Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Focus

There’s no way to write this sentence and have it come off the way I intend (i.e. without seeming arrogant), so here goes:

I’m pretty good at a lot of things—most things, in fact.

Before you roll your eyes or simply close your browser, never to read my egocentric musings again, note that I said “pretty good”. That’s a nebulously low bar to hurdle, is it not?

My point is that I am blessed with the ability to obtain new skills and knowledge easily. I’m not sure why this is, but I think it’s that my mind is adept at seeing patterns and moving toward efficiency. In other words, I can usually figure out what’s working and what isn’t, which means I “pick things up” sooner than most.

I am also cursed with becoming bored remarkably quickly, which means I lose focus WAY before I ever master anything. This frustrates me in retrospect, but I guess it doesn’t frustrate me enough to just immerse myself in something to see if maybe I could be great at something. Before I ever get to that point, something else piques my interest and I’m running off in its general direction.

It’s happened since I was a kid. Whether it was baseball or band, I’ve never had the innate focus, drive, and discipline required to take myself to that next level. Sure, I could have spent an hour a day doing rotator cuff exercises or doing scales and arpeggios in obscure keys on my trumpet, but there are too many other new things to try, right?

I’ve done some major agonizing over this. Is this a personality flaw on my part? Seriously, is there something wrong with me? Am I just so captivated by new stimuli that I will always chase the new experience instead of taking a deeper look at a familiar one?

I envy those whose path is clear.

5 comments:

Craig said...

Ooohhh, look, something shiney!!!!

JJSKCK said...

Yeah, pretty much.

Craig said...

You forgot bowling. Just imagine the money you could of made rolling jackpot nights around town.

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

It's MTV's fault with their quick edits and their rock 'n roll music! Ok, so you're a magpie, big deal. I think our society's been gravitating that way for decades - we want instant gratification. We want to have everything, to know everything and we want it now. Who has time to actually do the work to achieve something? I'm not implicating you, just sayin'...

JJSKCK said...

Craig-
Every so often I miss bowling, but never enough to commit a school year to doing it again...especially not a league that got me home after 11pm every Monday like the last year we bowled. But yeah, it's another thing that I took to a certain level and stopped. I didn't have to work very hard to get to 215, but it would have taken a LOT more practice to get to 225--time I felt like spending on other things.

Steaming bowl-
What I wrestle with is whether I'm innately tuned to jump from activity to activity, or if I just haven't found that one thing that will pull me in and make me WANT to immerse myself. I keep hoping it's the latter, but I don't know if that's necessarily better than exploring a bunch of different things. I just have this nagging thought that I'm wasting something by not fully dedicating myself to...something.