Born to Launch

I’ve recently discovered something about myself: I like doing new things.

More to the point of this post: I like making new things.

I also like learning new things.

Unfortunately, once the newness wears off, I start to lose interest.

I’m a software engineer, so I regularly build new things and solve new puzzles.  When a project gets into maintenance mode and the new stuff ends, I want to chuck the whole thing in the river and move on.

That carries over into other things, too.  Start a business, lock down some skills, get some customers, then enter maintenance mode.  Boring.

Pick up a new hobby, achieve a basic level of mastery, watch it stop being fun.

Play a new video game, get good at it, get bored.

It’s a flaw in my character and it’s a pretty serious flaw.  Soon after I reach the point where I can fly with a new skill or project, I quit wanting to do it.

When it quits being new, it quits being fun.

When I pick up a new hobby, I get good at it, I get bored with it, so the setup equipment tends to collect dust.

Some of this is work stuff, which isn’t supposed to be fun.  If it were, they wouldn’t call it “work”, they’d call it “happy fun time”.

Some of this could replace work stuff, but I’m not sure how to power through when I hit this particular wall.  Just making money doesn’t keep something exciting.  If I’m not excited, it’s hard to stay motivated, which is probably why I let the dishes pile up. (Sorry, honey!)

There is a good side to this flaw:  I’m never bored.  I fill notebooks with the things I want to do next, from blacksmithing lessons to building a foreign language learning site.  I have absolute confidence that I’ll never be bored for long, and I’ll never be short of new ways to make money, but that doesn’t make me feel stable.

I have a need for stability, and I have a need for new.   Finding that balance is a challenge.

Maybe I just need to launch things faster to build a bigger safety net.   That would let me revel in the new without putting my lifestyle at risk.

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  • 8 comments

    Comments

    1. I definitely think I have a similar problem. Once I get good at something I get bored with it to a point.

    2. You sound like a Scanner to me! You might find Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher very enlightening. You also might like the book The Renassance Soul.

      These books helped me realize I have 5 or so main themes I cycle between, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just try to capture my enthusiasm.

    3. I love to launch and try new things. Here’s an excellent quote that I’m using for an upcoming post:

      “It’s extremely difficult to find smart people willing to start useful projects. Because sometimes what you start doesn’t work. The fact that it doesn’t work every time should give you confidence, because it means you’re doing something that frightens others.” — Seth Godin

    4. At first I thought you were describing me! Based on the comments so far, it sounds like there are quite a few of us “gets bored quickly” people. Maybe we should start a support group!?

    5. Jason, I am very similar – I reckon I have very low boredom thrashold. I also recently discovered that this is one of the characteristics of people with insight type creativity. To train myself and develop the patience needed to finish and perfect things I took on long distance running about eight years back; it is working.

    6. Wow… That balance is terribly hard to find, but so important. I find that writing and maintaining my website has been a good balance, as I enjoy financial topics.

      Thanks for being a great commentator on my site. 🙂
      -Sam

    7. Up until blogging, I had never held onto a hobby for more than 3-4 months. I too seem addicted to the newness of new projects. But blogging (and my marriage) has shown me the fun in stability. I still catch myself wondering about other jobs once in a while, but I have grown enough to then remind myself why life kicks butt right now and that I should shut up. 🙂

    8. If you are anywhere near Wisconsin and need a hookup for blacksmithing lessons, feel free to send me an email. My husband is a blacksmith. We just bought a property that will allow him to set up his forge at home, which is very exciting! The building it’s going in is still more of a shell (1830’s stone and mortar contruction), but we’re planning to be up and running next summer.

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