The Extrovert Trap And How To Avoid It
An eye opener
I’m reading Susan Cain‘s book Quiet, and coming to realize that, even after years of creative leadership and world-engulfing artistic collaborations, I am, deep down inside, an introvert. This is probably why right now, where I am in front of the computer on my own writing. It seems to be the best place to do my creative work. At 54 years old, I finally managed to avoid the extrovert trap with ease and flow.
Yes, It’s my birthday in a few days, and I’m 54. When I think about my life, I realize I am happy to be somewhat retired. I say somewhat because there are still things I do at people’s requests in the circus world. But I mostly spend time alone, writing, which suits me so well, I wonder what I’ve been thinking all these years when I was so completely “out there,” taking social and personal risks that seem unimaginable now.
For god’s sake, I have been a performer for over 25 years…
Here’s a quote from Susan’s Quiet Manifesto: Article no. 3 –
“The next generation of quiet kids can and must be raised to know their own strengths.”
I have two kids like this at home. They are doing quite well socially, but I am sure they prefer to be alone and in their own minds. Just like me, and their father for that matter.
What about you, your kids?
Forgetting ourselves in creative work
“Quiet leadership is not an oxymoron,” says article no. 8 in the Quiet manifesto.
This makes me think of “the Brain Trust.” To be clear, the Brain Trust is an idea I’ve been harboring for a long time. Since I wrote this post. I have been searching for kindred spirits to join it, people who are leaders in their field, adventurous as well, with whom it would be good to invest some quality time during the coming year, improving our lives.
The trap of “out there” and the need to be alone
So I’m thinking of all the moments it felt like a failure when I couldn’t handle things anymore or was too exhausted to realize all I needed was a good dose of myself. In view of the above, I think we all need to schedule some time in our calendars to meet with ourselves. Schedule some me time where you either:
* Go for a walk with yourself
* Write in your journal
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
I think this is what the plan is for me now. With the Brain Trust, working individually with people. Working with ourselves and with a few others, deeply at a time.
“The most important point in Buddhism is that each of us practices it ourselves…This attitude is essential,” said Kosho Uchiyama in his marvelous book Opening the hand of thought: foundations of Zen Buddhist practice.
Open the hand of thought – share yours in the comments below.