Almost all my adult life, I found myself not only multi tasking but also having such varied interests that I was often told I’m ‘all over the place’. At some point I began doubting myself, trying to urge myself to focus on one or two things and not allow myself any diversions in interest.
In a world full of specialists I started feeling something wasn’t right. What was wrong with me that after doing something for a while I couldn’t see it becoming my forever, the be all and end all of my life? And people around me had been doing the same jobs for as long as I could remember.
A sense of confusion, doubt and concern in my lack of specialty crept up on me and made me feel somewhat subpar or incomplete. That was until I heard a talk by the ‘multipotentialite’ Emilie Wapnick.
I was so thrilled to have listened to her talk since she sounded so much like me, having experienced similar criticism and question in her fluttering interests until she gave it more thought and drew her own reassuring conclusions. Embracing the multipotentialite in you is freeing and also allows you to succeed.
In coaching, we often explore the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. Then we delve into the weaknesses which bring us to realise even our weaknesses have positive attributes. Think about fear as a negative. It has a strength in that it protects us from what’s out there internally or externally. Having fear is thus an inbuilt mechanism that helps us caution ourselves where necessary – a fight or flight response.
Likewise, being a multipotentialite (a person who has constantly evolving interests) need not be something to doubt and loathe. Instead, being a multipotentialite is a special and unique attribute which allows one to fulfill the thirst and exploration of a variety of sciences, interests and bubbles of knowledge and people. What an enriching and wondrous thing multipotentiality is; full of adventure, challenge and fun.
We live in a fast changing world. Where our university degrees may become obsolete, where jobs are scarce and creativity is sorely lacking. Where too many people remain on the peripheries and remain doing what they’ve always done, held back by fear and societal pressures that dictate they should loyally remain doing what they’ve always done and stick to it forever.
Perhaps I always had it in me, but God knew that as an expat I needed to adapt fast to the changing lifestyles and norms, from country to country. Otherwise I could have spiralled downward onto a path or self pity, unable to do what I was trained at doing, feeling sorry for myself and being miserable looking at the many blocks ahead. Being a multipotentialite, these blocks pushed me to explore other avenues and carve new pathways.
Perhaps being a parent changed something in you, where the previous job or past time would no longer work well with playing an additional role.Think of that someone you know who’s had to think creatively and steer a new path completely. Their new path could have been a result of a retrenchment, change in family dynamic, moving to a new country and culture, or just the will to try something new, something they were passionate about and carried through.
Are you prepare for a sudden change of events where doing what you know no longer works for you and the best way forward is to think out of the box, take the risk and try something new. You just never know what could be waiting for you; possibly an untapped version of yourself you never knew existed, in a new chapter in your book of life.
What about lasting fulfillment, joy and doing things that truly make us happy? Think of the endless possibilities you have yet to test, the list of things you still want to explore and master; and trust that it’s never too late to make that U turn on the road of your life. Don’t be scared to tread on paths you haven’t trod before. Dare yourself to make your dreams your reality, try your hand at your many talents and ideas.
Grab some paper and begin to write all that interests you and the dream jobs you would do. Imagine that right now you could be doing anything under the sun. But maybe in a few months or a few years, those dreams may change. That’s ok. As long as you find joy and fulfillment in what you decide to do. Any maybe, just maybe, when that starts to taper down, you would know what your next journey involves.< Back