Multipotentiality – Of Passion & Purpose
Today, I’m sharing an Article that I wrote and published in The Guardian a few month’s ago. I hope you enjoy it.
Multipotentiality can be defined as “An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. Because gifted students generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.” (Wikipedia)
As a kid, when you’re asked what you want to be when you grow up, the expected response is usually one thing – a Lawyer, Banker, Engineer, Teacher, maybe President even. You are subconsciously taught that you can only choose one career path and that’s it. At the time, society does not consider that you may have different interests, and might be equally good at many things, everything just points to ‘Choose ONE’. Well, guess what society? While a lot of people are great at choosing one path and sticking to it, some of us have multiple passions and are very well able to manage them all and produce brilliant results. Whoever coined the phrase ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’, clearly was biased and had not met us – the multi-passion driven ones who kick major ‘you know what’ working in various industries at the same time.
Juggling multiple passions and interests is not an easy feat, and it’s certainly not for everyone. But if you choose this path, here are a few things that you may want to consider.
Acknowledge the situation: You have to first come to terms with the fact that you are different, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do, and therefore do not need to make apologies or explain to society why you’ve decided to follow your passions. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you are doing multiple things at the same time. Yes, some people will say that you’re not focused enough or that you’re non-committal. But that’s their opinion – I mean, Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television THREE times. Michael Jordan was cut from his High School basketball team. Oprah was fired from her job as a reporter.
Pace Yourself: Do not burn yourself out because you’re doing multiple things. A Major key (#DJKhaledVoice) to multi-potentiality is to pace yourself, and get things done without compromising your mental and physical health. This means that you need to know which things to work on now, and which ones to put on the backburner for later. As exciting as the many ideas and opportunities seem, and how fulfilling you may feel, you are not a machine, and you will need to rest – take breaks, exercise, turn your phone off, stop thinking (that’s a tough one, but it can be done).
Re-Invest Profit: Multiple passions, means multiple things to invest in, and hence, zero short term returns. You will not be able to enjoy profit overnight, as many of your counter parts, so don’t spend time comparing your situation to theirs. You’ll often need to re-invest profit from one venture into the next, and the next, and the next, and the next (Ok. I’ll stop here). You’ll need to prioritize what’s most important now (viability) versus what can wait/personal project.
Connect Dots: Find an overarching theme for what you’re doing. Ie. the motivation and philosophy behind what you do. Why are you doing this? If you can cohesively bring your passions together, it will make it easier for you to manage them, and get paid for who you are.
Build a Community: Once you have a vision, it’s easier for you to bring people together, who share your vision, and want to help you succeed – because your success, is theirs too. Having a solid community will motivate you on days when you feel like giving up, and will open up your mind to many opportunities, while simultaneously serving as a catalyst for you to become a better person.
Be Honest: Finally… BE HONEST about why you’re doing what you’re doing, When you’re honest, you can accomplish much more, because you’re not distracted trying to remember the many lies that you’ve told.