I don’t want to give too much of his project away, but it’s probably okay to say that I was invited to submit content for a book 21Tanks is producing and since in real life I tend to very closely resemble the guy on the left in the image above, it took me a while to get to grips with the whole thing.
I’ve realised something profound in the process. I know I’m pretty introverted. Anyone who knows me well will readily confirm that, because it’s probably the most obvious thing about me. What I hadn’t fully realised however is how much that introversion influences my every decision, even subliminally.
The good news (for me) is that apparently I belong to a group that numbers some 33% to 50% of the population according to this very compelling TED talk by Susan Cain, so as much as I may be an oddball, I am an oddball with a fairly sizeable posse. That honestly surprised me.
In my case specifically though, if I had to identify two of the most urgent things that have always driven me, I’d say without a doubt they would be impatience and the fear that I am not quite at the game no matter how hard I am pushing.
The first one may, oddly, be the hallmark of an extrovert; those members of the talk it up and get it done crowd. But the second is definitely a hallmark of the introvert; the over-analyser who frets endlessly that no matter how much he knows, there is always more that he doesn’t know … and the missing knowledge may be what actually matters.
What I realised this weekend however is that in terms of my self-appointed mission, those things are not paradoxical.
My impatience to get ahead as fast as I can has never been about more money, more things or more status. I’ve always known that. The people around me have changed their cars several times over the past ten years, but my own car is pushing 12 years old. It’s not the sort of thing that matters to me.
But what I have realised, bothers me a little. It occurs to me after this period of questioning that my sense of urgency in creating progress may have always been about nothing more than creating space for myself beyond scrutiny where I can get on with the introspection that truly consumes me. Basically, I run fast so that I have more time to stand still later.
I truly don’t know what that says about me …