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(6 minute read.)

Too many aptitudes...

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  • TMAs often don't fit-in well with organizations or groups.

    Competent in many ways, they're rarely willing to give up their perceptual and decision-making independence for the sake of membership.

  • TMAs often cause problems to the hierarchy.

    Most TMAs aren't impressed or motivated by money or power, and hence are often considered as a direct challenge to authority and the authority structure.

    They often develop considerable informal power, and can be either domineering or overwhelming in relationships… only strong people aren't threatened by them.

  • TMAs cannot act as if the boss were always right.

    Hyper-critical and often irreverent, they notice the 'Naked Emperor' and comment, or expend a lot of energy stifling themselves. Consistently commenting on imperial nudity is seen by others (especially bosses) as aggressive.

  • TMAs usually have high reasoning aptitudes.

    They don't like applying pat answers to routine problems… it doesn't use their reasoning ability.

    They need to solve real problems, working things out by themselves. This can be a strength or a weakness (ever wonder why some people won't read instructions?).

    At work they often feel they're operating in low gear and tend to gravitate to fringe or trouble areas. Without problems, TMAs will often find or make some.

Rarely identifying with group norms, and sometimes challenging the basic assumptions of the group, TMAs are often resented and feared by authority figures, peers and subordinates. Clearly perceived by others as powerful, they're often considered dangerous and unpredictable, therefore untrustworthy.

Thus, TMAs often don't receive the protection and rewards offered by the group. They recognize this, and their alienation leads directly to the idea that 'the system and the rules don't work for me, so I've got to do something else'. This can mean crime/creativity, or both. It also seems to mean internal conflict, self-esteem problems and confusion.

These problems aren't usually apparent at first glance. At any given time the TMA appears to be functioning very well. Often, they'll be brilliant in many aspects of work and life. It's only over time that the pattern of difficulties begins to emerge. It often leads to destructive self-criticism or self-hatred—TMAs seem to have a rather high suicide rate.

The worst-off TMAs seem to be the ones who try to be normal. This includes using normal definitions of success.

They often find it personally destructive to try to fit into normal molds. They aren't normal. Not better, not worse. Different, and with different needs.

TMA is not something that can be ignored or cured. For most multi-talented people, it's likely to cause problems at some point or other in life.

Many TMAs never learn to use themselves well. Usually their worst problems are associated with lack of financial or professional success.

  • They can operate well at interfaces between different parts of society… liaison and translation.
  • They often do well as troubleshooters, innovators or problem solvers, in research or investigation, and in product or method development.
  • They also seem to do quite well in situations like the Alamo, fighting long odds and staving off the inevitable.

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