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(6 minute read.)

Too many aptitudes...

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Something that's only very recently become clear to me is the relevance of TMA/MAP (too many aptitudes/many aptitude person).

Aptitudes are 'unlearned abilities', natural talents for doing, or learning to do, certain things easily and quickly.

Inborn, they've little to do with knowledge, culture, education, or even interests… and can't be switched-off.


  • Some people can paint beautifully, but cannot carry a tune.
  • Others are good at talking to people, but slow at paperwork.
  • Still others can easily repair a car, but find writing difficult.

These basic differences are important factors in making one person satisfied as a banker, another satisfied as an engineer, and still another satisfied working as an editor.

While it's easy to think 'it's not a bad thing to be talented', those with many more aptitudes than the average person may struggle to find happiness… something may always be missing for them.

Those with too many aptitudes are less likely, than those with an average number, to obtain advanced education and/or succeed in a career.

Having a lot of strong talents can be compared to dealing with high voltage…

  • You can do a lot of things with high voltage.
  • However, it can also fry you.
  • A lot of that voltage is emotional. Few people know how to handle normal emotion, let alone the powerful and ongoing emotion common in those operating at a high-intensity level of talent.

This turbulence can lead to great insight and creativity… although, often unable to use themselves well, self-structuring can be a major problem for TMAs… perhaps job-hopping, instinctively trying to satisfy their diverse needs. This rarely leads to significant conventional success.


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