The question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” is a the most common question we all hear in different phases of life in different forms and with different intentions but with similar expectation – expectation of hearing a single or one-word answer. An astronaut? A scientist? A doctor or Engineer but not all of them.
It seems a moderately innocuous question to those who are content choosing a career, committing to one goal and following through but you can be someone who’s never been able to answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and it can cause a lot of pain and worry for many of us. When it implies ‘you have to BE one or DO ONE THING’, there it creates a lot of trouble as you have many interests or genuine passions that you want to pursue.
It’s perfectly normal if you are a multipotetialites, if you haven’t got ‘A True Calling’ then you are better off that way and there is nothing to hide or regret about. Emilie Wapnick is one of them. She noticed of her pattern where she would become interested in an area, would dive in, become all-consumed and then she would hit the point where she would start to get bored but she would persist anyway because of her devoted time, money and energy. Her sense of boredom always initiated her to do something more challenging and she would eventually become interested in something totally unrelated.
Do you feel the same way? It’s perfectly fine if you find intersection of all your interests and come up with an idea of what you can do with all your knowledge and how can you apply them.
Instead of Denying, Use Your Multipotentiality
Denial of the fact that ‘you are drawn to many interests or you’re multipotetialites’ is your acceptance of the imposed limitation that ‘you have to BE one thing’ or ‘pick one focus in your life and deny all the other interests’. Instead, you can find ways of integrating all of your interests because intersection is place where innovation happens. People who say to pursue one interest aren’t wired the way multipotetialites are, and that the trend towards mastery in our culture, not only causes anxiety for people who aren’t wired that way, but actually slows down innovation.
There are people who have thrived in various fields but unfortunately we don’t hear about them, all we can hear that we have to do one thing in life. Here are example of those genius:
Dr. Bob Childs is a luthier and psychotherapist; Amy Ng, a magazine editor turned illustrator, entrepreneur, teacher and creative director. They are the persons with creative pursuits and many interests and more importantly they have found the way of making the best use if their passions.
Below are three multipotentialite super powers you should know:
Idea Synthesise: that is combining multiple fields and creating something unique at the intersection.
Rachel Binx, data visualizer, developer, and designer, and Sha Hwang, a designer and technologist drew their shared interest in Cartography, data visualization, travel, mathematics and design when they founded Mashu, the company that creates custom geographically inspired jewellery. They came up with this amazing and innovative idea just because of their diverse mix of skills and experience. Innovation happens at the intersection and multipotentialites with all their background are able to access a lot of these points of the intersection
The second multipotentialites Superpower is rapid learning.
Nora Dunn is a full time traveller and freelance writer. as a child concert pianist she hone a wonderful ability to develop muscle memory and now she is the fastest typist she knows. Before becoming a writer she was a financial planner and she had to learn the finer mechanics of sales when she was starting her practice and now the skills helps her write compelling pitches to editors. There is nothing wrong in pursuing what are drawn to even if it seems just waste of time or you end up quitting
The third multipotentialites Superpower is adaptability, the ability to morph into whatever you need to be in given situation.
Abe Cajudo is a video director, a web designer, a kick-starter consultant, sometimes a teacher and sometimes James Bond. He is most valuable because her can take various roles depending on his client’s needs. Fast Company magazine recognises adaptability as the single most significant skill to develop in order to thrive in the 21st century. The economic world is changing so frequently and unpredictably that it is the individuals and organizations that can pivot in order to meet the requirements of the market
About Author Emilie Wapnick: She is a writer and multipotentialite and founder of Puttylike.com,an online community for multipotentialites. Besides, she is a speaker, coach, violinist, filmmaker, web designer, and a graduated from the Faculty of Law at McGill University. She’s created an incredibly useful guide called Renaissance Business for people who desire to pursue all of their passions.
Watch this TED video in which Emilie Wapnick Talks About Why Some of us Don’t Have One True Calling!