Summary: Barbara Sher introduces the reader to the term “Scanner” – a multi-talented person interested in many things. With a passion for learning, Scanners find it difficult to hold onto one interest for very long. Job commitment is difficult. Ms. Sher announces a revelation; you, as a Scanner, are genetically-wired to be the way you are. Barbara carries you through the shock of discovering there is nothing wrong with you and instead informs that you have an amazing, unique mind.
Barbara Sher takes your hand and teaches you how to distinguish between fleeting interests and real passions. She releases you from your mental obligations that everything must be acted on and gives you permission to indulge your curiosity for the pure joy of it. Ms. Sher maps out several sub-types of Scanners, revealing what amounts to a “handbook of directions” on how each type can reach their full potential. Barbara’s very best skill is giving real-life actionable steps to change your life. If all of this sounds like you, I urge you to get this book in your hands as fast as you can. You are very possibly wasting years of valuable time, focus and mis-placed energy. Instead of aimlessly wandering through life apologizing for your shortcomings, you could be rocking your life with your remarkable Scanner brain!
Side note: Barbara first wrote about Scanners in her 1994 book, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It In 2010, Emilie Wapnik gained popularity by promoting the term “Multipotentialite/Multipod” on her website PuttyLike.com. As an educational and psychological term, Multipotentialite refers to a person of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, with diverse interests across many different fields. “Multi-passionate” also encompasses people with Scanner traits.
Barbara Tells It Like It Is
Barbara Sher and I have a love/hate relationship.
Let me preface that I adore Ms. Sher. She has a delightful writing style and she is equally appealing as a public speaker (catch her on YouTube!).
I picked her book up, “Refuse to Choose!” about two years ago; it wasn’t long before I set it back down. Never-mind all of the picky things that my brain bucks at: small print, longish length, unattractive book cover. Barbara had the audacity to point out that I won’t finish 99% of the things I start. I was… heartbroken.
I took the news so badly because I really did want to finish things. To me, the best feeling in the world is the sense of accomplishment, a job well done, personal satisfaction. I would rather have that feeling than all the riches in the world.
At the time, I skimmed the book, I didn’t give it my full attention, effectively not finishing it (touché, Barbara, touché). Recently, I was cleaning off a bookshelf and re-discovered this well-acclaimed self-help book (published in 2006). Judging by the generous highlighter marks and pages of written notes, I would say I am taking it very seriously this time.