Mania, Passion, and Brilliance

I’m a software developer for the Federal Aviation Administration, and I used to write a blog to share technical tips and ideas.  Even though I haven’t touched it in a couple of years, it still gets a lot of traffic due to the helpful content.  I decided to post something on it yesterday; just a tiny contribution to the programming blogosphere.  Then I started to read some of my old posts.  Mania is all over this blog.  I wasn’t surprised to find that, but what I was surprised to find is the passion and brilliance expressed in many of my posts.

I didn’t just imagine that I was extremely adept, I really was.  Grandiosity breeds confidence; over-confidence in some cases.  It makes me believe that I can accomplish anything.  But sometimes it works, sometimes I do accomplish something.  And that’s just what I was able to do with this blog.  I believed that through my blogging, I would eventually get to the point where I could speak at an international conference.  And you know what?  I did get there.  I was asked to speak at an international conference.  I wasn’t able to get away to do it, but I was asked.  I don’t even hold a degree in computer science (music degree).   But it was my grandiose belief that gave me the passion to really master my subject matter and share it with other programmers around the world.

It’s like mania gives me a high gear that’s isn’t accessible when I’m level.  I WANT that gear.  I need to believe that it wasn’t just the mania talking.  My brain has that gear somewhere, and I feel like there’s got to be some way of getting to it without becoming ill.

I’m exploring it right now.  To be honest, I’m feeling a little speedy, but I really want that passion and brilliance in my work again.


6 thoughts on “Mania, Passion, and Brilliance

  1. So true. It is a brutal tight rope.

    At 16, it has me attempting suicide. At 18, it has me beginning college at the Naval Academy. At 19, I’m a drop out off to another school. At 21 I’m heading off for my master’s degree.

    I could go on, and on. I have spoken before hundreds, and thousands in other countries. And I have by myself in a Panera plotting my own disappearance. I, like you suggest, need to have that sense that I can accomplish things. That I have intelligence and talent that give me reason for confidence, and sometimes even are above average.

    And then comes the crash. Interesting to watch movies like “A Beautiful Mind” and see the frightening mixture of a genius mind residing in a bunch of misfiring grey matter.

    I don’t want to go manic…but I too find myself often longing for that brilliance and passion.

      • I feel ya’. That is where I need people around me (especially my wife) to step in and say, “Hey, it’s cool that you are being productive, confident, and knocking it out of the park. But pace yourself, and let’s build some breaks in to this before it goes full blown crazy.”

        I think she is just getting the confidence, and understanding to do that. And I’m just learning to give her permission to. Hopefully, as I let others into my inner circle, they can assist with that too.

        Because I can be pretty damn awesome! (If I do say so myself!)

      • Cheers to awesomeness! My wife is very sensitive to my moods. I don’t like it when she raises a concern, but I need to hear it. It feels like I’ve failed or something when I get manic.

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