You’ve been studying a subject for a while now and you’re getting kind of bored with it. What do you do? If you’re a multipotentialite, the chances are that you toss it aside, so you can sink your teeth into something new. Something more exciting.
Plenty of us have dropped interests without a second thought when we’ve decided that we’ve had enough. Of course, this tends to be easier to do when it’s a hobby or evening class, but it’s not that unusual for us to switch between college courses and degree majors either.
When we do this, we sometimes feel a bit guilty. We feel as though we’ve wasted all that time. But can learning ever truly be a waste of our time? Lots of the interests we think we’ve abandoned come back into focus at some point. The exciting thing is that you’re never quite sure where, when, or how that interest or skill might be revived.
Lori started a great post in the Puttytribe about how she’d invested loads of time in building a website business, only to abandon it all and move onto something new a few months ago. Now she’s been approached by a company that’s looking to have its online presence overhauled, and all that knowledge is coming back into play.
I had a similar experience recently when I was approached by a company to do some re-branding for them. It’s a while since I focused on graphic design, so I’m really looking forward to dusting off my design skills and getting back into the swing of it.
Here are five reasons not to feel guilty about dropping an interest:
1) You need to feed your hunger for learning
We all need to feed our multipotentialite hungers for learning. Every project or subject we spend time on helps to satisfy that hunger. It doesn’t matter if we don’t continue to pursue that interest after we’ve sucked it dry of what attracted us to it in the first place. We are multipotentialites, not specialists. We will always move on to learn about something else.
2) You develop genuinely transferable skills
I’m not just talking about the transferable skills you write about on your resume. Learning about a topic and then moving on enables you to develop real abilities and to take those skills with you into whatever you do next. Having such a diverse range of interests enables you to develop an amazing toolbox of skills to draw upon in future projects.
3) You develop an ability to make connections that no one else sees
All that learning and cross-discipline research means you can truly see how seemingly disparate ideas are connected. Other people don’t have that breadth of knowledge, so they’re unable to see the links between such different subject areas.
This is what makes your unique skill set so invaluable both to you and to anyone you’re working with. Your skill set really is likely to be completely unique too, as it would be near impossible to find two multipotentialites with the exact same range of interests!
4) By learning, you learn to learn
If you imagine that your brain is like a muscle, you’ll see that, the more you exercise it, the stronger and more agile it will become. The more you learn, the better you’ll get at learning. We have an infinite capacity to learn. It’s not as though one day we reach our quota and everything that goes in has to push something else out to make room!
5) You never lose your learning
While your knowledge and skills may become a little rusty, it’s far easier to refresh your memory than it is to learn something from scratch. Learning is like an investment that you can use over and over again. Learning is a real investment in yourself.
Abandoned interests are never a waste of time. They’re just new links in an ever-growing chain.
Do you worry about abandoning interests? Do you ever feel like you’ve wasted your time?