What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!

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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What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!

Postby iroiro » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:09 am

Hello Scanners,

I'm new here and wanted to say hi and a few other words. After being overly busy for a while (haha), I finally find the time to write down all the things I have in my mind. Or at least a few. I wanted to write directly to Barbara at first, but since other people might benefit from this as well, I rather post it here.

Thank you, Barbara! I felt relief after I read the first paragraphs of your book Refuse to Choose. Here comes my story, but I'll start with the honest, bad part first.

It's hard for me to accept the idea of being a Scanner. Usually I'm very sceptical, when I hear people saying good or bad things about a whole group of individuals. If you are from that country, then you are this; If you have these symptoms, we call you that and you have to do those things. Similarly, maybe, something inside me denies to accept the label "Scanner" somehow. Actually I read some quote about the relief somebody got, after labelling herself to be a Scanner. But for some reason, I can't (or don't want to?) label myself, at least not at the moment. Yes, I have at least 216 interests and can agree to quite a few quotes of Scanners. But some barricade in my head remains stubbornly. Things may change and I don't think this is a long-term problem. I'm thankful though for any input on that.

Howsoever, that doesn't bug me a lot. As said, I felt huge relief. (Now to the fun part.) After reading the first chapter I felt a weight lifted from my shoulder. With intellectual insight or without, the right lever of mine was pulled. I haven't felt so happy, optimistic, open-minded, relaxed and free for a long time. I enjoyed again to explore the world in which I am living. I met so many people, had so much fun, tidied up everything, was generous with time and mind and money, had a creative overflow of ideas, had transcendental insights into everything, got enough sleep and had so much energy, that I couldn't wait to get up the next morning again. Before I just couldn't enjoy my curiosity very much. In that week it was like being reunited with a beloved, lost friend again. And that feels so good.

My euphoria lasted for about a week, when shocking news from a friend distressed me for a couple of days. While I recovered slowly, I found out, that I did not only read a few charming words days before, but another way to look at me and my explanations of myself. A positive way. Maybe I'm not having that excessively exaggerated ecstasy anymore, but that would be okay, since it is not the (only) important thing. I know, what I am capable of and I know, that it is just a matter of time, until I get somehow intoxicated by creative energy again. And for this knowledge I am very grateful.

As I side note, I was also eased by the idea, that I don't necessarily have ADD. I wouldn't mind either, since for me it is not a disorder, but maybe a not that common way of functioning. Like a diesel-car. Or somebody talking Luxembourgish. In that sense, maybe a Scanner is rather "easily attracted", than "easily distracted". And I believe, that's a nice way to think about it.

My spirits are rising. Reading in the book about serious ways to get things done (or accept undone things) fills me with hope and joy. Except writing down thoughts more frequently, I haven't touched a single exercise or tool yet, but I'm already feeling better somehow. It seems to me now, that as I allow myself to be interested in indefinitely many things, I'm magically getting focused on the things I must and want to do. That's paradox and crazy and might just apply to myself, but I'm so happy about it, that I need to write it here. :-) Thank you.

I have a few questions after reading the book, but I rather put them into another thread later, to not overstretch this one. This is the first post in a forum since years, and I think, that's a good thing. Hello Scanners, I'm happy to join your forum. :-)
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Re: What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:25 am

Hi, Iroiro,
Thanks for the post.

Did you ever read Barbara Sher's "three stages of excitement?" Stage 1 is euphoria. Everything is wonderful. Stage 2 is the crash. Barbara would say that you just get through it and know that it won't last forever. Stage 3 is a happy stage, but not over-the-top excitement. And that's the stage where most things get done. So what you described is exactly what Barbara was talking about.

I don't think most humans could stand a lifetime of nothing but euphoria. And don't worry - the excitement will happen again.

By the way, congratulations on that first week. It sounds as if you made a lot of wonderful things happen.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!

Postby SquarePeg » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:43 pm

Welcome iroiro. I like this from your post (added emphasis):
...a Scanner is rather "easily attracted", than "easily distracted"
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Re: What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!

Postby BarbaraSher » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:45 pm

Welcome Iroiro!

Re the first (honest bad) part, a simpler way to look at it is this: When learning was young in the history of western culture, many people (the names we know include Aristotle, for example, but there were many less-known people who had the same curiosity about the things in this world) studied everything and anything they could find. They crossed all the later dividing lines that were drawn between the departments in universities, for example, when knowledge expanded and became too huge for any one person to understand it all.

When Europe descended into the Dark Ages, the Muslim world inherited the love of learning, the libraries, the study of the stars and geology, and everything else. Fortunately for Europe (and its colonies, like the U.S.) :-), they kept it intact and advanced it, and as the west started to come out of the dark ages and into the Renaissance and humanism, the love of learning exploded in Europe. Petrarch brought the notion of the all-around man to Europe: he wrote sonnets and played instruments, and fought duels as well. The Renaissance Man was like da Vinci - interested in both art, architecture and in war machines. Later, Goethe wrote novels, and developed (and also rediscovered) the science of colors, which led to the science of dyes, and the prosperity of the wool-fabric producers in Europe - and the prosperity of Europe as a whole.

