It's amazing how profound simple common sense sometimes is. And it's amazing how many times we find ourselves stuck in the all too familiar not-seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees situation, or in a form of goal paralysis.
The question posed in the title — "What do you do when you want to do everything?" — caught my eye in a magazine and I ordered the book from Amazon as soon as I could afford it. (In theory, I'm on a book-buying ban — self-imposed — because I have a pile of books to read so high that most people would take one look at it and proceed to spend the rest of the day rocking in a corner, dribbling from the mouth).
There are some books that bypass this ban. This was one of them. It made it to the top of the reading list and was consumed in hungry gulps over just a few days. It's now bookmarked in several places and already looks well-loved. I was so excited about the message within that I emailed the author, Barbara Sher. She replied quickly and with kind words.
So, what's the book about, exactly? If you've ever had that feeling of "wanting to do everything"; if you've ever wondered what is it exactly you're "supposed to be doing with your life" because you seem to be good at whatever you try out - and may seem to have an endless list of interests (some apparently unrelated, but no less interesting to you!); if you've ever felt paralysed by the sheer number of opportunities out there and by the flow of ideas from your active mind: this book is something you might not be able to put down either.
Barbara introduces us to a kind of typology - people can be roughly divided between "Scanners" and "Divers". The modern Western world is set up to favour and pander to the Divers. Divers are people who specialise in one discipline and work towards becoming settled within it (at whatever level seems to work out for them). Doctors, lawyers, athletes and similar professionals whose training and career will have included long periods of focusing on just one area are usually Divers.
Scanners, on the other hand, find themselves interested in many (sometimes seemingly unrelated) topics, struggled (or were never able) to choose just one subject to major in, and are often viewed and treated less favourably by our current society. Often mislabelled as dabblers or as attention-deficient, Scanners are in fact capable, intelligent and multi-talented individuals whose main problem is that they just can't choose which of their talents they should be pursuing!