I’ve been thinking about this as a negative, but let me turn it to the positive for a moment. I’m a “big picture” kind of person. A while back I had a principal who provided the whole staff with Strengthsfinder 2.0 books, and we all took the test to find our strengths. I wasn’t terribly surprised to find that my strongest came out as “ideation.”
According to the Strengthsfinder folks, “People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.” In other words, I see things as part of a whole, and can envision how they all connect together. This is very helpful when I’m planning lessons and units in school, when I’m renovating parts of my home, or when I’m designing a quilt.
The flip side of this, for me anyway, is that I sometimes get lost in the details. I know what I want the whole thing to look like and how I want it to function, but all the little bits and pieces of making it happen sometimes trip me up. That’s where I get stuck.
Instead of writing a whole novel, I need to start with an outline. Instead of cleaning the whole house, I need to wash the dishes. Instead of losing 100 pounds, I need to go for a walk. Breaking down these big goals into smaller, more manageable ones, isn’t hard, it just doesn’t come easily or naturally to me. I want to do it all, and I want to do it now. I know that’s not realistic for large goals, so I tend to do nothing instead. How crazy is that?
I have to stop myself and make myself hear how ridiculous I’m being. I would never expect a student to get an idea for a research paper then turn in that finished paper the same morning. I wouldn’t expect my son to take up a new sport and be and expert at it in the same week. I wouldn’t expect my dog to master a new behavior the first time she tries it. So why do I expect so much of myself?
I CAN lose a hundred pounds. It will take a long time and I will get tripped up along the way, but I have to expect that and forgive myself and keep moving forward. I CAN be a published author, but not if I don’t hone my craft and submit my writing to publishers. I CAN keep my home neat and tidy, but not if I don’t spend 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there to keep up with it.
Many imperfect steps in the correct direction will lead me far further down the path I wish to travel than just a few perfect steps. I have to keep this in mind and just keep moving. Living in a state of inertia, while easy, holds no rewards. With risk comes reward, and with work comes success. Wish me success and I try to learn this lesson over and over again.