Do you WORK your quirk?


I hope this post finds you well!

So, I just read a powerful book chapter, and it so made me think that I wanted to share.

Here’s an excerpt:

Chapter Title: I’ll Just Take the Shrimp: Embrace Your Weaknesses
Book: 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman, pp. 52, 53, 54

[Set up: Geoff, a very, VERY rich man, refuses to pay $1 extra–just $1!–to exchange salmon for shrimp on his salad, as he had desired to do.]

“What do you call that? Cheap? Strange? Dysfunctional? I call it the secret to his success. Not yours, by the way. His.

Geoff has a fixation on value. He can’t stand the idea of spending a single extra dollar if it doesn’t provide at least two dollars of extra value. Maybe that’s extreme. But so is a fortune (and foundation) of hundreds of millions of dollars. He’s not successful despite the quirk; he’s successful because of it.

And what’s made Geoff successful is that he’s not embarrassed about it. Or ashamed. he doesn’t hide or repress or deny it.

He uses it.

. . .

‘The most interesting novels,’ Newsweek editor Malcolm Jones wrote in a recent book review, ‘are the ones where the flaws and virtues can’t be pulled apart.’

That’s even truer for people. The most powerful ones don’t conquer their dysfunctions, quirks, and potentially embarrassing insecurities. They seamlessly integrate them to make an impact in the world.

Another man I know was the driving force behind health reforms that saved the lives of millions of people in the developing world. Literally millions. Certainly he achieved this feat with great strengths. . . .

But he had a quirk. He lived and worked in the hyper-intellectual world of the academia, where nuance is valued far above simplicity. Success as an academic traditionally lies in one’s ability to see and expound the gray.

But he never saw the gray. He saw the world in black and white, right and wrong. This simplistic view of the wold is something that people in academia try to hide or overcome all the time. But he never hid his simplicity. He embraced it. And that was the source of his power, the secret ingredient that enabled him to save so many lives. He cut through the morass of a debate and arrived at the simplicity of righteous action.

. . .

We all have quirks and obsessions like these. Maybe won don’t admit them, even to ourselves. Or we worry that they detract from our success and work hard to train ourselves out of them.

But that’s a mistake. Our quirks very well may be the secret to our power. . . .”

So, aside from your feelings about Bregman’s characterization of the academy, do you have a major quirk that you work?

I’m inspired! I keep centering on the sentence “They seamlessly integrate them [those quirks of theirs] to make an impact in the world.”

So, I’ve been viewing my quirk as a problem, and it would be AWESOME (and is highly possible, I think!!!) to have it work in my favor as a researcher-writer and joiner-to-my-field.

Just wanted to share! Thought-provoking, no?



3 thoughts on “Do you WORK your quirk?

  1. Hi, Shauna!

    Ha!!!! Good question. FUNNY question!

    Well, first, your spirit and attitude are awesome. Those who work with/for you must be blessed in doing so. Cool! I think it’s very cool that you said “SUPER fun.”

    Well, to be honest, my major, major, major quirk is that I am a VERY, VERY serious and deep analyzer. I’m at the end of the spectrum, Shauna!!! Sometimes this happens to me: When I read a single sentence, it’s like I get sucked into an alternate universe where it is pitch black except for just the words of that sentence hanging in the air in white. And I can stand there staring at them, analyzing them, thinking about them and how I’m getting so much out of them. LOL! It’s like the transition that the actors in the Matrix movies make: Transformed to a whole ‘nother world.

    I am learning to manage it. It can impede progress on the one hand, but on the other hand I see all SORTS of connections that I use to help myself and others.

    A good psychologist friend of mine noticed that I was beating myself up about being “too analytical.” She said, “Oh, Mickey! STOP! Stop beating yourself up about it. It’s how God made you, and he makes beautiful works of art–masterpieces–and makes no mistakes. I know people just like, and you are all similar and do a lot for people.” When she said that, I journaled about it so that I wouldn’t forget it. And this is funny, but just yesterday one of best friends of life and I were talking about this. I told her, “I’m just gonna work it for good and to my good, even. I guess it’s all about what you are analyzing ABOUT,” I told her. And then the conversation turned positive and she was coming up with great uses for such deep analysis. Yep, mmm hmm! I’m going to work that quirk. (I’m going to have to!)

    Thank you for commenting, and let me know how it goes at work with helping others work their quirks.

    And soooooo . . . What’s a quirk of yours? 😉

    Blessings, Shauna!

    • Thanks, Mickey! I’m just starting up so I’m looking forward to the fun times and life changing to come.

      A quirk of mine? Hmmm…For a while, I felt like a quirk groupie!! ^__^ LOL Like I didn’t have any interesting quirks about me.

      Then I was thinking:
      I want to start a global social & networking organization called The League of Quirky Individuals
      I want to be the first official quirk champion for my clients.
      I want to create a lifestyle book for quirky individuals: The Quirky Individual’s Guide to Success and Happiness
      I want to create another book: Work Your Quirk!: How to brand your quirks for fun and profit
      I want to start a movement around loving ourselves and each other – quirks and all.

      And I don’t feel quirky enough? Seriously?? lmao

      Your quirk sounds absolutely FANTASTIC!!! 😀 That was such amazing imagery. I love reading and love getting sucked into a great story. Sure, anything can go too far, but that quirk sounds FABulous to me!
      I’m glad you came to a place of not thinking it’s such a bad thing. 😉 I love that you help your super power for good.

      I’m super analytical too, Mickey. Like, I was just realizing today that I overthink things because a) I’m trained as a life coach to look for deeper meanings and ask powerful questions, and b) I’m always paranoid there’s a deeper meaning or better question that will explode the whole problem open if I can just find it. I’m often stuck in analysis paralysis too.

  2. Hi! 😀

    So what *are* your quirks, Mickey? I’d love to hear about them!

    I use this phrase in my business. I’m going to help quirky individuals work their quirk – use their quirks to their advantage, in life and in business. It’s going to be SUPER fun!

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