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Release : April 12, 2017
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Genre : Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller.
Stars : Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Scott Eastwood, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren, Elsa Pataky, Kristofer Hivju, Eva Mendes, Jordana Brewster, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kristofer Hivju, Destiny Lopez, Theresa Cook, Zachary Vazquez, Kim Evans, Don Omar, Oleg Prudius, Eden Estrella, Tego Calderón, Tyson Jarvis, Myrom Kingery, Anita Farmer Bergman, Connie Kincer, Yassie Hawkes, Friday Chamberlain, Mya Levels.

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

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Mike Rowe gives life advice far better than I do

I’m not intentionally posting so many life advice posts lately, it’s just one of those periods where the patterns converge and I go where they tell me.

In case you aren’t familiar with the name, Mike Rowe is most famous for hosting the TV show “Dirty Jobs”, where (you guessed it) he works some of the toughest, dirtiest jobs around, and shows/tells us what it’s like.

Apparently he got a question from a fan recently, and it really made me stop and think about my own life, in a way that not even the INFJ dilemma post had.

I generally try not to re-post entire articles from other sites, but in this case I feel I must, but I will of course link to the original: “A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Life Advice… His Response Is Truly Brilliant”.

So, the post starts with the fan’s question:

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

– Parker Hall

Mike’s response is elegant and simple. It can resonate with a wide range of people. He weaves it all together so well I’m honestly jealous.

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

The beginning. We’re just warming up.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”
“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”
“Not my type.”
“Really? How do you know?”
“I just know.”
“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.”
“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”
“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”
“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”
“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”
She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Boom. That one got me right in the existential gut. This “Claire” is also true of me. It used to be both in the romantic and professional sense, but now I’d say it’s moreso just in my work life. I love the city I live in, I want to travel a bit, but I don’t want to move somewhere else and stay there. Mainly because I don’t know if they will have the same things there that I enjoy here. But maybe that means I’m too comfortable. I’ve learned over the last few years that when you go out of your comfort zone is when you learn the most, and when you rediscover what it truly takes to be happy (often it’s not things either). I have gone out of my comfort zone a lot more, but maybe I need to do it locationally again soon.

Lastly:

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck –
Mike

In other words, “no excuses”. Thank you Mike, you’ve given me a hearty bone to chew on.

As always, I post it here if I think it’s interesting or helpful.

Thinking about a career change? This might help

If you have read my post about the Scanner Personality Type, you’ll know I’m always thinking about doing something different. If I had all the time in the world and didn’t need to eat, sleep, bathe or go to the washroom, I could happily hold down a dozen different jobs.

Business Insider has a post titled “The 40 Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get Without A Bachelor’s Degree”, though when I posted this on facebook a few of my friends cautioned me that this was USA centric and that it’s still not like you can just quit your current job today to go start a job as one of these things tomorrow. But it’s good to know the most viable options, and I don’t think I have the patience to go back to school again at this point.

Personally, #39, the Eletrical and Electronics Engineering Technician sounds the most fun/interesting to me of the whole list. Though I also would definitely be interested to learn to be a Pilot (#16).

Are you a scanner? You might be a scanner.

I guess I should have done this post a while ago, seeing as it’s a large part of why this blog exists at all.

What is a scanner? Well, that’s just one name for it. The name “scanner” was coined by Barbara Sher in her book “Refuse to Choose”. Others include Renaissance Soul (by Margaret Lobenstine), Multipotentialite (from Emilie Wapnick) and the classical term Polymath, which originated during the Renaissance. I prefer scanner because it’s the shortest, easiest to say, and invokes the least amount of confusion in people not familiar with the concept.

[Update 1 – June 21, 2014 – I’ve come across data that refutes the validity of the MBTI system, so the reference to INFJ in this post isn’t as relevant anymore]

[Update 2 – Aug 15, 2016 – I have started a new project that if you enjoy this blog post you’ll likely be interested to check out – The Most Interesting Thing Project. Weekly blog post with new interesting facts, and a bi-weekly video talk show episode with interesting guests]

A scanner is a personality type, basically you are interested in many things that may or may not be related, and you have a strong desire to just keep learning (and trying) everything you can. Whether that’s learning new skills, new concepts, or even just learning more about yourself.

