Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all it's flavour.
I often find myself working with people who come to me with what they perceive as a problem. They have too many interests and they need to focus down to one thing. On one level, there is something sensible about this, concentrating on one thing and becoming an expert, being the ‘go to’ person. But too often, they come wanting drastic action, cutting out all the ‘distractions’ of their other interests.
Some people are very suited to having tunnel vision, knowing exactly what they want to do and not diverting from it, concentrating their whole career on their music, painting, writing, etc. On the face of it, how lucky they are to be so sure of their life goal.
But then there are the others of us who are still trying to work out what we are going to be when we grow up. We can be plagued by voices telling us we must, at some point, decide whether we are actually going to be a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist or writer. (Not that Leonardo da Vinci, who could have used all those job titles, worried about making his decision.)
The received wisdom is that if we have too many interests and want to follow them, we are being unfocused and scattergun in our approach. But is that really so? We are all multifaceted individuals, so why shouldn’t we give expression to all sides of our personalities? You might want to concentrate on one interest and after a few years, switch careers (or even have them as seasonal work - accountant in the winter and landscape gardener in the summer).
You might want to run your 3 or 4 main interests side by side. For example, professionally, I am first and foremost a coach, because I love working with people and helping them spark their ideas. My main creative practice is dancing the tango, and I also take photos and write. On a day to day basis, I may find that I am focussing on my coaching, or my writing to the exclusion of the others. However, looking across the board, if I was ‘only’ doing one of them for a long period of time, I would become bored and restless. Each interest supports and informs the others, sparking off ideas and keeping my mind active and alert. They all help me grow professionally and have more to offer my clients, as well as making me a happier and more rounded person.
So today, don’t sacrifice something you love doing because you think it is a distraction. Embrace the variety for the spice it gives your life!
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, book for a Light the Blue Touchpaper session.