i took a test whilst i was in college for a leadership class taught by the now photographer, speaker, and author dane sanders. the class changed my life. his insights have a way of doing that. don’t believe me? read his book: fast track photographer or just hear him speak. he’s the real deal.
and i digress…back to the story. so this test…it’s called the strengths finder. it’s pretty sweet. and tells you a ton about your, uh, strengths. awesome, right? SO, one of my strengths was “input.” “you are inquisitive. you collect things. you might collect information–words, facts, books, and quotations–or you might collect tangible objects…whatever you collect, you collect because it interests you. and yours is the kind of mind that finds many things exciting. yhe world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity.” AND, i’m a “learner.” “you love to learn…you will always love the process of learning. the process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. you are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence.” (markus buckingham, now discover your strengths”
this is as true today as it was 5 years ago when i took the test. i am constantly collecting. i have a collection of twisty-ties that i started when i was a kid. it’s awesome and impressive. jealous? you should be. and i have quite a sizeable rubber band ball. haha. okay, really, i’m not so much a collector of such things, but i am constantly inputting in myriad forms. i surf the web for goodies. i read articles and books about marketing, social media, design, and photography. i flip through magazines for shoot concepts and ideas and window shop for cool display design. and i have a folder on my desktop for the sole purpose of storing my collections. this is all fine and dandy, and i do think it connects with the whole “learner” gig. i am always seeking more knowledge, understanding, experience, inspiration and wisdom. i crave it in fact. i was always that kid in class (and in life) who asked a lot of questions and always wanted to know why? how? i love that show on the science channel, “how it’s made.” i always watch it when i’m at home visiting my family and trip-out about how candy canes and cheese puffs are made. it’s useful information for a cocktail party. trust me. everyone wants to know about how cheese puffs are made. see, little did you know, i’m a wealth of useful information. i input and i learn.
all that to say…methinks i all too often just take-in information and forget to disseminate it. and sometimes i neglect to even process it as much as i should, i just collect and store it away just in case it might be useful later. but i got to thinking about it and came to the conclusion quite quickly that this is, well, LAME. what’s the point of all this “learning” and “inputting” if i don’t always synthesize and share? it’s silly really. and entirely selfish.
i’ve decided to change that and to share more. part of the reason i hesitate to do this, however, is because all too often i feel like no one cares or like i don’t really have anything that interesting or insightful to say. i’m insecure i guess and feel like you have to become somebody before you can say something about anything. but then my friends and advisors tell me, “shut-up, get over yourself and start sharing. maybe you’ll at least help one person, with one thing and then you’ll know it was worth it to say something!”. i think it’s time i embrace my strengths and begin to use them more intentionally and wisely. alas, i’m gonna start living my dream. now. not someday, but today. my dream (and my heart) is to notice that which goes unnoticed, and to help people become more of who they are and to live more meaningful stories. being part of that process, in some form at least, is what truly excites me.
what all this will look like exactly, i am not quite sure. but i have me some ideas. and i will keep you in the loop as they come to fruition. and in the meantime, i am going to endeavor to at least share some of my finds here on the blog. and of course, i will keep “tweeting” about them over on my twitter page. but rest assured, that i am always scheming ways to live that dream, and to choose my own meaningful story.
so, what do you think?