A few days ago, I got an email from one of my favourite law professors, asking if I’d be willing to write a reference letter for her for an award she was nominated for. Of course I said yes.
As I reflected on my experiences in her classes, I found myself reading my term paper that she had supervised. It was a paper called: “The Legal Implications of MP3 Blogs”. (It was very pro-user/blogger’s rights.) As I read, it really struck me just how damn good that paper was.
Jeez, I could get this published, I thought.
And then I thought,
I was really good at academia! I really had that whole system figured out.
Hm. Maybe I should go back to school…
I imagined it for a moment—writing more papers like this. They would be genius, I’m sure. I could reach the pinnacle of scholarly brilliance!
But Then it Happened.
My heart started speeding, I began to feel faint. Panicked.
Oh my god. That sounds terrible!!!
My reaction was so violent. It was almost visceral. All I could imagine was the profound boredom I would feel being back in that environment.
Before I go on, let me just state that I have nothing against academia (provided you’re doing it for the right reasons). I spent a whopping 21 years in school and truly enjoyed most of that time. But as I was nearing the end of my academic career, something happened: it became too easy.
I had the system figured out. Even law school I eventually figured out—at least as much as I needed to.
Do multipotentialites need a challenge?
I’ve noticed that throughout my various pursuits, my end point often comes once I feel like I’ve got things “figured out.” The thought of going beyond that makes me feel ill.
I would get that “yeah, I got this” feeling inside. It’s a good feeling. But then almost instantly, the appeal of that interest—whatever it was that drew me to it—would vanish.
Sure, there would always be more that I could learn in any given field— more challenges, more nuances, new directions I could try within the field. And for some people (even some multipotentialites), those things provide enough variety to keep them interested.
But for the most part, once I’ve got the fundamentals covered and I’ve reached a certain level of proficiency, I’m done. I enjoy the process of being a beginner, getting good, and creating something awesome—usually a project of some sort. That’s when I usually lose interest.
Multipotentialites have a lot of drives, but one of mine is definitely Challenge. I’m wondering if this is a common motivation for multipotentialites. While specialists seem to enjoy being at the top of their field, to me being “the best” sounds freaking boring…
I’m curious how it is for you. Are you motivated by challenge? Do you get bored and need to move on once you’ve got something figured out?
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