Congratulations! You’re a multipotentialite!
At least, I expect you are, because you’re reading this article.
Maybe you’re not sure. In that case, I’d like to remind you that there’s no barrier to entry. You don’t have to have a bizarre combination of jobs, you don’t have to speak multiple languages, you don’t have to do anything in particular. It’s about finding that the identity is “home” for you.
If you think you might be a multipod, you probably are one. Welcome.
For many, discovering their multipotentiality is a powerful experience.
You know those movies where a baby gets raised by an alien species, and when they eventually meet other humans there’s a powerful emotional release as they’ve finally come home? Realizing that other multipotentialites exist can be a similarly massive moment.
I don’t want to oversell it; obviously, neither multipods nor specialists are aliens. Meeting your actual species for the first time is probably a bigger deal.
But it’s definitely a relief to realize that you’re not the only one hearing the life-long background noise nudging you to “Specialize! Give up! Settle!”
I’d committed to the idea of a portfolio career before I’d ever heard of the idea. I still wonder what might have happened if I hadn’t discovered the multipotentialite tribe so soon after. Maybe I’d have given up.
Going it alone was exhausting and lonely. And even today, the thrill of “coming home” still makes me smile.
But the initial high inevitably fades, so it’s only natural to ask: what next?!
As ever, there’s no multipotentialite rulebook – part of the point is often forging our own paths. However, these ideas might be helpful whichever way we go:
Accept yourself (if you don’t already)
If you’ve spent years squeezing yourself into a box that’s too small, you might continue to shrink yourself even once you’re outside of the box.
Perhaps you’ve always felt guilty for dreaming of new creative hobbies instead of focusing on professional development.
Or maybe you’re forcing yourself to finish something that no longer has any draw for you, out of a misplaced belief that you “ought” to have the same singular drive you see in others.
Have you developed a habit of forcing yourself to deny your multipotentiality? If so, perhaps you can embrace your nature a little more.
Old habits are deeply ingrained, so be kind to yourself. And be excited; you don’t have to live in that box you created anymore!
Inform your Decisions
New pieces of self-knowledge – like “I’m a multipotentialite!” – are useful for making decisions.
Imagine making all your career decisions without knowing that you’re a multipotentialite. Each decision could feel like a crushing choice between different prisons!
But such decisions become a simpler when we view them in full knowledge of our natures. There’s an extra consideration to help us choose: “which option is most in line with my multipassionate nature? And can I combine options?”
Of course, other considerations – practicalities, finance, time, family, etc. – remain important. But judging our options in the light of multipotentiality helps with discernment.
Review Your Current Circumstances
Regular life reviews are a good habit to adopt anyway, but after a big revelation it’s particularly important to evaluate how we’re living. Try asking yourself this question: now that I know I’m a multipotentialite, what would I like to be different in my life?
Here are some thoughts to get you started. Perhaps you’d like a new job? To have more than one job? More scope for variety in your current role?
Don’t forget about your free time. Are you making time for your passions? If not, how could you do so? When was the last time you picked up a new passion?
Don’t use multipotentiality as an excuse
It’s possible to misuse multipotentiality. (This is true of literally everything. You can misuse science, cheese, power tools… I actually struggle to think of anything you could not possibly misuse.)
The likely downside of multipotentiality is that it can provide the ideal excuse for inaction: “Oh, I can’t possibly do this (whatever “this” is)… How could I ever commit to just one thing?”
This excuse applies to everything, so if we get into the habit of thinking like this, we’ll never do anything! Instead, we have to flip our thinking and find our motivation to go wherever our passions take us.
The most important thing: CONNECTION
Like the alien-babies meeting humans for the first time, it’s so good to finally talk with others who understand you without needing translation.
I love that the modern world brings together people of every interest – even an interest as ludicrously broad as “everything.” So let’s connect with one another!
There are many places for multipassionate people to connect. Of course, Puttylike is an obvious example. Or the Puttytribe – the social network spin-off from Puttylike.
Then there are the many blogs started by multipods – just google “multipassionate blog” and you’ll find many others who are on your wavelength.
Even better, if you’re lucky enough to live in a major city, you’re certainly not the only multipotentialite there. Are there meet ups near you? Could you start a meet up? If you build it, multipotentialites will come!
Still, being a multipod doesn’t HAVE to change anything.
Sometimes it’s tempting to overreact to a personal revelation. If you’re prone to extremes, remember you don’t have to cut all ties with your old life, quit your job, officially change your name to Jack de Tout Trades and become a multi-talented nomad.
Perhaps the right response for you is to simply nod and think “ah, that makes sense,” before carrying on as you were. Sometimes self-knowledge is its own reward.
Whatever you do, enjoy it.
Discovering a new facet of yourself is exciting. For a brief moment, everything spins apart before reassembling in a new way. Perhaps nothing will change; perhaps everything will. Whatever happens for you, I’d love to hear your story.
Please share your experience as a new multipotentialite in the comments. (And I’m sure there are many other tips for new multipotentialites I’ve forgotten, so please chime in with those too!)
Neil Hughes is the author of Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life, a comical and useful guide to life with anxiety. Along with writing more books, he puts his time into standup comedy, computer programming, public speaking and other things from music to video games to languages. He struggles to answer the question “so, what do you do?” and is worried that the honest answer is probably “procrastinate.” He would like it if you found him at www.walkingoncustard.com and on Twitter as @enhughesiasm.