- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Rodale; Main Market edition (16 Jun. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1405093412
- ISBN-13: 978-1405093415
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 639,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?: A Revolutionary Programme for Doing Everything That You Love Paperback – 16 Jun 2006
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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.
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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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".
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".
By writing about our ideas, we indulge in one our greatest pleasures as a Scanner and we practice our creative talent for idea generation. I would add a further suggestion though - by writing about an interest or idea, we can explore how we could get a taste of it right now. Got an idea for a business but don't want to run it? Explore it in your Daybook, then think how you could sell the idea, assist someone already doing it, or implement it in some much smaller way (on the web for instance).
Surely there are times when we must be able to focus? Yes - and when this is the case Sher recommends we set up a "Real deadline". This is a drop-dead date with a commitment to other people (not just yourself) that you will be finished. Use the impending deadline to focus your efforts for a while. Once complete, present or publish your results, celebrate them and then go back to "full scanner mode" where you can once again pursue any interest without having to follow through.
I recommend this book to all my coaching clients with multi-faceted lives. If you recognise yourself as a Scanner, I am sure you will get benefit from reading it too.
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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