A multipotential is a person of many interests, with skills that cross over between various passions and professional expertise: here are what their characteristics are and how to find out if you are one.
If you happen to jump from project to project and are constantly drawn to being able to experiment, learn, and apply new things, this article is just for you.
Some people are born with a vocation, a single, well-defined inspiration, and cultivate it throughout their lives, starting from choosing which school to attend to exclusive specialization in a profession, in which they reach the highest levels.
Others, on the other hand, struggle to box their character into a closed, one-size-fits-all box: they are interested in multiple topics and like to delve into each one, even though this may make them feel a little more insecure about their actual abilities.
Do you feel you belong to this second group?
Well, know that you are not alone: there are quite a few out there who share this "diverse" attitude of yours!
And no, if you've still wondered whether it's a symptom of a lack of perseverance (maybe even because someone has judged you to be unserious or "unfocused")...
You are wrong!
It is true that they say "better one thing done right, than ten things done wrong" or "he who wants too much, nothing squeezes"; but it is equally true that it is not so easy to deny one's own nature-nor do I think it is right to do so.
Often it is society, with its cultural norms, that wants us to believe that we have only one purpose and that we are destined to do only one thing well, until we know it exclusively. However, this leaves out the opportunity to experiment, challenge and fulfill oneself in different, but nonetheless challenging, areas.
And in some people this creates anxiety because of the consequences of choosing the wrong course of study or the wrong job, including the desire to change careers after years in a career field.
But what if you are simply happy in being multifaceted? You would have every right to be!
What if I told you that, by the way, there is an actual definition for it?
Yeah, I'm talking about multipotentiality.
If you want to know more, read on: you will understand Who is a multipotential person and what are their characteristics, so you can see if this definition fits you.
Not only that, you will also find a test With questions to answer to help you.
Let's get going!
Who is a multipotential person?
A multipotential is a person of many talents, passions, and aspirations: they have a strong intellectual and artistic curiosity that enables them to excel In several different areas.
If you are, you struggle to find your own specific identity: you would like to do anything, you fall in love with something new each time, and you find it hard to answer the question, "What exactly do you do?"
You are at your best precisely when you take on many projects, with dedication and skill.
And your interests? They are very diverse: you can read about space travel or astrophysics and, the next minute, SEO and online marketing or cooking recipes - and then start painting, sewing or singing.
Yet, until recently this term, "multipotential," did not even exist....
In fact, it comes from Emilie Wapnick, founder of the Puttylike community and the eponymous website (by the way, you care I suggest you take a moment to look at the his TEDx talk about it). He also talks about it extensively in his book, "How to be everything".
She herself helps you understand what the characteristic traits of a multipotential are:
- does not feel that he has a single vocation to follow throughout his life;
- Is bored with doing the same thing over and over again;
- he likes to try and learn new and different things from each other;
- constantly has new ideas that he wants to implement;
- gets tired easily with what he already knows how to do, but gives his best in all new tasks.
Identifying or defining yourself as a multipotential is, of course, up to you: like all labels, it leaves something to be desired, but it also allows you to free yourself from the feeling that you don't "fit in" with respect to cultural patterns that would have you specialize in one area.
Challenges for a multipotential
It may happen that this drive of yours to pursue the most disparate things appears as a failure in the eyes of those around you and that you yourself may feel a little lost when, after finding a vocation and fully immersing yourself, you become restless and feel like experiencing something else.
Yes, the worry of others' judgment is always looming in these cases: those who tell you that you should "stick to the program" or "try harder," without taking yourself seriously when you express your enthusiasm for that new topic that has just piqued your curiosity.
It is a constant struggle to balance your plans, in both personal and professional contexts.
In fact, you may face some difficulties, e.g. at the working level: finding long-term stability could be complicated, whether as an employee or freelancer.
On the one hand, many jobs require (rightly) focused specialization (just think of a surgeon!); on the other hand, if you are an entrepreneur embarking on many projects, the challenge is not to be brought down by the poor profitability of some of them or even their failure. In general, we can say that it is difficult to find a job that allows you to do many things and at the same time achieve your financial goals.
Also from the perspective of the productivity, most conventional advice suggests that narrowing activities to a single area of focus is the key to being more productive. Except that the advice to "just do less" is not very helpful if you are multipotential: the idea of having to choose a single focus can lead you to creative paralysis and insecurity, making you feel as if pursuing one interest means giving up all others. So here is where the challenge is to have a level of focus that is appropriate for all projects, balancing the need for exploration with the need to make progress on your goals.
But the greatest proof of all, in my opinion, concerns having self-confidence: relying on your intentions, being prepared to handle criticism and misunderstanding from most people also means abandoning the so-called "imposter syndrome"-that is, the idea that because you are not an expert in one thing, you fear that you are simply little more competent than the average person and that this gives you little value and little authority.
The advantages of being multipotential
Put like that, it seems that being multipotential is almost a curse!
Yet it is not at all: on the contrary, it can become a kind of "super power," helping you stand out from others and shine in everything you do.
There are many positive aspects of being a multi-potential, multi-appassionate or multidisciplinary person: here they are.
#1 Global thinking and vision
A multipotential person is not afraid to learn new things, get out of her comfort zone and apply her knowledge across the board in all that she is passionate about. This enables her to have a more open mind and to consider everything as part of a "whole" aimed at her own self-actualization.
Just as with a bilingual, who is able to switch from one language to another in the same speech, a multipotential person knows how to adapt to various contexts by bringing out the specific skills he or she needs. In every situation he can reveal the best part of himself, transforming himself into whatever he needs to deal with it successfully.
#3 Multiple focus
A multipotential can be involved in different projects at the same time without losing focus on each one. He is also always solution-oriented: he instinctively seeks to solve problems and find new or better ways to do things.
#4 Fast learning
A multipotential is a kind of eternal learner and is super prepared to learn quickly, connecting different areas together. It is as if he never starts from scratch-some are not afraid to try new things and to experience that feeling of "unease" in the face of uncertainty. He is used to bringing everything he has learned into everything he does.
#5 Inspiration for others
This global vision and his passion for all the areas in which he is involved makes a multipotential a good disseminator of ideas, able to inspire others to realize their own projects.
#6 Invention and creativity
Multipotential people are extraordinarily curious and like to think in nonlinear paths that bring together seemingly disparate ideas. They are creative, have curiosity and restlessness to innovate.
#7 Synthesis skills
The ability to synthesize and bring valuable ideas from one field to another and apply them in innovative ways is perhaps the most valuable weapon of multipotentials. Finding the point of connection between different fields and leveraging it to create something new is a skill useful in many professional contexts.
How to find out if you are multipotential
Well, now that everything is a little clearer to you, you may have realized that you also fall right into this category; to be even more sure, do you know that there is a real test?
You can find him on puttylike.com: By answering a series of questions about yourself, your behaviors, and your attitudes, you will know if you are a member or not.
A valuable aid to help you figure out what is the best path to take to achieve your personal and professional success - plus, when they ask you again, "What do you do?" you can feel free to peacefully express your involvement in multiple areas or activities.
After all, the real benefit is to feel integrated into a group of people who share this attitude of yours, do you agree?
If you'd like, let me know the result of the test in the comments; I'll be happy to read it!