Or maybe you are productive, dependable and efficient but you struggle to take the initiative with your own projects and relationships.
Are you great at spotting the potential in projects and people but forget to follow-through?
Discovering where you land on our Dreamer/ Doer Spectrum will help you to identify your own strengths and weaknesses.
And by identifying our own strengths and weaknesses we can become happier, more productive and more fulfilled, creative people.
It’s Not That Simple:
No artist is completely one or the other.
In my near-decade of experience working with, teaching and mentoring artists in many areas of life (both professional and personal) and of varying levels of experience (complete newbies to animation industry vets), I’ve found that creative individuals tend to possess strong Dreamer or strong Doer qualities.
Our individual strengths tend to land closer to one end of the spectrum or the other.
However, we are all, of course, unique individuals.
I present this simplistic framework (the Dreamer/ Doer Spectrum) to simplify the process of identifying our own strengths and weaknesses.
I hope to generate many conversations here and in your own interactions with others about personal strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, I hope this framework and the insights it can provide will deepen our happiness, fulfillment, productivity, creativity and relationships with one another.
Are You A Dreamer?
Dreamers are visionaries.
We are great at starting things, generating ideas, questioning the system and inspiring others. We identify potential in others and we are great at finding opportunity.
We are not intimidated by risk and we tend to have pretty high self-esteem. We are generally very positive people who attract positive people and the resulting positive vibes feed our visionary mindsets.
But Dreamers tend to lack follow-through because once the buzz of the vision phase has passed, we lose interest and are tempted to move on.
We might even act before a vision is fully realized, writing checks with our mouths that our bodies can’t cash. We can get people excited to work on something even when we haven’t really thought it through and only after several reality checks do we realize it was just our own “flavor of the week” and we can’t deliver what we thought we could.
At our worst, we Dreamers can litter the ground with broken promises after our floods of inspiration quell.
- Do you find yourself starting lots of projects and never finishing them?
- Do you commit to too many things and get spread too thin?
- Is your stress level way higher than your level of productivity?
It probably means that you’re a Dreamer.
You need to meet my friend The Doer…
Are You A Doer?
Doers are dependable, consistent and focused.
They are great at finishing things. They tend to have their work lives and personal lives in balance and they often have very healthy, realistic perspectives on the “doability” of projects.
They don’t get spread too thin with commitments and they tend to be good decision-makers.
They might have fragments of ideas for a personal project but it’s difficult for them to form a far-sighted, cohesive vision to follow.
They might lack vision and rely too much on others (Dreamers) to determine their own sense of purpose.
At their worst, Doers can get stuck in a mental cycle of cynicism and disappointment.
- Do you find yourself lending your doer gifts to others but find it difficult to initiate?
- Do you feel like a slave to the structural environment of your day job and find it difficult to go “off the map” and innovate?
- Are you of risk-averse or shy?
You might be a Doer.
A Dreamer’s raw ambition and fearless momentum might be just the thing you need to get out of your creative rut.
Collaborate Or Converse:
Creator-owned content is often a solo effort but we could do more to apply the perspectives and lessons of other creatives with complimentary strengths.
Invite the voice of the other type into your process.
If you’re a Dreamer, it’s good to surround yourself with Doers and vice versa.
Neither of the extremes is entirely healthy. Both Dreamers and Doers must rely on one another to attain a healthy balance, professionally and personally.
This Is Where It Gets Dangerous:
You could discover that you possess strong Dreamer or strong Doer qualities and then spend the rest of your creative life trying to become the other type.
That impossible pursuit will only lead to further frustration and disappointment.
My advice? You do have to learn from the other type thus strengthening certain areas where you are weaker but you will also drive yourself crazy trying to become the other type.
You benefit from knowing whether you’re more of a Dreamer or a Doer, yes, but you also benefit from bringing people of the other type alongside you to challenge you, to grow you and to complete you.
If you’re a Dreamer then you need Doers who aren’t cynical but will ask you hard questions about the “doability” of a project.
You need Doers to question your commitment to a project and to help you assess what a project will cost in money, time, emotions, relationship and energy. Doers will keep you focused to the finish.
If you’re a Doer, you should surround yourself with Dreamers who can help you realize a broad, cohesive vision for your own ideas.
You need Dreamers to ignite your passion and to constantly remind you of your potential and unique talents. Dreamers can help you pick a destination and you can chart the path. Dreamers will help you find your own identity outside of your day job or your upbringing etc. and they will inspire you to take risks.
Where do you land on the Dreamer/ Doer Spectrum?
Write down three people who have complimentary strengths and invite them into your circle of trust.
What About YOU?
Examine the Dreamer/ Doer Spectrum chart at the top of this post.
Which of these strengths and weaknesses do you possess? What other strengths and weaknesses do you possess?
Where do YOU land on the Dreamer/ Doer Spectrum?
What qualities do you need to learn from the other type and what types of people do you need to join with in collaboration?