I watched a TED video not long ago where Emilie Wapnick shared about multipotentialite. It’s a mouthful but it’s exactly what many millennials are. Multipotentialites are individuals with many interests and creative pursuits. They are also the ones with no “one true calling”.
We, the millennials, are passionate about many things, while our society and culture have pushed a certain mindset to us that we can only choose to pursue one thing at a time. We grew up with the notion that in order to increase our worth, we have to specialise in a certain field.
But what if not everyone can or wants to be a specialist?
This is where multipotentialites come into the picture as they are equally capable in a variety of different fields, even though their expertise may not be as deep as a specialist. Still, these out-of-the-box thinkers have a passion for the many things that they do.
Can one be an entrepreneur, a creative director, a teacher, and a photographer at the same time? It’s very possible!
Our world is filled with specialists who are very good at what they do. With the world changing so fast, however, we also need people who have vast experience in different fields to solve problems creatively, assisted by specialists’ knowledge.
Multipotentialites in our midst
Believe it or not, some of the most famous multipotentialites are people like Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin,
Aristotle, Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt and many more.
Take da Vinci, for example. He was an artist, a mathematician, an inventor and a writer. Roosevelt was the revolutionary First Lady, a writer and a great humanitarian. More importantly, they excelled in all.
Thanks to these multipotentialites, we are able to witness and enjoy their great achievements and contributions to humanity.
Watch multipotentialite or polymath Dr John Demartini in this video:
Encourage, not supress
My friend’s daughter came back from school one day and recalled the conversation she had had with her teacher. She told her teacher that she wants to be a chef, a florist and a dentist. Her teacher did not ask her to choose, instead told her that she can be all three. She can pursue her studies in dentistry and then, at the same time, polish her skills in cooking and flower arranging.
I was over the moon knowing that there are teachers who are very open to the idea of children with multiple aspirations and that is what we need to start encouraging. Don’t ask them to choose to pursue only one of their passions; after all, you never know if your child might just turn out to be the next da Vinci.
Many multipotentialites start off having many different ideas in their minds and are eager to execute all of them. Following that, when things seem too overwhelming, they either don’t start at all, or they jump from one interest to another and are labelled as irresponsible or afraid to commit. If it is not addressed, they might start blaming themselves for not being disciplined enough to finish what they started and as a result, their self-confidence slowly chips away.
Start believing that the dots will connect. Believe that your experiences and skills in various interests will lead you to something great because you can link those skills and experiences you acquired to solve problems creatively. Related post: New Workplace? Not A Problem If You Have These Skills We are all multipotentialites, we just haven’t worked out how best to harness it yet.