Book: The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One

Worth reading! The Renaissance Soul gives down-to-earth advice for
people who thrive on variety and challenges in a number of deep and
rich interests. The book helps people identify their passions
(plural!) and follow them without feeling overwhelmed by choice. It’s
also clear, well-written, and full of concrete stories. I like it!

—-

A number of people have told me that they admire the way I know what
I’m doing. My grade school teachers were completely unsurprised by my
choice of a college major. My love for technology can be traced to
childhood, and on the surface it can seem like I’m one of those people
who know what they want to do and how to do it.

However, my teachers and friends have also always known that I can
have a hard time focusing. In university, I switched from mobile
computing to wearable computing to personal information management to
education. I take up hobbies and let them go at some point.

The best thing I took away from the book is the idea of a focal point
sampler. Identify four things you’re passionate about. Figure out if
you’re the kind of person who pursues things sequentially or who
prefers to enrich life by blending things together. Make it happen.
Key point: you’re not stuck to these four choices forever; you can
change your mind and try different flavors next time. It’s like
sampling flavors in an ice cream shop…

I think my sister Kathy should read this book, too. =) Good book.
Thumbs up!

—-

Notes:

55 The people who are most secure are not those who pick one career and stick with it. They are the people who follow their passion—or passions. [Quote preceded by clear, concrete example.]
55 Only by staying in tune with your passions will you acquire the glowing references and kindred-spirit networking contacts that will pull you through times of change, whether that change is imposed from without or within.
66 [Describes terrific exercises for figuring out which values are important to you overall and which ones are important right now.]
70 Five from fifty exercise. Choose the five values most important to you at this moment.
76 Throw your own birthday party. Write toasts for yourself from different perspectives.
81 Mine-Theirs exercise. Three columns: activity, justification, does this reflect my values of theirs?
98 Focal points: a sampler of interests, not just one primary interest. Four seems to be a good number.
106 Jobs. [J-O-B: get/make a job that includes some of your focal points. Think of it as a stepping stone.]
114 You must always answer any ritual questions about what you do in terms of one or more of your focal points, not your job.
133 [Story of Tracy Kidder, who’s totally awesome.]
154 [Brainstorming extravaganza. Invite a dozen or so friends/colleagues/whoever over.]
158 [Resource party. Kinda like a silent auction. Hand out index cards with numbers written on them, and arrange people in a circle. Person 1 asks a question. Anyone who can help raises their number, and the person writes down their numbers for later conversation. (Don’t take other people’s time with the details!). Go a few rounds, then take a break for conversation.]
162 [Guidelines for volunteering: create your own volunteer position by bartering your services for what they can provide, make contact with the right person (someone who can make things happen for you and doesn’t mind sharing opportunities).]
165 [Four-frame approach: big picture, why you selected this situation, what you would like to gain, what you can give in return]
168 Mentorship has traditionally been a less formal affair open to everyone. [You can find mentors everywhere.]
211 Price, Reality, Integrity, Specificity, Measurability – PRISM test for focal points
218 [Take a look at the list of possible intentions / qualities. Pick two that are crucial to your focal point, but personally difficult for you. I intend to be ___ enough in the way that I ____ to make the most of this focal point.]
221 [Set intention markers – milestones – which show you how you follow through with those milestones.]
233 [Schedule in focal point blocks and then work on whichever focal point is appropriate for the moment. You can color-code your schedule according to the focal point in order to see if you’ve been balancing things well.]
244 [Multitask in one direction. Don’t do other things during focal point time, but mix focal stuff into other activities.]
246 Fresh ideas for your daily TODO list
256 [Have three candidates for asking for help with different things, prioritize and load-balance]

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The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One