Rescheduled post: Originally posted April 29th, 2018
As someone who constantly needs a distraction to focus, I had a TedTalk on in the background while I finished up some work stuff at 10 pm. Yes, that’s when I can focus and do my best work.
Growing up, as most kids do, I had many different passions and interests. Sometimes, it was karate, painting and gymnastics and sometimes it was dancing and singing. So, growing up I had no idea what I wanted to be, but I knew I loved doing many different creative things. Also, curious why do people ask kids who are 5-6 years old that question? – “The what do you want to be when you grow up” -I will assume for now it is for entertainment value. Eventually, due to the societal norms and pressures kids are taught to focus on only a couple of things.
In today’s world of specializing and narrowing down your career path and your interests and focusing on only one or two things and being the best at them seems to be the norm. For people who love to narrow it down and focus on one or two things that is great! You have found your calling and that can be an amazing thing.
For some reason, I never fitted into that mold. I have always had way too many passions. As I wrote in my ‘About‘ page, there are multiple facets to a person, you aren’t just what you do for work. I pursue them, get good at them really fast and then inevitably at one point or another get bored of them. When I am interested in something, I research and spend hours upon hours and days upon days learning and observing everything I can about it. I pursue the interest and at one point or another get bored. Always had this nagging feeling, an inner voice that says – “Why are you pursuing this anyway, eventually you will grow out of it.” This post is for anyone who has pursued their many interests and realized they want to move on to something else. Hey, you can now say that you tried and didn’t like it instead of I thought I may not like it so I never tried.
I have always known I am someone with many many creative passions and interests. Also career-wise, somehow I managed to get undergraduate and graduate degrees in different fields where I can pursue multiple career paths. As I was working tonight and listening to this TedTalk, something she said instantly resonated with me to the core of my being. It was my big AHA moment, she spoke about being a MULTIPOTENTIALITE.
SHORT DEFINITION: A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. Emilie Wapnik coined this term in 2010. You can watch her TedTalk on youtube. It is worth the 12 minutes!
Reflectively, after she explained the three superpowers Multipotentialites have – I realized THAT is EXACTLY what I AM and have been since I was a little kid. I have always hated having to choose one thing over another and narrow my focus solely on a couple things.
The three superpowers according to Emilie Wapnik were:
- Idea generation: Ability to quickly generate ideas and think on your feet creatively.
- Rapid learning: Ability to learn things quickly by reading, observing and researching. Basically whatever it takes to learn this skill quickly.
- Adaptability: Being able to be whatever you need to be at a given situation.
I like doing multiple different things pursuing different creative interests. I like creative writing ~hence this post~, hiking/trekking mountains, making lotion, Tango & West Coast Swing dancing, sketching ~ hint -tiger ~, reading books, heated yoga, baking, traveling to new countries or exploring a new state, skydiving and the list goes on. Even if you aren’t able to become a master of something, I think it is good to have tried and experienced something new. Wouldn’t you say?
A sketch I made when I was stressed, calmed me down instantly.
I enjoy being able to travel around the world through my job and love learning how manufacturing works in different countries. Life is a lot more fulfilling when you enjoy what you do professionally instead of it being just a job.
To all the readers who love to specialize and narrow your focus to a couple of things – that is great, keep at it!
To all the readers who just realized you ARE one of the Multipotentialites – Awesome! Accepting your multiple different callings is absolutely okay and realize not forcing yourself to narrow down your creative pursuits or passions will allow you to become your authentic happy self. After watching that video I realized there are tons of people out there just like me. For some of us there isn’t one true calling, there are multiple callings and embracing that makes you who you are!
To the multipotentialites out there – you are not alone! What are some of your many passions and interests? What excites you? What keeps you going? Would love to hear some of your experiences!
Have a peaceful day!