The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine
This may also be an unusual pick for inspiring creativity or confidence, but it’s a book I have always enjoyed. I’m not sure why I don’t own it, as I think I’ve checked it out of the library something like three times now. I’ve mentioned here previously about being a “renaissance soul” and this book is where I got the term. Lobenstine herself sums up what that means:
Renaissance Souls love nothing better than to take on a new problem or situation and then dig into it…until we master the challenge we’ve set for ourselves. And then, with fresh enthusiasm, we move on to another passion. We are lucky people who, if left to our own devices, are never bored for long (2).
If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled with this concept, always being jealous of people who picked a major in college and then just went after it; getting a job with a real-live career path. I’ve always wanted that – to find just one passion and really commit to it. But I’ve never been able to, and evidently, I’m not alone. I’m never really satisfied with one or two hobbies and love discovering new things. Being in a job that doesn’t seem like “me” feels like wearing shoes that are too tight. (I digress…)
Lobenstine’s text offers insight into the personality type, and offers concrete solutions to nagging questions like how to make a living, how to stay focused, and time management. One area the author addresses that seems counterintuitive, is sometimes there is such a smorgasbord of options, it can be almost impossible to get off dead center and just DO one of them. How do you get started when there’s just so much you want to do? And then there’s the ever popular “all or nothing” way of thinking that is extremely detrimental to creativity – she addresses this as well. You know the line of thinking, the one where you decide if you can’t quit your job and move to the Italian countryside to write your novel why even bother doing it at all? Insert your own dream-fantasy here.
Lets face it – the world values experts and longevity in a field. I’m not really an expert, and my longevity in anything is questionable – unless learning new things counts. It’s important to remember that with Renaissance Souls, they have so much curiosity and varied experience, they actually do bring quite a bit to the table. So, while my skill set is actually incredibly valuable, it can be hard to stay positive and motivated. Every once in awhile I’ll bring this home from the library when I’m overwhelmed with choices and down on the “jack of all trades, master of none” feeling that sometimes creeps in. I re-read a few key chapters, and feel both settled and inspired to pick up my projects again.
Do you have any books you come back to time and again for inspiration? What are they?