The concept of doing what you love and following your passion has gotten a bit of a bad rap in recent years, and I guess before I launch into this episode I should probably address that side of the fence first.
Cal Newport would be the first person I think of touting the idea that doing what you love is in fact, overrated. In his book, So Good They Can't Ignore You, he suggests the problem is that we don’t have much evidence that this is how passion works.
“Follow your passion” assumes: a) you have preexisting passion, and b) if you match this passion to your job, then you’ll enjoy that job.
What I'd like to do in this episode of the Self Knowledge mini-series, is help you get closer to finding your passion, whether it’s making more time for one you already have or finding a new one altogether and cultivating that.
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Not exactly a topic I've talked much about or even mentioned in the Creative Introvert podcast so far. May be something to do with my INTJ android-like personality, but really I have no excuse.
We know that even the hardiest Thinking types need a little tender lovin' care - whether it's from a partner, or in the simple friendship of an old pal. Or y'know, from your pet gecko.
Whatever your source of love is, isn't the topic of today's show. what I want to talk about is the way we prefer to receive and to give love: also known as our love language.
This is a concept coined by Gary Chapman, author of the book The 5 Love Languages amongst others: your love language can be identified by asking yourself: what makes you feel loved? What do you desire above all else from others?
Or on the flip side, what hurts you, or makes you feel unloved?
It can also be seen in how we express our love and appreciation to others.
The importance of understanding our own lore language as well as that of those around us is really really important, may be the most important in this Self-Knowledge series.
After all, if you can't communicate your love and appreciation to someone else or receive it from them because you're speaking two different languages, it's going to have a pretty detrimental effect on the relationship.
Already I know this is going to me one of my favourite episodes in this self-knowledge series.
The way we experiences the world is… kind of everything. From the moment we’re pushed or pulled out of our mum’s baby-maker, we’re dealing with sensory information and how we respond to that is amazingly individual.
Even from those early years, we start exhibiting clear signs that some of us are experiencing the world in very different ways. This depends on both how we’re wired neurologically and biochemically, as well as what particular environment we’re being raised in.
More on determining factors later, but for now I want to talk about the different categories psychologists and smart people in lab coats have given us to describe how we might experience the world around us.
In every case, I’m willing to bet there is a sliding scale, just like introversion and extroversion, someone can be at the very end of the scale, or somewhere closer to the middle.
I remember clearly being in school and being taught about learning styles. The teacher went through the model taught to her, which boiled down to auditory, visual or kinaesthetic.
It made sense to me that I must be a Visual learner, given that I was the designated class cartoonist, at least when there was a Rugrats character to draw.
Later, I learned that this was just one of many (supposedly there are around 70) models to describe our preferred learning style.
It's also possible - in fact very likely- you have a mixture of styles. Some may be best used in certain circumstances. For example, learning how to put an Ikea wardrobe together requires different processing than learning a language.
Plus, you can develop or change your preferences over time: in fact 1 did this through listening to podcasts. Now, I process audio - with or without accompanying images - way better than I did at school.
I still think it's useful to explore learning styles, and not just the ones you think you have a preference over. It's useful not just to help you learn stuff more effectively, but to communicate better with others,
When you know what style someone else prefers, you can accommodate them. It's something I try to take into account in my online courses, as well as when I'm coaching someone or consulting with a client.
If I pickup that they're a visual/spatial learner, I scribble down images to represent my ideas, or use visual analogies to give from to my sometimes vague and floaty concepts.
Or if they're kinaesthetic I try to slow my speech a bit. This is another weird factoid: apparently kinaesthetic types speak slower.
There are 7 styles that I like to take into account now, which gives a slightly more detailed range of preferences than I was taught at school.
I dig deeper into these learning styles in today's episode, and what knowing your learning style might mean for you.