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Home > Blog > ADD, Dillettante- or Renaissance Soul?
Out of Our Minds
Monday, January 30, 2006 2:10 PM
ADD, Dillettante- or Renaissance Soul?
Kate Yandoh on Creativity

According to author and coach Margaret Lobenstine, the right answer for many may be door #3, profiled in her book The Renaissance Soul. A Ben Franklin with many passions (as opposed to a Mozart with a single, driving one,) the Renaissance Soul may job-hop so quickly it seems like a jig and have trouble staying on task - but may also be incredibly innovative, creative and successful, especially when they take an approach to life and work that fits them instead of society's traditional mold.

Lobenstine recommends Renaissance Souls keep these ideas as they pursue their many callings (and get over not being one of those people who've always known exactly what they wanted to be when they grow up:)

'1) Did you ever wonder why you find those career and personality tests that ask you to pick one answer to be often far more frustrating than informative? You hate being limited to just one choice! Standard questions like 'What do you see yourself doing in five years?' or 'What do you want to be?' are likely to either shut you right up or bring forth a hundred different answers that can change every five minutes. \n \n2) Know that you'll never be happy doing just one thing for the rest of \nyour life, although you may pursue your interests either sequentially or \nsimultaneously. The key is not to try to open too many doors at once or \nyou won't get far enough inside any of them to feel satisfied. Instead \nthink in terms of identifying a maximum of three to five what I call \nRenaissance Focal Points to give your main energy to for at least two to \nsix months. During that time, keep a notebook of other exciting ideas \nyou may want to pursue in the future, but not right now! \n \n3) Know that process may well be more important to you than product. For \nexample, if what excites/feeds you about quilting is the process of \nworking through all the challenges of color, fabric, and pattern, once \nyou have a design that pleases you, you have successfully done what you \nset out to do - even if the quilt is not a 'finished' product, or the \nfinishing is done by someone else! \n \n4) Be aware that you may be motivated by different 'carrots' than other \nfolks. What looks like a big promotion to some - being given \nresponsibility in your division for a larger geographic area, for \nexample, - may not hold as many new challenges for you as a supposedly \nmore horizontal move into a division you know less about. \n \n5) Recognize when you are done with one passion and give yourself \npermission to move on. For example, I used to run my own highly \nsuccessful bed and breakfast. When I sold my inn, most people assumed \nI'd want to ride that success by going on to run an even bigger one. Did \nI? Of course not. My Renaissance Soul was ready for a change!'


Margaret Lobenstine - 2/7/2006 10:04:58 AM
Thank you so much for passing on the word re Renaissance Souls! While Random House/Broadway published my book (THE RENAISSANCE SOUL: Life Design for People With Too Many Passions to Pick Just One,) their publicity budget for this book is extremely limited. There are still so many folks out there who think there's something wrong with them rather than feeling pleased to be a Renaissance Soul. The more people who spread the word, via blogs, online book reviews, links on their sites, etc. the more people we reach with this affirming paradigm shift. This is definitely going to be a word-of-mouth process since much of the media still haven't caught on to the power of this information and the number of people out there searching for it! So thank you in advance for anything you do to get the word out and help us reach the tipping point!
Bonnie Yelverton - 2/2/2006 11:01:31 AM
I was refered to this entry, and loved it. So that's the explanation for my career, which is not over by any means, even though I'm almost 63. I don't understand which generations Janet Auty-Carlisle is talking about. My father is just like me, and my son appears to be to same. Probably my daughter, too.
At any rate, I have been a school teacher, diaper service owner/developer, translator, web designer, politician, and now free-lance technical writer in a variety of different types of companies doing a variety of different writing jobs - a perfect solution for a renaisance person!
My now 92-year-old father is a mechanical engineer. He kept moving from a very large company to ever smaller ones until he owned his own at about 50. After he retired from that he took up archeology!
My son starts many projects but I think he has difficulty getting them launched.
All of us have moved our families many many times. I hope I'll stay put now!
Janet Auty-Carlisle - 1/30/2006 5:46:31 PM
See, that's the cool thing about growing, and learning and personal development. It may be that you loved one thing for a while and then something else that was more intriguing came your way. Do you close that door and not try it out or do you take the chance and see how it fits? Each person has to make that decision on their own. We are lucky, in one sense, in that this generation can choose to try on different careers and hobbies. Other generations did not have that blessing. What I have found is that a lot of the time what you love to do incorporates itself into your career in many different ways. Like to write? Well perhaps you start out writing with a research company, then doing the research, then maybe freelancing, then perhaps writing a short novel, (just make sure you call it exactly what it is...) then maybe a screen play...and so on. They are all elements of writing but totally different aspects. Bottom line is do what you love. I love the term Renaissance soul..thanks for the concept...Living la vida fearless, Jan
dillan - 1/30/2006 2:55:50 PM
These are great thoughts! I love how you talk about the need to not focus in on one thing for your entire life. I am not sure I know many people that just say 'this is it, this is the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life'. It seems like such a task to discover what this hidden talent/career which may exist deep within the soul may be. I think one of the most freeing thoughts when it comes to this search to do what feels right at that time and not stress uncovering some great mystery of life along the way. I too find myself changing my course on a regular basis and it shouldn't be viewed as a bad thing.


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