< Credits >
What do You want to be when You grow up?
Did that question ever cause You anxiety, not because You don’t have any interests, but rather because You have too many interests which may or may not be related with each other?
You probably are a…
… ‘multipotentialite’ – someone with many interests and creative pursuits.
The problem with this question is that it doesn’t inspire us to dream about all that we can be. In fact, it does the exact opposite. When someone asks You what You want to be, You ‘can’t’ reply them with 20 different things. That’d be ‘abnormal’ or that there’s something ‘wrong’ with You.
How have we learned to assign the word “abnormal” to ‘doing many things’? Why is it that someone’s ‘multipotentiality’ as a limitation or an affliction we need to overcome?
We should be designing our lives and careers according to how our lives are wired, but sadly, multipotentialites are largely being encouraged towards being more like their specialist peers and as a result, they lose the three ‘super powers’ that come with being a multipotentialite.
These are the three super powers:
1. Idea Synthesis: Combining two or more fields, and creating something new in the intersection. intersection is innovation. The intersection is where new ideas come from.
2. Rapid Learning: When multipotentialites become interested in something, they put in 110%. They observe everything they can get their hands on. They’re also used to being beginners because they have been beginners so many times before. This means that they are less afraid to try new things and step out of their comfort zone. What’s more, many skills are transferrable across disciplines, and they bring everything they’ve learned to every new area they pursue, so they are rarely starting from scratch.
“It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something You’re drawn to, even if You end up quitting. You might apply that knowledge in a different field entirely, in a way that You couldn’t have anticipated.” – Emilie Wapnick
The problem is that society seems to condemn anyone ‘starting out late’. As a result, people are afraid of learning new things after hitting the age which society has pre-determined to be when one should stop developing themselves but rather develop others with whatever skills/ knowledge which they should already know.
“I think people definitely are afraid to be a beginner later in life. Perhaps it’s the societal pressure that as an adult you’re supposed to have ‘sorted it out’, whatever ‘it’ is. That you’re meant to be a teacher and not a learner. That life is too short to make mistakes. But honestly life is too short not to. Life is too short not to learn all you can always.” – Miriam
3. Adaptibility: The ability to morph into whatever You need to be in a given situation. Multipotentialites are valuable because they can do good work, but even more so valuable because they can take on various roles depending on the situation’s needs.
Regardless of whether You’re a multipotentialite or not, embrace the way You are wired and don’t let society tell You what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, because what the norm may deem as ‘right’ may not be ‘right’ for You.
Follow Your passion, follow Your heart.