My last post was on the subject of topic switching. A person who topic switches will change the subject of a conversion repeatedly and seemingly randomly. It is as if her mind is racing so far ahead she doesn’t realize she’s skipped big chunks of the conversation. Or that he is so impulsive he spits out anything as soon as it comes to mind.
This post is about something completely different yet, in a strange way, related. I will call it “Large Scale Topic Switching”.
I will often be involved in something, such as writing, that has become my life’s focus, my obsession. I will spend every breathing moment working on this pursuit.
But then something happens.
It might be a vacation, a week away. It might be a life change, like the death of a pet. It might be a distraction, like bringing in a new puppy that needs large amounts of attention. Whatever it is, for a while my life’s pursuit is dropped.
The problem is, sometimes it isn’t picked back up. Often another pursuit takes its place.
In my life I have devoted 100% of my being to studying music. I’ve spent every waking second working on drawing and painting. I’ve stayed up all night writing computer programs. I’ve lived with a camera attached to my face. And I’ve committed myself totally to the written word. About the time I think I should start seeing results something derails me and I set off down a different path.
I wrote a previous post about the issues created by being involved in too many arts, but for the most part I was talking about practicing them all simultaneously. In reality I usually am only involved in one thing at a time. I’m also usually 100% committed to that art.
Why does this break down inevitably happen? Why am I always stopping seemingly just before I take it to the next level?
Part of it is short attention span. After I do something for a while I have a need to move on and do something else. My work is so much more satisfying if I’m able to occasionally move to a totally unrelated project. Although I do have my routines, I thrive on change.
Another part is just plain burnout. This isn’t just change to keep my sharp and sane, it is the fact that nobody can stay focused at 100% on something without clearing their mind. I need a break from my pursuits.
Then there is just simply distraction. I’ll admit I can be easily distracted. Once distracted I have a hard time getting my groove back.
So there I am, cruising down the highway at 110, when a pyramid suddenly falls in front of me causing a great distraction. My momentum is lost and I can’t just pick right back up. I’m a little burned out so when do try to start up there is something resisting. Suddenly my eye catches another glittery subject to play with until I can start back up. I get going with it and before I realize it I’m going 110 down the highway but this time in a totally different direction.
How about you? Do you ever find yourself “Large Scale Topic Switching” and taking off on a totally different path? Do you ever return to the original subject? Do you have tons of unfinished projects just waiting for you to return from your side trip?