Are Scanners sometimes sad?

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Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby BarbaraSher » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:43 pm

I got this comment from someone who was watching my new Scanner YouTube channel:

1 month ago
Do you think that a symptom of the Scanner life is a diluted joy across the board? When I was younger I had this clear dream/goal/passion. As I started to grow up and experience the world, my Scanner-ness really took hold, and I was drawn to do many other things. Thing is, now I feel like I have this general 7-out-of-10 feeling about...well...everything. I miss the 10-out-of-10 passion and clarity I had in my younger years. I've started to believe this is now just my Scanner-esque reality. Which makes me sorta sad. Would love to hear your thoughts on this...
Reply · 2

I confess to being a bit confused because I haven't heard of this problem before. I wrote back:

Barbara Sher 1 second ago
+KJ Konkin I don't think so, KJ! It sounds like you've gotten lots of criticism and began to feel like there's something wrong with being the way you are. But it's also unusual to start out as a 'one-dream,' or 'one-passion' person and change into a Scanner. I'd like to hear more. Come on over to boards.barbarasher.com and scroll down to the Refuse to Choose forum. I'll open a discussion there, maybe call it "Are Scanners sometimes sad?" Let's see what the others have to say.

So what do you think about this brief comment?
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Re: Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby SquarePeg » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:26 am

I can identify with "diluted joy across the board," but I don't think it's related to being a Scanner. It's just Life, man! Every freakin' thing I really enjoy is either unhealthy, too time consuming, or (somewhat) immoral. Sometimes I can muster "satisfaction" or "pride," but nothing approaching happiness, joy or elation.

Let me eat as much ice cream as I want (without discomfort or ill effects). Let me sleep three hours more each day and work on my blog for a few hours. Let me do naked snuggle-bunnies with anyone I find attractive. There's nothing here that's Scanner-specific. Let me have these things, then can we talk about happy.
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Re: Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby Midaila » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:57 am

For me, there are things and there are Things. When I immerse myself in something new, learning the how-to and making a prototype, it's always 10-out-of-10. But if I have to do it again, it can only be between 4 and 7, 8 tops. (Although I have things I want to do more than once, too.)

My first thought was that this person can't give his all to that Thing he's doing. That, or maybe he's a lost Diver. I'd like to know what his former passion was.
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Re: Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby emspace » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:46 pm

Midaila wrote:For me, there are things and there are Things. When I immerse myself in something new, learning the how-to and making a prototype, it's always 10-out-of-10. But if I have to do it again, it can only be between 4 and 7, 8 tops. (Although I have things I want to do more than once, too.)

My first thought was that this person can't give his all to that Thing he's doing. That, or maybe he's a lost Diver. I'd like to know what his former passion was.


That’s a good point, Midaila. The beginnings of things are 10 or pretty close, and then it inevitably wanes and I lose interest completely…until years later, when I rediscover it and I spike again.

My unscientific theory is that this feeling is similar to the body developing a tolerance to an addictive substance. After a while, the substance doesn’t have the same capacity to elicit the original response at the original dosage. But for a Scanner, more of something is rarely helpful to make us happier. For a Scanner, we need the next shiny new thing to get us that 10-out-of-10 high. For a Scanner, the learning part is the most exciting part, so learning more and deeper in any one thing just gets more dull after a while.

I’m curious, though, if KJ is experiencing the 7-out-of-10 feeling about new things, too. If so, that is unusual. Perhaps there are other reasons for the general ennui? Perhaps KJ hasn’t had real time off from work and current projects in a while, so everything feels blah and recycled?
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Re: Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:32 pm

Isn't a 7 a pretty happy number?
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby BarbaraSher » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:00 pm

It's not bad, Elaine. For sure it's not something one would usually complain about.
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Re: Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby FrederickDesimpel » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:52 am

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Re: Are Scanners sometimes sad?

Postby elizagard » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:17 pm

One way of looking at joy is flow. I'm a big fan of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is the sweet spot between boredom (too easy) and anxiety (too hard). Flow is achieved when a challenge is just right for you. Once your skills improve, then you have to up the challenge to stay in the flow.

Everyone is sometimes sad, but diminished joy sounds like depression to me or not really getting much joy out of anything. For me, the way out of depression was to pick a very small goal every day and accomplish that.
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