This is a guest post by Jason Fonceca of SpiritSentient.
Most people don’t realize that celebrities had many areas-of-interest as children. They hopped from interest to interest, on their own schedule. Period. If their circles didn’t support them, they didn’t care, they created new ones. Many of them spent time isolated, alone, or distant from family (see: Angelina Jolie) because they took a stand about their multiple passions and would not be swayed.
Yep, that’s right. All those big celebrities with alllll their impressive accomplishments?
They’re just like you. They’re multipotentialites.
Do you think they didn’t dream in their teens and 20s about having their own clothing line? Or restaurant? Or perfume? Or album? Of course they did. They are creative. They are dreamers. They had people try and force them to narrow down their loves, and they refused. Sound familiar?
Some of the world’s most visible and expansive celebrities, started out as big-dreaming multipotentialites.
And this is great news! It means we multipotentialites have some pretty public role-models, and it looks like we have the option to be materially successful on a world-stage.
Here’s What Pisses Me Off
Most creative-types I know — those with many passions — will not only grudgingly listen to people telling them to “choose one”, but if they do manage to follow Emilie’s awesome advice and embrace their varied interests, they do it on a small-scale.
Okay, maybe… maybe, they`ll try a medium scale.
It pisses me off that I don`t see more on a large scale.
It could be argued that there’s a reason only a few do it big, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I want to see more multi-interest people doing it. I love my people. I love the ones with lots of interests, and I want to see them be powerful role models for the next generation. That means they need to step up. That means you and I, all of us, need to do our part to either raise up someone who’s willing, or to dream big and do it ourselves.
You know what`s really fun for me? Talking with movers-and-shakers, and world-leaders and celebrities looking to do more. I feel such a rush of energy talking to these people who came to earth eager to take us all some place new and wonderful. I love it. I want more of it. I want my multi-passionate friends to talk in similar ways.
Here’s the thing, there are a ton of creative, artsy, multipotentialites in our cities who do the opposite.
As if they’re scared, or like they don’t realize they have celebrity-juice running in their veins, waiting to express. They do. At least on a bigger scale than they’re used to. They have all the right ingredients. For almost every person I hear who wants to start an art gallery or yoga studio, I can feel it behind their words. They have even greater dreams, but choose not to express them.
How many multipotentialites do you know that really, truly, “Dream Big” (or admit to it)? There’s a gap, it’s begging to be filled.
This post is intended to light a fire under you. To kick you in the ass. To inspire you to greater heights and to realize that not only is it okay to dream big, but you have a leg up on many people. Leonardo Da Vinci and Ben Franklin were historical multipotentialites, and they dreamed big. Many of today’s celebrities — same thing. There are speakers at TED who’s interests, skills, and accomplishments are diverse and well-integrated.
You can fill the gap. You can be the big-dreaming multi-passionate ones.
If you want to start small, or take small steps, it’s cool, I get it. But if there’s even a seed of ambition in you to expand your reach and leave a legacy, I encourage you, please focus on that. Nurture it. I’ve seen more than enough ‘settlers’ and life-long baby-steppers, thank you.
I Want Even More: I Want You Praising Yourselves
They say you can’t get from others what you can’t give yourself, so give yourself some praise and respect.
I want you to be more confident. Even a bit cocky. There is room in the world for cockiness, and there is certainly room for it in the multipotentite community. (To help with this you can use my confidence-building Life Purpose exercise, or Emilie’s Overarching Theme exercise, which I’m guessing you’ve already seen.)
I want you aware of your value. Are multipotentialites creative? Yes. Multi-passionate? Yes. Gentle and afraid of conflict or bucking the status quo? Sadly… often.
You have talents in many areas, you have a unique blend of skills. You can blend worlds like a fucking boss.
The Non-Multipotentite Example: Let’s say there was an engineer named Andy. Andy was super-specialized, and closed to almost all other disciplines. Would he be able to easily communicate with and uplift an artist he meets, speaking the ‘starving artists’ language and embracing their creativity? Maybe. He might, but I dunno if you’d want to bet on it.
The Multipotentite Example: Let’s take a multipotentite, named… Leonard. Leonard has a love of invention, a love of business, and a love of art. He has rabidly pursued each, whenever he felt like it. He knows all the terms and understands the values. Would they be able to communicate with and uplift an artist, enlightening him/her about business and invention but in a language that the artist understands? Damn right he would.