People who were interested in 'everything' were considered educated, cultured, well-rounded, decidedly upper crust.

And then in the 1950's, very recent history became influenced mostly by a post WWII competition - the arms race in the Cold War - between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. To be a valuable member of society you had to be someone who could help 'our side' win that competition. Everyone else lost respect. Colleges began to have less money for the study of history, philosophy, art, even science except for the kind that added to our side's power. People who were generalists or had lots of interests came - for the first time that I can find in history - to be seen in a negative way.

And now people have forgotten that it was ever different. Your parents and most of us grew up in that time. We didn't fit comfortably in the new fashion of Specialist or Loser. That's when being 'well-rounded,' 'eclectic,' 'well-read' etc. became 'dilettante,' 'indecisive,' 'flaky,' and that's when having many interests for the first time began looking like a 'problem' and a failure of character, a fear of hard work, a refusal to grow up and choose a career. Aristotle, da Vinci, Goethe, Duncan, Ben Franklin would have been horrified.

Fortunately, that time is beginning to change again. It should change. People shouldn't be judged because their genetic makeup has gone out of fashion. Their 'problem' could turn out to be no problem at all. How to have a career? Lots of successful Scanners have done it. I mention some of them in Refuse to Choose.

Regarding labels: Some people hate to be labeled. Some love it. That preference isn't relevant, really. Identifying and respecting your learning style again - as it should always have been respected - is a not like calling yourself a Leo or a Pisces, or a Texan vs. a New Yorker. But given that you don't like labels, I'm impressed with your willingness to enter the discussion with an open mind and tell us how happy this discovery has made you.

I'm glad you're happy about feeling normal instead of problematical. You'll have a good time with Scanners. They love to be happy, they aren't usually competitive or driven by Big Success. And they're all very different from each other in most ways. But they definitely make the best company ever.

I read that Rodin said to some people, after hearing that Isadora Duncan was going to be in town and attending a party, "You must go to meet her! She's the most interesting person in Europe! She knows something about everything!" (Even when she was quite poor and often hungry, when she'd arrive in a city her first stop would be the library!)

So, welcome home, fellow Scanner. It's nice to have you around.
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Re: What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!

Postby NowIknow » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:47 am

Just would like to say welcome Iroiro and congratulations on your good feeling.

Thanks for sharing, your experience is very interesting. :)
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Re: What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!

Postby iroiro » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:37 pm

Dear Elaine, SquarePeg, Barbara and NowIknow,

thank you a lot for all your kind words! I value your feedback very high.

Elaine Glimme wrote:Did you ever read Barbara Sher's "three stages of excitement?"

Actually I haven't read about it from Barbara yet, but I'm convinced, that it is true in general. I think, this principle applies to very many things, that humans can appreciate. The "typical cases" of falling in love with somebody might be the best example for the three stages. :-)

Although my stage 2 might have been induced by external reasons. That's a bit sad, but that way I have no reason to be grumpy about the Scanner-part in me.

BarbaraSher wrote:Regarding labels: Some people hate to be labeled. Some love it. That preference isn't relevant, really. Identifying and respecting your learning style again - as it should always have been respected - is a not like calling yourself a Leo or a Pisces, or a Texan vs. a New Yorker.

Dear Barbara, thank you a lot for your elaborate answer! Your excursion into history helps. There and in the quote, I can see the point, I think. Pushing people into categories of "learning types" seems a bit rigid to me, but I totally support, what you're saying about individual learning styles. Thank you for your encouraging words.

On the evening of your answer, I declared to have a "bachelor party" with myself, since on the next day I had planned to take the first, serious steps for the book club. Your answer came exactly in the right moment to push me even further.

BarbaraSher wrote:But given that you don't like labels, I'm impressed with your willingness to enter the discussion with an open mind and tell us how happy this discovery has made you.

Maybe my reasoning mind prefers to not identify. But I can't deny, what I have felt. Averting my eyes won't help at all. I can't explain my happiness (yet), but that doesn't lessen it's worth.

And after all, we're talking about concepts, understanding and self-acceptance. Not about drugs or weapons. So this unexplainable happiness can't be that bad. :-)

Thank you for your kind words.

Elaine Glimme wrote:And don't worry - the excitement will happen again.

SquarePeg wrote:Welcome iroiro.

BarbaraSher wrote:So, welcome home, fellow Scanner. It's nice to have you around.

NowIknow wrote:Just would like to say welcome Iroiro and congratulations on your good feeling.

Thank you all for your warm and welcoming words! I'm glad I came here.
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