Multipotentialite – are you one?
When we are kids, we are often asked: what do you want to be when you grow up? An innocent question, which adults usually ask in order to get a funny response. Although seemingly insignificant, this question carries the message that it is good to know what you want to be in the future and that this should be a specific profession.
And it’s only when we have become adults ourselves that we (or some of us) begin to realize that it’s not quite like that. Some people never ask themselves such questions. In their adolescence, they choose a single path, and they stick to it for the next dozens of years. They don’t change their career paths, don’t even look around because the mainstream society these days persuades us that, once you have made a career choice, you need to stick to it.
Those of us who change majors during their studies or completely drop out of college are not likely to get much approval from our close ones and friends in general. There is a pressure, and it is actually quite a lot of pressure, to finish what you have started, no matter the costs you pay and the motives that drive you.
Unfortunately, giving in to such pressure doesn’t do you any good. Not all of us are mentally strong enough to keep others from meddling in our affairs. Especially when we have a close relationship with the people who try to interfere with our life choices, for instance, our parents, it’s not easy to maintain boundaries. This sense of inner conflict is sometimes followed by years of frustration, for example, Johny works as a lawyer because that’s what his father wanted him to be, while deep in his heart he has always dreamed of becoming a drummer in a rock band.
In this blog entry, I want to inspire you to take on a different perspective – different from the one that society has drilled into you since your early years. I also want to let you know that if you have multiple passions and you can’t seem to make up your mind what you want to do for a living, you don’t have to. And that everything is OK with you. Keep an open mind and an open heart, put aside what mainstream society tells you, and look for your ways to embrace your interests and turn them into something that will make you feel fulfilled, something in which you can become a real pro?
Multipotentialites are among us
What if I’m interested in many things? This question was publicly asked by Emilie Wapnick, a young Canadian coach and writer – although these two professions are far from embracing all of her. The term “multipotentialite” that she herself came up with would be more adequate here. She gave rise to the movement gathering people interested in her theory of multipotentiality.
A direct translation of this word refers to the multiplicity of interests that a person has, which results in a versatile potential. According to Emilie, a multipotential individual is someone who:
- is passionate about many things
- cannot indicate which of his or her interests are the most important ones
- doesn’t want to decide on a single specialization
- quickly gets bored with one job, therefore is always looking around and considering different paths
- learns new things fast, gets to know new areas easily, explores them with passion and often achieves proficiency in a given field.
Multipotentialite (who is not aware that it is one) very often experience that kind of inner conflict I described above. The modern world expects from them declarations concerning what they will specialize in, which is exactly what they don’t want and cannot do. They refuse to submit to the idea that one should let go of their multiple passions and take only one particular direction in life. Wapnick put forward a statement (and for several years now, she has been a living proof backing it) that not everyone has “one true calling”. There are people who have many of them or none at all, and that doesn’t mean they can’t succeed or achieve proficiency in many fields. Wapnick’s theory assumes that the complex potential can be transformed into a natural drive to combine all passions and interests into a very creative pursuit that will lead to a fulfilling way of living, without the need to make uneasy compromises.
According to Emilie, multipotentialite have 3 key super powers, i.e. resources he or she can use to create their own future and realize its dreams, and these are:
- idea synthesis
- fast skill acquisition
- high adaptability.
Multipotentiality stands for multi-curiosity of the world, which offers a lot of benefits for us, for example, we can come up with an innovative idea that could be later translated into a successful business venture.
If you’re interested in this topic, be sure to check out Emilie’s speech at TED Talks. It contains stories of people with multipotential personality. I particularly enjoyed the story of an artistic duo Sha Hwang and Rachel Binx, who not only combined their broad individual interests and passions, such as cartography, mathematics, travel and design, but also joined forces to create the Meshu brand of personalized, geographically inspired jewelry.
It is quite often the case that multipotential people become pioneers, inventors of new solutions or trendsetters. A Polish example of such a multipotential combo, operating on a wider scale, is Mr. Generator – a group of artists, web programmers and designers, who use art to provide very intriguing solutions to various problems. To find out more about it click here.
Are you a multipotentialite, too?
Don’t submit to this belief that you have to choose when you feel that you don’t want to. Don’t let others persuade you to follow the idea that you must find your “one true calling”. The world needs cooperation between experts and multipotentialites, who think out of the box and contribute to solving complicated humanity’s problems.
If you want to explore and develop your multiple passions and bring out the potential you have in many areas, I strongly recommend that you visit Emilie’s website, where you can find information about books and courses on this subject. You can also see a professional coach to discover what is in line with your real passions, aptitudes and natural inclinations and to find the courage to live a full life.