Multipotentialites are amazing universal translators, among other things. They’re bridges between worlds, and they make tons of money, wield tons of influence, and affect tons of change if they step into this role. Jay-Z was able to unite hip-hop and rock. He was able to bring hiphop out of the ghettos and into the corporate boardrooms. Two communities that almost never would’ve blended if it weren’t for his myriad passions.
Jay-Z was torn between one path, dealing drugs (note: he has romanticized drug dealing himself in many interviews), his passion for rap and his passion for clothing/fashion/brands.
Guess what, this industry-changing mogul now owns over 16 businesses, is married to one of the most beautiful women in the world, and never once compromised any of his passions. He put it all under the Jay-Z umbrella, using his rap to promote brands + clothes, while using his ‘hustle’ to peddle his music, even going so far as to create his own record company to do so.
“So they made light o’, my type o’ dreams – seem dumb
They said “Wise up, how many guys-ah you see making it from here?
The world don’t like us, is that not clear?” “Alright,
but I’m different, I can’t base what I’m gonna be off a what everybody isn’t,”
They don’t listen, just whisperin’ behind my back,
No vision, lack of ambition,
So wack!” – Jay-Z, So Ambitious
This is a man who would follow his path no matter what, even if that path said “Pursue Multiple Interests And Succeed.” Which he stepped up and did.
Celebrities Do What They Love, And So Can You (So Do It!)
Richard Branson doesn’t have an impressive degree or lots of letters after his name. He has his finger in a million pies, many of them crazy and out-landish, and his whole business is based on this.
As a middle-class British kid with dyslexia who nearly flunked out of one school and was expelled from another, he left school at 16 years of age, with the goal of building a national magazine to protest the Vietnam War. Sounds a lot like a dreamy, creative, ‘scatter-brained’ multipotentite, no? As Richard says, he was just following his heart and “doing what young people do”.
“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them…from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it.” – Richard Branson, Autobiography
He always follows his heart, and always has fun, no matter what interest he’s currently pursuing. Now he also learned how to stick with an interest long enough at a time for it to flourish instead of hopping forever, but hey, one step a time, renaissance-star.
“Virgin looks after your needs throughout your life. Virgin goes against the normal business philosophy of going after one segment and focusing there. Rather, Virgin finds areas that ‘need to be shaken up a bit’ and does just that, improving life in various sectors. The reason I think we’ve strayed (from one sector to another) is that I love learning about life. I see things in life that aren’t being done quite right, where we could go in and make a difference.” – Richard Branson
Who can beat that? He runs his entire corporation like a multipotentite. Brilliant. Talk a bout setting a bar, and giving all us creative types something to shoot for.
Here are some other multi-passionate celebrities who refused to settle:
- Martha Stuart – Blended what seemed to be a bunch of separate ‘specialties’ (gardening, cooking, crafts, fashion, business, etc.) under one umbrella.
- Brian May (Queen’s Guitarist) – Started out in astrophysics, left it to focus on music for a ‘while’ and then went back to astrophysics, now he’s a chancellor at Liverpool University.
- Viggo Mortenson – He sings + composed music for Lord Of The Rings. He’s a professional artistic photographer and abstract painter, one whose work gets featured in galleries, and he has a poetry portfolio reaching back 15 years – written in three languages, and Mortensen is conversational in four more. Oh, and he founded a publishing company.
Now you have your call to action — Dream Big, Be Confident. You have your role models, historical and present day public leaders who you can learn from and absorb. You have a supportive community and people who want you to succeed. No excuses.
P.S. I’m not saying this applies to everyone at Puttylike, or anyone really. I’m speaking from my experience, which is that multipotentialites need to rock more than a little harder. For sure.
You know if this applies to you. You know in your heart if you could be stepping out more, being more visible. (And I’m not excluded! I’m not nearly as big as I dream, but I keep holding on to it. I expect it to happen, and I’m always taking substantial steps. I use celebrities as my role-models, at least for scale, because who gets scale better than them?)
Anyway, thanks for letting me share, and speaking of sharing, I’d love to know what you thought about this in the comments – it can be the start of your celebrity :D!
Jason works with creative entrepreneurs who feel talented but not-quite-successful, helping them live wealthier lives. He speaks, writes, and blogs at SpiritSentient.com and offers depth-based art & success-coaching. He’s been featured on Building Digital Empires, The EcoCentric Guide and IntuitiveSoul Radio. Follow him at @spiritsentient.