Last Updated on December 3, 2020 by Rat Race Running
Have you ever think about what you want to do? What are the habits and interests you want to pursue?
Do you have only one dominant field that you want to master? Or do you want to do many things all at once?
If you pick the latter and think it’s weird, don’t be alarmed, there is nothing wrong with you. You just might be a multipotentialite.
What is a Multipotentialite?
In 2015, Emilie Wapnick discussed Why some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling in a TED Talk. She opened her speech with, “raise your hand if you’ve ever been asked the question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?'” Wherein many of the audience shot their hands up.
But most of the time, the answer to the question of what you want to be when you grow up changes over time and seasons. It is natural, especially if you are a multipotentialite.
She defined a multipotentialite (or a multipod) as someone with many interests and creative pursuits. It does not matter what kind of fields your interest lies or what are their relationship and how they complement each other.
It may sound like a polymath or a renaissance man or a generalist because they are quite the same. However, you don’t need to be an expert in all your pursued fields like Galileo, Michaelangelo, or even Rizal before you may call yourself a multipotentialite.
My Multipotentialite Story:
When I first watched that TED Talk, it connected with me because I always saw myself as a jack-of-all-trades or a generalist.
If you’ve read my other posts, you may notice that I write blog posts from my various interests. I started writing three years ago about running, hence, the namesake of this blog, which I combined with rat race – the season I was in back then to define my initial niche.
However, as I embraced personal growth and development, my interests expanded, so did my blog. Soon, I discovered that I want to talk about personal finance and investment in the stock market. Throw in my fascination with the written words through books and my occasional feature articles.
On top of these, I am also an engineer and a teacher. Currently, I am learning more about agriculture, food security, and podcasting.
It may sound that I am interested in topics that are seemingly unrelated to each other, but I want to pursue all of them on some level.
What are the advantages of being a multipotentialite?
According to Wapnick, there are several multipotentialite superpowers, here are some of them:
- Idea Synthesis – it is the creation of a new idea at the intersection of two or more fields. Innovation occurs in these intersections. I guess this is also similar to the “learning transfer” mastered by Elon Musk.
- Rapid Learning – because a multipotentialite became a beginner for so many times, trying out new things is no longer so scary. And the way skills are transferable to other domains makes learning easier.
- Adaptability – the pace of how our lives change today is faster than ever before. So being adaptable is crucial if you want to succeed. Because multipotentialites are usually adaptable, we can quickly respond positively to unpredictable industry trend shifts and adjust accordingly.
- Big Picture Thinking – immersion in different fields gives multipotentialites a broader view of the world, problems, and industries, making connections of seemingly independent topics more simple.
What to do now?
If you think you are a multipotentialite, then go and pursue those interests!
We all have limited time per day, different resources to tap into, and innate privileges, so there are times when you will have to choose one interest over the others. There will also be times when you’ll lose your interest in one, only to be replaced by another – and that’s okay.
Remember, you don’t have to be excellent in all your interests. So the next time you’re called a jack-of-all-trades, take it as a compliment.
Jack-of-all-trades master of none is oftentimes better than being just a master of one.