The best description/breakdown I have seen of this comes from Joanne Munro’s Career Pioneers blog:

Simply put, Scanner Personalities are people who either have so many interests they find it impossible to decide on just one career – so they don’t make any decision at all for fear of making the wrong choice, or they have lots of projects on the go but seldom finish any of them before they lose interest and move on to the next project.

Scanners are interested in multiple things, they love learning, their brains work very fast, and they are constantly scanning the horizon for new things.

Scanner Personality Traits (from Scanner Central)

  • You have creative ideas all the time, whether it’s for a book, a TV show, an art project, a website, a business, starting a movement, creating a brand, or writing a bestseller
  • You love to learn about new subjects and ideas and then quickly move on to something else
  • You have loads of seemingly unrelated interests
  • Trying to choose between all your ideas, interests and projects stresses you out
  • The thought of concentrating on one job or business for the rest of your life horrifies you
  • You start lots of projects but don’t always finish them before you get into something else

Common problems for Scanners are a reluctance to commit to just one thing for fear of making the wrong choice, and not finishing projects. An analogy I love is comparing Scanners to honey bees. Their purpose it to move from flower to flower getting pollen. They stay at each flower just long enough to get what they came for and nobody can tell them when they should be finished because only the bee knows when it is done.

I only discovered the concept last August (2013), a friend of mine was reading Barbara Sher’s book and told me about it. She was correct in thinking that since her and I are very alike, that I was probably a scanner too. I have since bought and read both books as well as Emilie Wapnick’s “Renaissance Business” – the ultimate impetus for this blog’s birth. Though I don’t currently plan to make this a business, it’s more of a community service.

Discovering this Scanner thing however, was a huge epiphany for me. I’d struggled my whole life professionally because I could never find anything that I enjoyed doing consistently for more than 2 or 3 years maximum in a stretch, and this helped explain why. I mean, I’ve been a musician for nearly 13 years now and have always enjoyed that, but I figured out when I went to school for music business, that it wasn’t going to work for me as a career. Basically, nothing that I find truly fun or interesting, is viable as a career for me, because once someone is telling me what and how to do it, it stops being fun. So I have LOTS of hobbies.

The list of “Careers” I’ve attempted to pursue is long and varied. I’ve only settled on something now out of pure necessity, but I still have several side projects on the go regularly. I did however come up with a brief list for reference:

As a child/kid I wanted to be:
-Astronaut
-—Fireman
-—Police Officer
-Hockey Goaltender (but I sucked)

As a teen/young adult (16-24):
—-Web/Graphic Designer
-—Video Game Programmer
-Music Producer/Audio Engineer

In the last few years:
—-Engineer/Scientist
—-Public Speaker
-Author/Journalist
-Actor/Stand-Up Comedian
—-Board Game Designer
-Psychologist/Neurologist

I’ve been to college 3 different times, for multimedia design, for entertainment administration and for business/finance.

I figured out before I learned of the scanner thing, that I had become a fast learner and a good self-study (or “autodidact”). I figured this out largely due to my rapid success with learning a second language a year ago. And then I taught myself how to use WordPress to make a fancy blog. And this site is clearly an example of the breadth and depth of information I absorb on a weekly basis. I’ve even been complimented that my blog is not boring because of the range of things I post about. Unsurprisingly, I spend a lot of time on wikipedia and google.

So, if you identify as a scanner (or whatever term you prefer), and have been struggling, what should you do? Well, I’m not sure how good of advice I can give, since I’m not necessarily a “Scanner success story”, but i’m figuring it out and doing alright for myself. I’ve done my best to find a way to make my scanner powers work for me (it’s tricky but doable), but I will say that Emilie Wapnick is the only one I think I’ve seen so far who has actually worked to build a supportive community. She created The Puttytribe, which is an offshoot of her blog Puttylike, and wrote “Renaissance Business” which is geared towards trying to help you make a business out of your passions, however eclectic they might be.

