Emilie Wapnick, an entrepreneur, writer and art director, explains the benefits of being a multipotentialist in her TED talk. Are you interested in many things, but can’t seem to stick to any one thing? Do you put all your energy into one activity and when you’re done with it, you get bored and find another interest? Do you wonder why you don’t have a passion or a vocation? Does this instability make you anxious about your professional and personal life? Don’t worry, you are certainly a multipotentialist and you will understand that you can succeed thanks to your various skills and superpowers. Here are 4 points to understand multipotentiality.
Emilie Wapnick defines a multipotentialist as “[…] someone with many creative interests and goals” and who has three superpowers: synthesis of ideas, which allows you to mix the different areas you are good at and get something new out of the intersection. Quick learning, because you’re used to being a novice, so you observe and get to the point. Adaptability, like a chameleon you adapt easily to your environment and soak it in quickly. The skills you have acquired in one area are transferable to another, so no matter what you do, you can always use what you have already learned. These three superpowers that you have allow you to create something in your own image, original, creative and unique.
- A CASE OF GENERATION
In our grandparents’ or even our parents’ time, it was normal to spend your whole career in the same company. Very few people thought of changing their vocation and dared to change direction. Today, some of us cannot stay more than a year in the same company. They need to discover and learn new things all the time. The older generation does not always understand this choice. Thanks to technology and the Internet, everything is becoming much more accessible. You can find tutorials on a lot of subjects and learn how to do it yourself. The internet opens doors to knowledge and understanding that our grandparents didn’t necessarily have access to. So if you’re a multipotentialist, don’t deprive yourself by thinking you’re weird for not focusing on just one subject. Respond to that need to learn and enrich yourself with as much new knowledge as possible.
- MULTI-POTENTIALIST IN OUR SOCIETY
As a multipotentialist, the question “what do you want to be when you grow up? Even today you don’t really know what you want to do and this is reflected in your school and career path. You can’t find your place. Don’t panic, you’ll find a job that suits you. And why not several? Our society wants to put us in your boxes. It wants us to believe that you have to do one and the same thing, that if you don’t have a linear career path you don’t know where you’re going. Know that there is nothing wrong with discovering and doing several jobs in your life, with reorienting yourself. Society does not adapt to multi-skilled people, because their multi-skilling is a source of insecurity. Some of us have always known what we wanted to do and that’s great. Our society is more adapted to specialised profiles and makes less effort to integrate multi-skilled people. But more and more women today dare to wear several hats. So you too can do what you like! You have all the skills, qualities and even your powers to succeed!
Synthesising ideas, learning quickly and being adaptable are three skills that multipotentialists have, and which they risk losing if they force themselves to narrow their interests.
Being a multipotentialist can be a source of anxiety since you don’t know exactly what to do in life. You just have to let go of the idea that having a linear path is the best thing. Do what you love and what you do best. Put your interests together and combine them. You’ll find something unique that takes up your interests. Don’t feel guilty for being interested in different subjects. Don’t feel you can’t succeed when you have all the tools to be who you want to be and create new things. In relationships you need to be stimulated, to share your ideas. If you are surrounded by people who are not interested in as many things as you are, you will quickly feel frustrated and restricted. Don’t try to be like them to gain acceptance. Embrace the gift you have and keep learning.
I worried that I was afraid to commit, or afraid to be scattered, or afraid to sabotage myself, afraid of my own success.
To conclude, if you are interested in many subjects, but you can’t stick to one area, if you don’t have a real passion or vocation, if you are afraid of not being accepted because your background is atypical… you are certainly a multipotentialist. Now that you know this, or have just become aware of it, you know that everything is fine with you and you have to accept yourself. If you have more of a specialist profile, accept that too. No matter what your profile is, you can do wonderful things by accepting who you are. Know how to use your knowledge, skills, knowledge and superpowers and the doors to success will open for you.