Are you a multipotentialite?
Have you ever wondered why so many people in your life asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you ever struggle to give a specific answer? If that's the case and you have never felt that something was your “true calling”, you may be what we call a multipotentialite or multipod. What's that, you say?
According to Emilie Wapnick (author, speaker and the founder of a community for multipods called Puttyverse), “a multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. It stems from the word multipotentiality - a psychological and educational term used to describe people who display aptitudes across multiple disciplines.” Sounds nice, right? But how do you know for sure this applies to you? Here's a few characteristics multipods tend to share
Here's a few characteristics multipods tend to share:
- You love connecting with and relating to all kinds of different people.
- Throughout your life, you've been interested in both logical/scientific and artistic/intuitive fields.
- You lose interest in something once you have a good grasp on it. You have repeatedly thought you found our “one true calling,” got totally immersed, and then became bored a few months or years in.
- Once it no longer feels challenging, you're on to the next thing.
- You would (or did) have a really hard time choosing a major or specialty in school.
- You constantly have multiple unrelated projects unfinished and often have a hard time deciding what to pursue first.
- If you hadn't seen someone for five years, they would probably not be able to guess what you're up to now.
- You generally read more than one book at a time, take more than one e-course at a time etc.
- "So, what do you do?" makes you anxious, either because your occupation does not even begin to describe all you can do, or because it is difficult to even put your activities into words in a way other people can understand.
- Whether you like it or not, you tend to multitask a lot. It can be both fulfilling and exhausting, but it seems you are wired to often feel the urge to be at more than one place at a time.
- Your taste in friends and art is rich in variety - if you only had to choose one person or movie or music genre you like most of all, you wouldn't be able to, or you might want to change your answer depending on the day you are having.
- You might feel guilt or shame over the fact that you rarely ever seem to stay loyal to something you were passionate about.
- You can get obsessed with a topic or an idea that catches your interest, and want to learn as much as possible in a very short period of time.
- When asked to help with a task that you've never done before, you generally feel curious and energized instead of cautious or uninterested.
- You tend to take more on your plate than what you can handle and often find it hard to say no to new projects.
So, what did you think?
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that since you got this far, at least some of the points above have resonated with you.
And you may be wondering: What does that mean?
Firstly, let us say one thing - there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. On the contrary! While simply being a multipotentialite does not mean that you are in any way superior or inferior compared to a specialist, it does give you plenty of opportunities to shine in this world.
If you learn how to manage some of the difficulties that come with being a multipotentialite in a more or less specialised culture (e.g. multipods often struggle with imposter syndrome), you may find that being the way you are is actually your biggest strength.
Here are three multipotentialite superpowers as listed by Emilie Wapnick:
- Idea synthesis
Combining two or more fields and creating something entirely new at the intersection. This skill is paramount for innovation - new and bold ideas that move us forward would be impossible without understanding more than one field or topic.
- Rapid learning
When multipotentialites learn, they go deep. They desire to understand the topic as much as possible quickly. This passion moves from one topic to another, which makes them used to getting out of their comfort zones and diving into unknown topics without being afraid or overwhelmed easily by too much information.
The ability to be whatever you need to be in a given situation. The world is changing so quickly that the ability to pivot in order to meet the needs of the market or the client's needs is priceless in any field. This is especially true for entrepreneurs.
Multipods also tend to be great leaders - their natural curiosity helps them care about their teams and communicate rather effortlessly. So, if you have just discovered that you just may be a multipotentialite and you feel like your head just exploded with thoughts of all the possibilities that are in front of you, congratulations. There are no good reasons for you to try to fit in a box that was not made for you, when out-of-the-box thinking is something that comes to you naturally. Embrace it, learn how to use it for your advantage, and be the best possible version of yourself.
The world needs you to be you.