The Puttytribe is a gathering place for Multipotentialite with a variety of forums, and they do regular google hangouts and every few months they do a “Puttython”, which is basically a 2 day extravaganza for all “puttypeeps” to tackle some projects that have been on hold. I started this blog as part of the last Puttython. The tribe is really enthusiastic and helpful, of course many of them do run a renaissance business to satisfy their scanner needs. Pro tip – Puttytribe lets new members in for free for one day once every month. Watch puttylike.com for heads up on when that is. I believe you would have to pay starting month #2, but it’s certainly not uber expensive. You can also find a link to buy her book “Renaissance Business” on the site.

I don’t know that I want to try and make this into a business. I just like writing, curating interesting stuff, and my hope is that as more people find this blog, they comment on what is interesting to them, and share resources that they have found that relate. After all, I’ve got quite a bit of stuff on the resources page already, and I keep adding to it.

So, think of this site as kind of a journal, for scanners, by a scanner. Admittedly there are some things I am not (and may never be) interested in that you are, but if you enjoy learning and reading about all kinds of different things, I’m sure you’ll still enjoy this blog.

I am starting to look at ideas for more original posts, “helper” posts as it were (like my help learning a language or help learning wordpress or what’s the deal with polyamory ones), because I do enjoy researching a bunch of options, or research an issue or topic, and then do kind of a report on it to help you know what you need to know and where to start. I guess that is one strength of mine, absorbing a lot of info and then curating the most relevant and important bits and spitting them back out. But again, if someone tells me what to research and how to write it, I don’t want to. Fortunately I have a day job that pays the bills and isn’t completely awful! 🙂

Between “Refuse to Choose” and “Renaissance Soul”, I’d be more inclined to recommend the latter. Renaissance Soul features several exercises (kind of like the Renaissance Business book) to help you figure out what your top interests/values/passions are and tries to help steer you towards those to try and get you focused on a handful of hobbies that you can hopefully parlay into a job or career. Both books serve to try and calm the anxious scanner and provide examples that “it’s not too late” and to talk you off the ledge if you feel overwhelmed by everything. Refuse to Choose’s second half is just about different types of scanners (yes, Barbara breaks it down into multiple types!). So between the two books you get plenty of life coach type advice, you can figure out your “type” (if so you desire) and you get exercises and examples to help you direct yourself better towards a more unified goal. “Renaissance Business” is recommended if you want to go the modern, sophisticated DIY route and start your own web business. Or, like with me, it might just help you figure out a new passion project that you will really love doing and can pool more of your interests into, perhaps bringing together energy that was previously going to several other outlets, into one single one.

Refuse to Choose:
-life coach advice for scanners
-scanner sub-types (like subgenres of music)
-examples of possible scanner careers

Renaissance Soul:
-life coach advice for renaissance souls
-exercises to help unify your thinking (very helpful)
-examples of possible renaissance soul careers

Renaissance Business:
-exercises and advice for starting a web-based business around your multipotentialite passions

PuttyTribe:
-a community for Scanner/Renaissance Soul/Multipotentialites, either just to talk, to share resources, to ask for tips or advice, to network, and to help with goal accountability.

Another Blog post I’ve written more recently: “The Never-Ending Career/Major Dilemma” aka INFJ problems, aka Scanner problems

I also recommend a few other books such as “The E Myth” about starting your own business, Tim Ferriss’ book “Four Hour Workweek” on productivity and lifestyle design/career hacking, and have been recommended some other books. There is also one called “The $100 start up” that I’ve been meaning to pick up.

UPDATE: Here is my presentation from Nerd Nite Toronto, on the subject of being a Scanner/Polymath:

 

Here is my latest project:

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