Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive


A Guide for Mavericks, Renegades and Rebels in the Workplace

When you’re at work, are you–

Asking questions that annoy others? Frustrated by the lack of openness to new ideas? Waiting for others to conclude what you already know? Impatient at meetings because everyone is so slow? Upset at the injustice you see that no one else seems to notice? Bored? Avoiding office politics? Providing guidance and supervision for your bosses? Seen as lazy but actually doing more work in less time?  Ready to leave the job once you’ve mastered it? Wanting to change the way things are done? Idealistic and optimistic? Misunderstood and misdiagnosed? Seen as a maverick, renegade, or eccentric??

Maybe, that’s because you have a rainforest mind.

Take heart, dear renegade.

You are not alone.

There’s a growing movement just for you. A tribe of smart rebels finding and supporting each other. Let me introduce you to them.

I found them one day by mistake when I was googling myself. Yes, I admit it. Googling. Myself. There was a blog post written by Carmen Medina. She mentioned a piece I’d written about counseling gifted adults. She was intrigued by the story of Susan who at age seven was reprimanded by her teacher for completing her reading workbook in one night; for working ahead. Carmen hadn’t thought of herself as gifted, but couldn’t help seeing herself in Susan.

I wanted to know more and found Carmen and Lois Kelly‘s website. And, more recently their book. See if you can relate to these quotes from the book:

“Rebels ask hard questions, don’t take things at face value, and don’t accept that things have to be the way they’ve always been. We are also often the ones who can see the future coming and pick up on subtle indicators of change before others do. Above all, we’re people who want to create positive changes, not just whine about what’s not working. We’re an oddly optimistic bunch, believing in what’s possible while many of our coworkers give up.”

“…pushing new ideas too fast. We can’t help it, or at least we can’t control it until we become painfully aware of its impact on the workplace and on our careers.”

“…Executing the same types of processes and programs over and over again bores many of us.”

“We keep talking, thinking we’re educating our bosses while they just wish we would shut up.”

“…asking provocative questions, sharing our observations, questioning assumptions, suggesting alternatives–and quite possibly alienating that person because we’re coming on so strong.”

“Learning to manage our emotions so that they don’t manage us may be the most important practice for rebels to learn.”

I’m guessing that you’re nodding your head. Finally. Someone gets it.

Their book, Rebels At Work, is a wonderful guide. It provides very specific ways to help you navigate within the system, change things and stay sane.

And finally, Lois and Carmen end with this:

“Crank it up, dear rebels. The world needs us everywhere.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


To my bloggEEs: What are your experiences in the workplace? What suggestions do you have? What questions? Let us know what you think of Rebels At Work. The book is written particularly for folks working within large corporations but I think it also applies to you if you work in a smaller setting or are an entrepreneur. For more of my thoughts on navigating career paths, check out my webinar. And thanks, as always, for reading.


So Many Career Paths, So Little Time

“If I had 10 lives, I wouldn’t be able to do everything I wanted to.”

“My problem is I love to learn a job, then I optimize the job to do it in the fastest possible way, then I’m bored, and I want to move on to something else.”

“Sometimes, there are so many things that I want to do, it’s paralyzing and I end up doing nothing.”

Sound familiar? Could this be you? If it is, you may suffer from multipotentiality. A condition that afflicts many of the rainforest-minded. You may think that you are a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none or a dilettante; that you skim the surface and never dive.


But what if it’s just that you’re fascinated by anthropology and gardening and researching and mathematics and art history and sustainability and, well, you get the idea.

How do you choose? What gets left behind? How do you explain to your parents that you’re changing your college major for the fifth time? How do you explain to your friend Amy that you’re bereft because you have to choose engineering over music? How do you explain to yourself why you’re still working at Starbucks? How can such a smart person be so confused?

And how many times have you heard: Just pick something. Anything.

Oh boy.

You would if you could. It’s hard for others to understand that you love learning new things. And you learn them quickly. The possible career paths are overwhelming. Friends look at you quizzically, “This is a problem?” YES. It is. But how do you choose when you want to do it all? How do you choose when you’ll lose interest in a year? How do you explain that you’re not ungrateful but that you just have to avoid boredom at all costs?

This is how.

1. Refuse to Choose. This is the title of a book by Barbara Sher. She explains how you can craft a career plan that combines many of your interests. She provides examples and suggestions and understands your rainforest mind because she has one.

2. Go to and read Zen and the Art of Making a Living. Laurence Boldt, the author says, “Make your work an expression of love in action.”  He provides resources for people wanting to have a positive impact on the world. He has powerful ideas and lots of fine philosophy.

3. For the poet in you, read David Whyte’s books on work. (Crossing the Unknown Sea–Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity) His ideas aren’t practical as much as they’re brilliant.

4. Go to Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina provide fabulous support for smart people working in the corporate world who are struggling with the inequities, ineptitudes, and injustices.

And finally, you can walk many paths over your lifetime. You have a right to a work life that is meaningful, purposeful and intellectually stimulating. And, as David Whyte says,“To wake the giant inside ourselves, we have to be faithful to our own eccentric nature, and bring it into conversation with the world.”