These are unique times we live in. COVID-19 has changed our perspectives on life. It has slowed us down and made us pay attention like never before. One thing it has done for me is to get me to examine what I need to change about myself to be more effective. What's important to me is the way that I live out of and operate in my strengths. The strengths I'm referring to are those identified by Gallup's StrengthsFinder assessment tool. I completed the assessment years ago and my Top 5 strengths are Input, Connectedness,
Learner, Intellection, and Achiever. Taking IN information is my top strength. Gallup describes Input this way: People exceptionally talented in the Input theme have a need to collect and archive. They may accumulate information, ideas, artifacts or even relationships. I can attest to the accuracy of this definition. I have a compelling need to collect information of all kinds and types, and I know how to archive it so that I can retrieve it later ... and quickly. I've been collecting for YEARS. I have filing cabinets, bookshelves, binders, computer folders, email folders, and journals full of it. It's information that I am motivated to collect. And, when combined with my #3 strength, Learner, I am constantly learning SOMETHING ... training, reading, listening, and cataloging some form of information. I'm a committed lifelong learner. Gallup defines this strength as: People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them. Okay, so you get it: I'm like a sponge when it comes to information. I find it, store it, and then look for more. There's an additional concept for each strength that is described by its "basement (non-resourceful)" and "balcony (resourceful)" qualities. Unfortunately, the basement-quality for Input reminds me of Cliff Clavin, the postal carrier character from the sitcom, "Cheers." He fits the Gallup basement-quality to a tee: knows a lot of worthless information, packrat, cluttered house-cluttered mind, boring conversationalist. I am, hopefully, more self-aware than to mindlessly blather on when people are just not interested. It's time to change. It's time to metaphorically "squeeze the sponge" that is soaked with information, and offer it to others. Why? Because the point of having that information, I believe, is to share it with others in a helpful and informative way that enhances and adds value to their lives. I don't think I've done enough of that yet. And, an artist's inspiration is wasted unless he or she creates. So, I have committed to myself that I will throttle WAY back on Input, and start working to put out into the world what I've learned from all that information in the form of my Journal ... this page. I have started ... NOW. I'm going to take incremental steps. I'm going to learn by doing: I will make, produce, and create, and live as an artist powered by what I've learned. Waste will be my enemy, and value will be my goal. If you have an idea you'd like to kick around, please reach out.
Brian finds his most fulfilling expression through the written word. Though not shy to speak his mind, his clearest voice emerges from what he communicates when he puts his fingers on the keyboard, or puts pen in hand. When his original writing is combined with his own speaking voice, he is at his best and most expressive self.