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What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?: A Revolutionary Programme for Doing Everything That You Love [Paperback]

Barbara Sher
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Jun 2006
Do you feel stuck in a rut because you want too many things? Do you think it would be wonderful to know, once and for all, exactly what you want to do? Maybe it would. But with so many interests calling you, how will you ever decide? Well you don't need to! In this fascinating and uplifting book, Barbara Sher shares her theory that many people who feel this way are what she calls 'scanners' - they have many interests and need to do lots of different things. Unfortunately, the pervading attitude is that successful individuals have one talent, one linear career or are dedicated to one hobby. As a result, scanners feel obliged to make narrow choices and then feel discontented with what they choose - or they are overwhelmed by choice and end up doing nothing at all. This book is for everyone who feels they want to do too many things and can't choose just one. It helps people understand that they do not have to focus on one thing - that they can love many different things and do them all. Barbara shows the reader how to accept and respect their nature, how to tackle the thorny issue of time, and examines one of the most tricky areas - how to find a great career. There are lots of case histories, an identity quiz to help readers create a detailed profile of themselves, and exercises that give them a more objective view of who they are and what they need to do to achieve their best work.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale (16 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405093412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405093415
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 582,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Barbara Sher is a career counsellor who has worked with individuals and in schools, companies and at conferences all over the world. She has written six books, including Wishcraft, a New York Times bestseller.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help at last for "Scanners" 23 July 2006
Are you a Scanner or a Diver? This new book by US coach Barbara Sher aims to help you find out. A Diver, according to Sher, is someone who likes to go deeply into a topic and stick with it, and will usually have a career that specialises in one area. A Scanner, in contrast, is interested in many different things and finds it difficult to choose between them. They often enjoy learning about something new just for the sake of learning. If, like me, you have so many interests or generate so many ideas that they are difficult to manage, you are a Scanner.

Unfortunately we Scanners have had a bad press, labelled "Dilettante", "Jack of all trades" and worse. "What do I do when I want to do everything?" sets out to right this wrong and convince us that we are lucky to be Scanners. The book will help you identify what kind of Scanner you are, learn practical techniques for becoming more productive, and find a career you won't get bored of. Our breadth of interests and natural love of new ideas means that we are a natural fit for a career as a writer, broadcaster, researcher, information entrepreneur or portfolio worker (someone with several career strands).

One of my favourite suggestions from the book is the "Scanner Daybook". Sher suggests you invest in a large blank bound book to capture your new ideas and interests. Now, every time a new interest or idea grabs you, start a new page and write notes or make sketches about it. It's OK to write about an idea for something without ever following through. In fact, Sher says that you owe it to yourself to do everything that interests you - even if "doing it" just means playing around with it in your Scanner Daybook. She gives the surprising advice "Start small, start now, start everything and don't bother to finish any of it".
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a book about me... 7 Sep 2007
I bought this book after I was given an article taken from a magazine. What I had read made me cry. I've never found anything that so completely expressed who I am and how I behave. For years I've called myself many derogatory names because of my endless interests, career ideas and desires that petered out when I found something else or had learnt all I wanted to. I have always felt like I had to find the one thing that I could focus on, but I never could choose just one! In this book, Barbara Sher gives people like me the permission that we need to be ourselves and not be terrified of not "having a calling" or never knowing what we want to be when we grow up. I've always kept a notebook of my ideas, wishes and plans, and Barbara encourages this - a Scanner's Daybook. If you are the kind of person who always has a new interest, is always thinking of a new plan or has wonderful ideas that rarely happen because you've moved on to the next thing, or you're too scared to choose, then you may be a Scanner too. If you are, you need this book. Trust me, it will change the way you think about yourself and the way you live.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Excellent! I have lived under a shadow my whole adult life until I read this book. This was reviewed in Psychologies magazine last year, when I read the review it struck a cord - I live in NZ so when my parents visited they bought a copy for me (purchaed from amazon of course!)
The Day Scanner Book really brought home to me that my ideads & ideals are valid & that not having a 'job for life' is ok, in fact it's something I can be proud of. Eight months on I have a 'good enough job' that gives me time & money to do my passions & explore all the new ones inside me. I use my Day Scanner Book every week, & am passing on the word to other souls who are filled with dread that their dreams will only ever be that. Yes it is 'American' in style but take that with a pinch of salt & revel in a new day...!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So I'm not a flake after all! 21 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've never been able to make up your mind what to do with your life, if people are always on at you for leaving projects half-finished, and (as they do with me) refer acerbically to "your latest enthusiasm", then this is the book for you!

Barbara introduces us to a type of person she calls a "scanner", someone whose abilities and mindset send them off in many fascinating directions. We can be really, really good at a wide range of things - modern renaissance souls - and the thought of specialising in one area for the rest of our lives feels like death.

Trouble is, we can begin to panic, thinking there will never be time for everything we want to do, and this is where Barbara's fantastic book comes in. With lots of practical suggestions, techniques and exercises, she really does make it possible to combine everything we love to do in one exciting life.

Incidentally, this is the British edition of the book. In the United States, it's published as "Refuse to Choose".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book 27 Dec 2010
By fadwa
I was drawn to the title of this book like a butterfly to sweet nectar. It took me a long time to reach this state of just doing everything I want to do without thinking too much about how others view this path that has chosen me, and it's wonderful to know that there are many others like me (although I can't seem to find of them around where I live). An eye-opener, but I still didn't like being labeled :-)
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