Are you a person who gets inspiring ideas every day? Do you wake up, stimulated with such thoughts, only to end up feeling sore as the day ends because you failed to act on these bright morning ideas?
Then welcome to the world of multipotentiality, a word I first encountered when I heard a TED talk by Emilie. See the video first:
So who is a multipotentialite? The urban dictionary defines it as somebody who has potential in multiple fields. It seems that such a person would lead a meaningful life. They never get bored, as there’s always something to catch their fancy.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work out that way. How do I know?
I happen to be one.
I am a part of so much—part computer graphic artist, part philanthropist, part teacher, part blogger, part happiness coach, part mad, part numismatist, part seeker, part lover, part traveler, part poet, part writer, part thinker, part explorer, part adventurer, part failure, part winner, part looser, part fool, part genius, part leader, part follower, etc.
I am the weirdo in family or friend gatherings. Do you know why? People around me talk about promotions and their material success— a second home, a second child, cars, investments and foreign trips—while I talk about beginnings and little joyful moments. I talk about my 4-year long sabbatical that haunts them. I don’t mind; I am a learner. But it’s difficult to explain to your family, who wishes to see you settled in your career, that you have multiple interests.
Without a supportive environment, several things can go wrong.
You get plenty of ideas, so much so that it becomes overwhelming. You begin to feel that you’re not a responsible person because you don’t stick to anything. After all, hasn’t it been drilled into you that success depends on your level of commitment? And a lack of commitment could mean anything from not being serious to being irresponsible and careless.
When you’re unable to come up with a goal for yourself, it can hurt. You know you’re ready to put in the hard work, but goals keep changing, as nothing interests you for long. The hurt and disappointment can erode your self-confidence, as well.
In spite of their vulnerabilities, multipotentialites can get a lot done. They’re generally quick learners who are able to grasp varied things, a strength that they could capitalize on. In a team they can come up with innovative ideas; the jack-of-all-trades does not lack solutions. Belief in yourself is the only thing that’s missing.
Nothing ever goes to waste. The skills you learn along the way will help you in the future. All the different things I did in my sabbatical helped me grow as humans and also gave me good monetary returns. Skills were put to good use and I sometimes got paid too, without any conscious effort on my part.
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. Especially when you have hundreds of things that you would 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.
Maybe you could utilize your skills to earn more, by writing in your particular field, coaching, or even speaking. The important thing is not to give up on your interests; instead, look at them closely and see how you can proactively pursue them to better your situation.
Joining a like-minded community helps put things in perspective. Forums and websites like Puttylike, started by Emilie, can help you restore your faith in yourself and move ahead in your life.
In the end, it’s all about perspective.