As much as I’d like to encourage you to travel .. due to recent news, please stay put and stay healthy <3
Embracing your multi-passionate natureOn March 13, 2020 by S.K. Lakenen
Many of us were taught that to be a successful adult, you need to pursue and focus on one financially secure, and rewarding career. Although this may work for some people, it’s not a road everyone can take. While there are individuals who already have an idea of what they want to do, and have structured their life to achieve that dream, there are people like myself that went through college and well into adult life constantly doubting that there’s only one path we were meant to take.
When I talk about passion, I’m not referring to side interests outside of work, but potential professions that you see yourself fully immersing yourself into. If you’re constantly pulled into different directions, and feel you have a calling for more than just one line of work, you’re what I like to call, Serial Dreamers. There are many terms out there that describes people like us; there’s polymath, scanners, and multi-passionate. One of my all-time favorite TedTalk was by Emilie Wapnick, who coined the term “multipoteltialite” to describe those that are called to take more than one path.
After 4 years of committing myself to studying interior design and getting my bachelor’s degree, I went into my first job still doubting that I’m only meant to do just that until retirement. That doubt still lives today, even after 5 years of practicing design. I’ve learnt to embrace that doubt. You should too, and know that you’re not alone.
Serial dreamers or multi-passionates are often described as flaky, and accused of never finishing anything. That’s misguided, because while some may call that quitting, I call that learning and growth. We don’t “finish” like the specialists, those who dives into one field and excel in it. We finish by getting what we feel we need from the experience, and move on to the next passion in queue.
Specialists are admirable in their own way. My brother, for example, is a dedicated specialist. Since the age of 7, he declared he wanted to be a doctor and nearly 25 years later, became one. I’ve never been more proud of him than I am right now. He has substantial traits and a different level of dedication that I don’t possess. Nevertheless, serial dreamers and multi-passionate people have a great value in society too. There are certain perks of pursuing the many interests that you have, while waiting for more to be unraveled.
You have security
It’s a common misunderstanding that pursuing multiple interests means there’s no security. A perspective that is mostly being overlooked is that you will experience (if not already) starting over and over again, in different fields. Resilience becomes part of your nature. The security I mentioned may not always be financial (but could be!), but as a self-security of knowing there’s always going to be other options for you to explore, if one didn’t work out the way you wanted to.
You become more influential
There’s a direct relationship between loving what you do and doing it well. People can sense if you’re putting all your heart into all your projects, and the authenticity of the work you’re doing. New ideas and interests capture your attention more frequently than others, and when it does, and when you speak about it, people know. Your voice filled with passion captures their attention, will in turn motivate them. Your influence will continue on spreading throughout all the vocation you endeavor.
It will pay off
I got my first job as a Junior Interior Designer at the age of 21 and in less than 5 years, I became a Senior Designer. During that period, I filled my free time taking courses that sparked my interest, thinking that it’s not too late to change careers. Most of my paychecks were put into those courses; from wedding planning to cognitive psychology. I’ve lost interest in pursuing those as careers but never have I regretted taking them. Because truth be told, it wasn’t my design skills that got me to a senior position in a short amount of time. It was the skills that I learnt from my continuous studies. Because I allowed myself to follow my many interests and experiment other potential career paths, I gained different skill sets that became cardinal to my current job then.
The skills you learn are transferable, and it makes you unique. It is possible to integrate skill sets, creative energy and knowledge. that you become as indispensable as specialists. Learning something new allows you to diversify.
It makes you happy
This is the most important take; if it puts a smile on your face, why shouldn’t it be prioritized? I feel most proud of myself when I dive into what I’m most interested in at the moment, even if it’s fleeting.
Either you’re someone who wants to experience different fields, or a specialist, embrace who you are. Both have equally important and valuable attributes to bring to the table, and should be celebrated. “Jack of all trades, master of none” should start being seen as an asset, not a burden. Remember that we can have more than what we’ve been taught we can have.