A multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.
A few months ago, I watched a TED talk about having too many passions to just settle on one. I immediately identified with the speaker, Emilie Wapnick. I identified with her rationalization that not all of us have that one true calling, and that it’s okay to not feel like we have to specialize in one thing.
I highly admire the musicians, artists, doctors and other people who know, from a certain age, that that’s what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Having studied music allowed me to mingle with deeply devoted musicians, and I admired them for their passion and perseverance in their career. Most of these people were my age or younger; they were barely in high school when they knew that they wanted to pursue music (cello, in my case) for as long as they could. And that really amazed me, because I knew from an early age that I wasn’t like one of them.
I think many of us are able to identify with this, as there are increasingly more things to learn and be in this world.
“Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Multipotentialites are not specialists; they don’t settle for one thing to focus all their energy on. While this may mean that they don’t become as good of a musician as someone who dedicates his life to music, for instance, a multipotentialite has the possibility of merging all his knowledge and discover something even bigger and more novel.
As a self-proclaimed multipotentialite, I believe that we should specialize in a field that sweeps us away, but I also believe that that specialization shouldn’t be fixed.
What I mean is that we go through different stages in our lives, and in each stage we prioritize different things. This means that while we may be more suited to be an athlete during our adolescence and/or early adulthood, we may be more suited to be a businessperson later in life, and a philanthropist even later in our adulthood. These are extreme examples, but it means that we have the opportunity to dedicate to different things at each stage of our wonderful life cycle.
me, a multipotentialite?
At 19, I consider myself a multipotentialite because I believe that the sum of my passions will allow me to blossom in the one field that I choose to specialize in my careers. And I say careers because I know I’ll have several careers and pursuits throughout my life.
Right now, I am a polyglot, bibliophile, blogger, cellist and fitness enthusiast. Not all of these are ‘serious’ skills, such as being a bibliophile (I mean, anyone can be one as long as they can read) and a fitness enthusiast (note the word ‘enthusiast’). But somehow, naming these particular skills that define my lifestyle makes it more concrete and real. I know that these are five things that I know will make me happy, and that I will continue pursuing irregardless of the level I reach in each of them.
i’m also an amateur photographer and fashionista, and I call myself these names to remind myself that these are other hobbies that make me happy, and just add to the creative persona that I’m trying to be. They also complement the five skills I’ve named above, so yay!
Finally, there’s also other things that I aim to become when I’ve gained the experience and wisdom to be. These include being a psychologist, author, entrepreneur, activist and humanitarian. Not necessary in this order, but it seems like a reasonable sequence. I aim to major in Psychology, so that’s first in the list. The following ones simply professionalize my current interests and align with my moral values and intentions in this life.
what this means for you
I know I probably went off topic at the end. I went on talking about the things that I aim to be in the future, big dreamy goals *sigh*. But, so what? Being a multipotentialite means that there are no limits to what we are and aspire to be. It’s a way to denominate this bursting feeling to learn and create without feeling like we don’t fit among others. And I like it.