Are You a Multipotentialite? What to Do When You Have Many Interests

Posted by on March 19, 2018 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments

By Usha Mv | Tiny Buddha

“I think a singular identity isn’t very interesting, and I’m a little bit more multifaceted as a person than that.” ~Catherine Opie

Are you a person who gets inspiring ideas every day? Do you wake up, galvanized with such thoughts, only to end up feeling sore as the day ends because you failed to act on these bright morning ideas? Perhaps you also end up blaming yourself and feeling guilty for not having taken any action.


Then welcome to the world of multipotentialite, a word I first encountered when I heard a TEDX talk by Emilie Wapnick. In her talk, Emilie talks about the challenges multipotentialites face and how to embrace them.

Multipotentialite Defined

So who is a multipotentialite? The urban dictionary defines it as “somebody who has potential in multiple fields.” Sounds cool, right? It seems that such a person would lead a meaningful life. They’d never get bored, as there would always be something to catch their fancy.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work out that way. How do I know? I happen to be one.

I am a software engineer turned writer, counselor, web designer, and trek guide. I haven’t stuck to any particular field, so I cannot say I am an expert or a specialist—words the world loves.

I detest family gatherings. Do you know why? People around me talk about promotions and their success while I talk about beginnings. I don’t mind; I’m a learner. But it’s difficult to explain to your family, who wishes to see you settled in your career, that you have multiple interests.


Without a supportive environment, several things can go wrong. Here are some of them.

Great ideas but no follow through

You get plenty of ideas, so much so that it becomes overwhelming. There are countless things you’d like to do right away. Sometimes it’s difficult to choose, for fear that you’ll leave it mid-way. Or you have a desire to do a multitude of things, all at once. Or the dissatisfaction of the earlier half-finished projects may bog you down, so you don’t start at all.

You’re labeled “irresponsible” or “afraid to commit”

You begin to feel that you’re not a responsible person because you don’t stick to anything. After all, hasn’t it been drilled into you that success depends on your level of commitment? And a lack of commitment could mean anything from not being serious to being irresponsible and careless.

The blame game

You start blaming yourself. The pressure to perform and stick to one particular career or task intensifies. It may be a self-created vortex, or others around you will contribute to the pressure by saying things like, “get serious” or “discipline is just what you need.”

Not fitting in

Finally, you realize you don’t fit in. You start feeling something’s wrong with you, that you’re not like other “normal” people around you who commit to doing things. You believe you’re different and feel you don’t belong anywhere. This can also lead to loneliness or a sense of being alone in the world.

Disappointments greet you

When you’re unable to come up with a goal for yourself, it can hurt. You know you’re ready to put in the hard work, but goals keep changing, as nothing interests you for long. The hurt and disappointment can erode your self-confidence, as well.

The matrix

Yet you try. You keep searching for that single purpose that will make you feel whole again. Maybe you feel there’s something out there that is “you”—something that’s meant especially for you. You only have to find it and then you’ll be okay. Beware: This path is full of lies.

The feeling of being abnormal

You begin searching for mental disorders on the web. Maybe this is a symptom of a condition, or maybe it signifies a psychiatric illness. The web is extremely helpful here, as it displays twenty or more different disorders that you could box yourself into.
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