” You might feel like you don’t have a purpose. And you might feel like there’s something wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you. What you are is a multipotentialite.”
My supervisor texted me yesterday in the afternoon and sent me a link to a ted talk and it read:
Emilie Wapnick: Why some of us don’t have one true calling
I thought, I wonder what it is. So I clicked it.
In this 12 minute video, Wapnick talks about herself and how she was “pretty good” at everything and everything. We all have things we like to do but when the time comes to get into a career, we hit a roadblock. She talks about how people try to find their one true calling but for her, it caused anxiety because you’re straying into a new path and everything else you love will be ignored. This is totally relate-able. There are so many things I can do and with a bit of hard work, I can make it happen. But I don’t have one interest and there is no way I want to do one thing for the rest of my life. I want a career where I can do paperwork one day, talking to youth or network the next, and do projects that make a difference in this world.
I’ll be going to college in a few weeks and by a few I mean just two. Growing up in an Asian-American household, saying you’re majoring in undecided is the 3rd worst thing to say when your parents ask what you want to do in the future. First is being banished (for all the chinese movie references) and second being in the entertainment industry.
Wapnick expresses that many people have that one true calling but when someone doesn’t, like a me, they start to feel out of place. My parents yell at me for not knowing what I want to do at my age even though they never asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, a question Wapnick asks during the video. I felt so scared, insecure, and worthless just because I wasn’t in a major. When I talked it out to my supervisor (who is the best gal in the world btw) she told me many students go to college as undecided followed by introducing me to this video.
It made me realize that I am a multipotentialite.
“A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. It’s a mouthful to say. It might help if you break it up into three parts: multi, potential, and ite. You can also use one of the other terms that connote the same idea, such as polymath, the Renaissance person. Actually, during the Renaissance period, it was considered the ideal to be well-versed in multiple disciplines. Barbara Sher refers to us as “scanners.” Use whichever term you like, or invent your own. I have to say I find it sort of fitting that as a community, we cannot agree on a single identity.”
As a multipotentialite, I don’t have to focus on one dream or talent but fuse them together. By doing so, I can take everything that I love and work twice as hard rather than doing one thing forever which is a big bore. Whatever I do, I can always do many things.
No hate on those who love what they do and are not a multipotentialite. I and a few apply to this term. But I want to let you know that if you come across one, never think they are going nowhere with their life like I did or think they are uncommitted, but rather unique and adaptable. By accepting being a multipotentialite, you’ll find a better you.