthrough in robotics, but a SMART goal to create something specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. If you want to create the world's first robot that can play euchre, then that's a goal. Along the way, there's no question you'll learn all kinds of things that work and don't work. There's every chance that you'll discover something no one else has. Maybe this goal is too easy, so you up the ante: the goal is to create a robot that can find your lost keys (okay, maybe that's too hard! or too easy if you just put a chip on your key chain; I digress). But you get the point. If you have something you want to create, use that as the foundation for making discoveries and breakthroughs. If you can’t really get invested in a goal like that, then you aren't likely to make any significant contribution to the field.

Scanners have the problem of enjoying the research part a bit too much, my intuition tells me. But the contribution comes when we create something.

So my advice: find something you really want to create using robotics and artificial intelligence. Don't just read about it. Make something. Make something hard. Then learn, experiment, discover as you go.
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Re: Scanner Self Observation - Greetings, New to Forum!

Postby srisk » Fri May 18, 2012 8:48 am

Thanks for the reply emspace. This is something I've come back to multiple times, but never really have done much with. One thing that I think I'll try form Barbara's book, that also works well with your idea of a SMART goal, is to create a 6 year calendar. I have several books on robotics, I think maybe I'll commit to building one of them straight out of the book this year for a first project. That way, if some other desire arises I can remind myself that I will tackle that one sometime in the next 6 years.

Its interesting you mentioned a robot to find your keys, because I was thinking about that just the other day :). It occurred to me that a mobile robot with an RFID detector could be programmed to look for a specific RFID tag, that would be a really cool way to track down any number of objects prone to being lost, like the tv remote. You'd just have to teach it what tags are attached to which objects. Oh well...maybe sometime in the next 6 years :wink:...

Come to think of it I need to add that to my daybook! Thanks for the reminder!
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Re: Scanner Self Observation - Greetings, New to Forum!

Postby emspace » Fri May 18, 2012 2:07 pm

srisk: Great plan! I would absolutely be the first one to buy your key-finding robot! Especially, if it can find it in my tote bag. :D
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