Being a multipotentialite can make you feel paralyzed at times. The ability to do many different things, the passion for a variety of subjects and the fear of missing out can all act as detractors to your genius. Integrating your different passions and interests into a meaningful career path can seem like an impossible task.
If you’re like any other multi-passionate creative, the following scenario should be familiar. You start a project and get really excited about it. Then you think of a few other things and start to feel overwhelmed because you don’t know how to distribute your time or what’s even worth allocating time to. Analysis paralysis sets in and you start to wish you weren’t so different.
Being a multipotentialite is nothing to feel guilty about. On one hand you will always have options, but on the other, you might feel like you’re not effectively using your potential because you’re interested in almost everything. But believe it or not, there’s an overarching theme in all your passions. Finding that point of intersection can help bring everything together and give you a better sense of direction.
Here are three questions to ask yourself in order to figure out where all your passions connect:
How do I want to impact the world?
You can think about this in different ways. What causes do you care about? Alleviating poverty? Increasing literacy? Protecting the environment? At the end of your life, how would you want to be remembered? How can you use your skills to get to that point?
There are two types of multipotentialites: the ones who can do different things within a particular field and the ones who juggle projects in unrelated domains.
Suppose you’re a psychotherapist who helps young adults face the hurdles of growing up. On top of your full-time job, you have a podcast, blog and YouTube channel, and also host workshops where you share what you know in a digestible way. If we take a closer look at all your gigs, the overarching theme is helping people. How are you doing that? Mostly through education. This tells us how you want to be remembered. As someone who positively impacted people’s lives. Keeping the end in mind helps make sense of the process.
Now, imagine you’re an architect, guitar player and standup comedian. Harder to figure out what connects these interests right? The overarching theme could be that you’re most passionate about delighting people. Whether you give aesthetic pleasure through your architectural designs, stimulate the brain through your compositions and making people laugh with your jokes.
As long as your activities are connected to your overarching goal, they don’t have to make sense to people. The important thing is to do some soul searching and really figure out what matters to you. Don’t worry about people not understanding your dreams
discrediting your process. You owe it to yourself to pursue everything that gets you fired up.
What can I not live without doing?
For me, the answer is reading and writing. When I read, I’m inspired to keep producing. Even when I was taking science classes in college, I always made sure to add a creative writing class to stimulate that other side of me.
Being aware of what you can’t do without is important in prioritizing. It also allows you to incorporate that into everything you do. Whether I’m taking pictures or producing videos, I know I’m still telling stories. It might be my overarching theme, but it’s what brings everything together for me.
Think about activities that always somehow find their way into your day to day. They may be things you do on your free time and that you also do to some extent at work or for your side hustles. They will tell you more about who you are than anything else.
Will this bring me closer to my long-term vision in a few years?
You only have so many hours in the day, so it’s important to get the most out of all them. Over time, I’ve learned to be selective with the responsibilities I take on. I’d say passion is the most deciding factor, but there’s also the question of what’s in it for me. If a job will not contribute to my life in any other way than monetary, I’ll usually go for something more meaningful. Similarly, I get a lot of ideas but I can’t physically pursue all of them because I’ll only be interested in some for a very short time.
If your big goal is to become the editor-in-chief of a digital magazine, the following are all things that can take you closer to it over time:
a. Starting a blog (because you’ll get the hands-on experience of creating content, managing a team of writers etc.)
b. Work at a magazine (because you’ll see the ins and outs of what that’s really like)
c. Freelance write for digital publications (for the network and skill set)
d. Take a coding class (because some technical knowledge can never hurt)
I could go on, but the point is to become more intentional about the things you allocate your time to. Ask yourself how important it is and if it’ll continue to matter then go full throttle in the direction of your goals.
Being multi-passionate isn’t always easy to manage. You’re constantly reinventing yourself or learning more about what’s really important to you. But some regular soul searching should make the journey easier.
What’s the overarching theme behind all your passions? Let me know in the comments!
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