I’m feeling this unbelievable lightness.
I had an amazing, laid-back Valentine’s Day. Ellen Page came out of the closet. I just got the design mock ups for the first “multipotentialite” shirt (they’re stunning).
Today feels really good. Hopeful.
I thought I would check in with you guys, and share something personal that I’ve been thinking about lately. It’s been a while since I’ve done that.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how we place limits on our dreams. Even those of us who are well-versed in Lifestyle Design literature, even we occasionally fall victim to toning down our imaginations.
I’ve been listening to all of these interviews with people who walked across America. It’s such a big and misunderstood quest. It must feel so freeing to be outside of society, observing, mindfully walking.
But traveling isn’t the only way to do something outside the realm of what we think is possible.
My girlfriend is taking an architecture class right now that focuses on weird and amazing homes. She told me about Ferdinand Cheval, a French mailman with no training in construction who spent thirty years building his dream home– a palace made of pebbles and stones that he found along his postal route.
Then there’s Fred Francis, who built a house with an octagon solarium. The house had various engineering marvels like disappearing windows and doors, an air cooling system and running water without electricity. In addition to building his house, he was an artist, poet, inventor, mathematician, and a nudist. (He took regular “air baths” much like our other multipotentialite friend, Benjamin Franklin. Hm.)
I’ve dreamed of building a tree house before, but I think that was actually me toning down my dreams to match up with a more “realistic” feat. I could do something bigger, something that has never even existed before. Why not?
You know Charles and Ray Eames even if you don’t know them by name. If you’ve ever sat on a chair like this, you know them:
The Eames’ were a married couple who revolutionized the design world in the 1900s. In addition to their work in furniture and architecture, they worked in the fields of graphic design, industrial design and fine art. They also build clever children’s toys, and made several short films.
They were true multipotentialites. This is from a documentary about the couple:
“She was a painter that didn’t paint and [he was] an architecture school drop-out who never got his license,”
Today I challenge you to look back over your list of goals and see how you’ve maybe been toning down your dreams to make them feel more feasible.
I’m guilty of this too. But in a culture like ours, we must always be re-inspiring ourselves and re-learning how to dream big. It needs to be a practice.
How have you toned down your dreams, and how could you make them big again? Got any examples you’d like to share of people who inspire you to dream beyond what you thought was possible?
Emilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe scientist. Learn more about Emilie here.