Are you a “Scanner” or a “Diver”?

Scanner vs. Diver as referred to by Barbara Sher in “Refuse to Choose”

I had a lightbulb moment today while reading “Refuse to Choose”—I am a Scanner. What is a Scanner you may ask. Well, in order to fully understand you may need to read the book, but I will try to explain.

In our American culture since about 1950, Divers have been valued, Scanners, not so much. (Long story—read the book). Scanners are people who love to learn anything and everything all at once; they find it hard to commit to a specialty. Divers are those that easily commit to a subject and specialize in it, they are the experts in their field.

It is okay to be a Scanner—despite what our culture tells us. I would rather be Scanner of the world than a Diver of one thing. The pressure starts early with, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “What are you going to major in?” Nobody asks, “Do you want to keep studying your whole life, looking for new opportunities and ideas, inventing things and creating the future?” Even the comment, “Find what you love and make a living at it”—is still asking you to focus on something.

Many Scanners are very creative, example, Leonardo da Vinci. Inventors are often Scanners, example, Ben Franklin. Scanners were never questioned in the past. People were free to discover many things and not criticized for it. Scanners were valued and they will be again in the future. Most entrepreneurs are also Scanners. What would our world be without all the dreamers?

So, now I know why my creative life is so scattered and my blog is about EVERYTHING creative. It is an adventure, a Creative Adventure! I am a Scanner.

Giving credit where credit is due: “Refuse to Choose” by Barbara Sher.

Are you a Scanner? Are you a Diver? Comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Are you a “Scanner” or a “Diver”?

  1. Ha! I am a scanner too!
    I do, sometimes, get the sense that others think I am not “focused” because I flit around a bit creatively. Well maybe more than a bit… But, I can’t help myself, I love learning new things, and exploring how they can be used together.
    Anyhow, you know that old saying “jack of all trades, master of none” – I feel, for several reasons, that it’s beneficial, and wise, to be diversified.

    I’ll have to take a look at the book, should be an interesting read.

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