“IT’S COMPLETELY POSSIBLE TO HAVE A LIFE WITH PLENTY OF VARIETY, THAT ALSO PROVIDES STABILITY.”
– EMILIE WAPNICK
Are you somebody who has multiple interests and passions? Are you jealous of people who have a clear-cut idea of what they want to do in their life? Did you find it hard to choose a major because you have so many interests?
Do you worry that you will never find your true calling? Or do you feel like you need a new calling?
If you answered yes, then welcome to the world of multipotentialites.
I first encountered this word when I watched a TEDx talk by Emilie Wapnick, about the challenges multipotentialites face and how to embrace them.
But first things first, what is a multipotentialite?
A multipotentialite has been defined as a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life. They do not have “one true calling.”
These people are usually full of artistic curiosity and can excel in two or more fields. Their interests span multiple areas and they often don’t want to “settle” in one field for good.
When I stumbled upon this term, I felt a great sense of relief.
In reality, I still feel restless sometimes, not because of “ having to become an expert at one thing” but more of “how can I do this, this, and that all at once?”
Being a multipotentialite adds so much more to life. It becomes a canvas and you can paint in oil, water, charcoal or whatever you want to. But you also don’t limit yourselves to that canvas – you go on painting on walls, wood, glass, leaf to feed that curiosity and explore different aspects of it.
How do I know? I happen to be one!
I am a biotechnology student, who loves traveling, writing, painting, and designing. Yet, I took up marketing along with HR as a department at AIESEC, where I happen to spend most of my time.
Adding to that, I also keep myself busy with the latest fashion trends and work on my photography page whenever I can. I haven’t stuck to any particular field, so I cannot say I am an expert or a specialist (in any)—words that the world loves.
As a person with multipotentiality, I thrive on learning, exploring, and mastering new skills.
And so, they keep searching for that single purpose that will make them feel whole again.
While having the drive to learn new things and master new skills is a fantastic quality and strength to have, a lot of multi-passionate people struggle with finding a career that “fits” them for they have such wide range of interests.
This makes it hard to narrow down a specific career since there are so many choices that they can thrive in and leaves them often asking “what do I want to be when I grow up.”
Success doesn’t have to elude you because of your interest in so many areas.
Is the struggle starting to make sense?
Come let’s take a closer look at how you can manage your interests well and embrace your multipotentiality. 🙂
1. Trust that the dots connect.
Nothing ever goes to waste. The skills you learn along the way will help you in the future.
Who says you need a life calling anyway? The point of a true calling is to have a purpose, something that centers and drives you, a mission you’re working to accomplish.
The truth is, when it comes to passion, multipotentialites are serial daters, not the monogamists of the world 😉
So maybe you have a true love for a little while, and then, later on, you have another true love. Or maybe you have a couple of true loves at once.
You don’t have to adhere to the monogamy model to be fulfilled, be on target with your life or to do something great.
2. Take small steps.
“You need to be content with small steps. That’s all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance.” – Katie Kacvinsky
Especially when there are hundreds of things that you’d like to do, it helps to make a list. Write down your desires and start with one of them. That’s it. Don’t expect anything except the desire to learn.
When you feel saturated, stop and proceed to do the next thing on your list.
The list will grow and so will you. It’s the learning that counts.
3. Look for creative ways to contribute.
If you’re eager to explore more of your interests, consider turning some of them into a side gig. Think about the skills and interests you wish your job included. Is there a part-time, flexible job or an internship you can pick up that would use those? Or maybe a business you can start that taps into that?
The important thing is not to give up on your interests. Work on them whenever you are free. It’s like a meditation to free you from all the mental pressure and also makes you feel productive at the end of the day.
4. Connect with people who can relate.
Joining a like-minded community helps put things in perspective. Forums and websites like Puttylike, started by Emilie, can help you restore your confidence and help you do better.
In the end, it’s all about perspective. So choose to focus on your strengths. Success will surely follow.
“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”
– George Carlin
Being a multipotentialite doesn’t have to mean living an unstable life that constantly worries you, or continuing at a job that you don’t enjoy.
It’s also okay not to want to stay in one job or field forever. If you still feel the pull to explore some of your other interests, maybe it’s time to start thinking about a career change! 😉
We at AIESEC also provide various opportunities with startups where you can explore your interests and learn more along with the same like-minded people. Check them out!
Until then, tell us if you are a multipotentialite too. What are your current interests and how are you smooshing them all together? Share with us in the comments below!