Alternative Title: Chase nuance, not novelty.
A lot of what influences most of the content in these posts has to do with increasing rate of change. We live in a world vastly different than what came before it, and the gap between decades is getting wider. This stretching of the modern condition means the world you live in now will be drastically different than the one your grandchildren will grow up in.
When you spend time looking at the things around you from this perspective of increasing rates of change, you begin to realize that more than ever before, no one really has any idea what is going on. The speed of change is so fast that our internal compasses are malfunctioning. The abundance of new and novel ideas, products, and experiences means we no longer have time to chase the small things, the nuance.
It’s in this disinterest for chasing nuance, we fail to build character.
Scanner vs. Deep Diver
A scanner goes through life picking up interests and skills on a needs only basis, becoming sufficiently informed, then moving onto the next interest or skill, amassing an approximate knowledge of many things.
A deep diver immerses herself in her interest or skill and refines her craft to perfection.
You may call this the generalist vs the specialist, or the mile wide, inch deep vs inch wide, mile deep fellow. These analogies can be interpreted many different ways and you’re likely to be a combination of both of these archetypes. However it is only in spending time as a deep diver that you build character, and a life lived exclusively scanning will result in superficiality easily peeled back by a few “but whys?”.
How to build character
When you develop a new interest and spend time honing it in, you inevitably come to a point where the difficulty in pursuing it makes you want to quit. If you fail to make it past this difficulty threshold you move on with your life and perhaps find a new interest (from which there is an abundance for you to choose). If you do make it past this threshold, you have succeeded in making it into a zone in which the hardship you face, and the nuance you discover, help you to build long lasting character.
So remember that thing that interested you a few months ago, that you went out and bought a bunch of stuff for to get good at, then it got hard and you quit.
Don’t let the fast pace of the world stop you from building character, go and spend some more time at it. You’ll be happy you did. 😂