Exaggerated ambition and unrealistic expectations, but fortunately it’s not so bad

FRIDAY, 29 MAY 2009


I mentioned this recently, but I am once again thinking: my activities of the past forty months have been conducive to the manifestation of an inherited tendency I have toward manic behaviour.


Funny thing is, I didn’t connect the dots, not until recently. I think it is one of those things where you can go your whole life without knowing you have something in your blood – like the genetic potential for cancer or something. If the environment is right, and other factors are conducive, then the writing is, however, on the wall: it will manifest.

In my case, it has manifested. It also wasn’t the first time that it manifested, but other times I called it something else – eccentric behaviour, compulsive behaviour, compelled by faith or, in the service of an idea.

Is this a handicap? It could be. It is, in many cases. You would have to control it. You should be aware of it. You must be wary of it.


The psycho-analyst will say: Brand Smit suffers from periodic episodes of Hypomania; or rather, he experiences these periodic episodes, then he suffers the consequences in the following weeks and months as he tries to be “consistent”, to “see things through” and to finish what he started instead of “flip-flopping from one project to the next”.



So, what am I saying?

I am caught between two poles: days, and sometimes weeks of creative, inspired activity characterised by totally exaggerated ambition and unrealistic, over-optimistic expectations, and then the days and weeks in between of trying to make something of the over-ambitious projects that I had started, but without the energy, the conviction, and the inspiration of the “other time”.


The conversation would go like this: “The bad news is that there is indeed something wrong with you. The good news is that it isn’t so bad, as long as you keep it under control.”