© 2018 Strengths University

  • Anne


Updated: Feb 27

And no one heard at all, not even the chair...

#connectedness I keep hearing songs I’m supposed to write about. I’m not sure why. The other day I was enjoying my new Prime Day special for Amazon Music Unlimited deal and the Grass Root’s version of Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages” came on (you’d never know that's the title based on the lyrics). I’ve always been drawn to that song. I’m not sure why. When it came on, I just knew it I was supposed to write about it. I never really knew what the song was about “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now,” but that really resonated with me. Like how you felt you knew everything when you were younger but then slowly realized how little you did know. I knew it was from the 60’s, “In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand At the mongrel dogs who teach,” so I assumed it was about the Vietnam War (or #context Vietnam Conflict).

I listened to the song repeatedly and when I got home I looked up the meaning of the lyrics. I assumed there would be some sort of profound connection to my life and that’s what I was supposed to write about. Oops. Not so much. To quote Wikipedia “However, its lyrics—in particular the refrain ‘Ah, but I was so much older then/I'm younger than that now’—have been interpreted as a rejection of Dylan's earlier personal and political idealism, illustrating his growing disillusionment with the 1960s' folk protest movement with which he was associated, and his desire to move in a new direction.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Back_Pages.

Huh. Actually, now that I think about it, I was growing disillusioned with my job on campus and that’s why I decided to leave and start this business. Hmm. Well now as I’m revising my first draft of this blog I also realized that when I started this business, I was rather under the impression there’d be a slight learning curve and then boom! great success! Wrong. I learn more and more everyday I don’t know. Well at least initially I was bummed out about being wrong about needing to write about this song and just let it go.

Then today I heard Neil Diamond’s “I am, I said.” Famous lyric, “And no one heard at all, not even the chair.” WTF but also I’ve always liked that song for some reason despite what I thought were pretty odd lyrics. Once again, I looked up what the lyrics meant. Seemingly old Neil was depressed and the chair he was talking about was the one at his therapist’s office. “It was consciously an attempt on my part to express what my dreams were about, what my aspirations were about and what I was about. And without any question, it came from my sessions with the analyst,” said Diamond in Mojo magazine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am..._I_Said. Upon conferring with the lyrics, it seems that part of his issue is loneliness, “But I got an emptiness deep inside and I've tried, but it won't let me go; And I'm not a man who likes to swear, but I never cared for the sound of being alone.” As with the previous song, initially this connected with me in an unknown way leading me to believe I should write about it, but my initial reading of the lyrics left me going “huh, why would I write about this song?”

BUT being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s lonely. I don’t have an office full of people – even ones that annoy me – to get my socializing done and help me figure things out. Honestly for a while, I was definitely depressed. As much as I wanted to do this, the transition was hard especially considering I went from living along with my dog to living with my sister and her family which includes my two elementary school aged nieces. (They were not kind to my immune system.) I basically changed everything about my life in a weekend. It was rough. As has been the process of trying to express what my aspirations were in relation to Strengths University.

So, as it turns out, I was supposed to write about these two songs. It just took me awhile to connect them (#ideation). When I sat down to write this, my original intention was to write about how when you have Connectedness as a dominant Strength (my #10) you have a tendency to think things are connected even when they are not. I assumed my Connectedness had just made a mistake here and I was going to demonstrate how sometimes your talents can get in your way. In this case, by trying to make those non-existent connections and wasting a huge amount of my time. While that definitely can happen with Connectedness, in this case Ideation (my #1) showed up and sorted it out for me. Nice team work guys.

The lesson here is that while your talents can be your greatest assets, they are often the thing that gets in your way. Unfortunately, in this case, my talent(s) seemed to work just fine. Which isn’t really unfortunate, just unfortunate for the sake of the blog. Bonus Lesson: Your talents don’t work in isolation. They work together…usually in a good way, but sometimes not. That’s why you have to pay attention to how you’re using them.