Are you Too Talented?

“We’ve got too much talent here not to do anything with it” ~Rein Long

I know reading the title may be a shock to some.
However, the fact that you’re reading already tells you one of two things:
1. You’ve thought about the dark side of being overly talented
2. You have an inkling that this might be true for you or someone you know.

What sparked this thought?
After several recent conversations with folks about what I am currently doing in terms of business or career, the words “you’re so talented” kept coming up. Not trying to toot my own horn. Keep reading.

I just returned from a trip to wudang mountain where I studied the original taiji 13 form, I’m working on a web design project related to chess, I’ve written several ebooks and guides for others, and I even coach others to discover their life purpose and get clear about where they are going. There is a caveat.

I don’t believe I am the only one that is able to do many different things generally well. A “practitioner of many and master of none” come to mind. Being able to do many things has benefits when it is time to get something started. However, to really get focused and master one thing is not very easy.

Too much talent can lead to a lack of focus.

Two Signs that your talent is causing you to be unfocused.

Sign 1. Trying out several new things at one time and never completing
When you have so many different areas of interest and capability it is really easy to be distracted by one other thing that you would like to try and see if it is for you. I’ve started countless mini websites and lost interest within the first 3 months. How distracted do you get when you are trying to focus on something? If you find yourself starting many different things and not much getting complete, this can be a problem.

What to do:

  1. Make a working folder that you place any projects or activities you are working on in. On a computer I have a folder called “working” under my documents. This will store any of my major projects that I’m tackling at the moment.
  2. Make the project small enough that you will realistically complete it before moving on to (or get distracted by) something else.
  3. Give yourself a limit to how many things you can work on at one time.
  4. Once the project is done, move it out of the working folder to an archive of some kind. I use one drive and hard drive to back up my this stuff.
  5. Add the next thing.

Reason 2. Creating disparate social circles.
This can be a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. Rather than having one group of friends that enjoys playing video games. I am connected to the techies, dancers, artists, muscle heads and tea lovers. I love these groups. The challenge is that all of your friends and associates will want to do things regularly. This can be a time drain. Your weekend schedule will start to be look busier than your work schedule. This is an indicator that your talent may be pulling you into too many directions.

What to do:

  1. Set a boundary of how much you are willing to be active in during your free time. Block out the time you need for creative stuff first, then fill in as desired.
  2. Don’t be afraid to say no. You don’t have to make an excuse to excuse yourself from an activity. Saying no to someone else is like saying yes to yourself.

I used these strategies to buckle down and complete the several ebooks. I’ll be using them to also expand some of those books into online courses as well.

Your turn

Do you have any indicators or strategies for the super talented? Don’t be shy?

Like a fine Pu’er tea this blog is getting better over time.

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