INSPIRATIONLIFESTYLE

How to Engage Varying Interests aka Multipotentiality

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Multipotentialite. Polymath. These are the words used to describe a person who has interests and excels in more than one field of endeavour. A multipotentialite might be a doctor and a violinist. (S)he could be a writer, performance artist, linguist, and an economist. Just think multiple endeavours.

You may wonder, “How can a person excel with multiple potentials?” Well, I’m here to tell you how. I happen to have an interest in and excel at different things at once or at separate times. I am a trained lawyer, writer, amateur illustrator, and pencil artist, amongst other things (and I excel fairly well at them all in varying degrees).

There was a time when my interests were my greatest nightmare. I once wrote a poem explaining my dilemma in handling my constant zest for knowledge in different unrelated fields. It goes thus:

My library is a story of diverse interests
It shows the wandering curiosity of the mind
It speaks the language of thirst
The desire to reach for the unknown
And subdue it in the realm of knowledge
You can tell by now it’s state
The representation of a Jack of all trades
I try to streamline my zest
But it’s sometimes hard to lay to rest
The wandering curiosity of my mind.

Can you now imagine what it feels like to have an endless desire for consuming knowledge about several concepts without knowing how to monetize them in real-time? Do you know how much energy is zapped daily because of this zest for knowledge? Can you tell how frustrating it is to get excited about learning something new and then lose complete interest after conquering the subject in question? You probably can, if you are in my shoes.

A multipotentialite may feel an endless desire for consuming knowledge about several concepts without knowing how to monetize them in real-time. Click To Tweet

Some people in our shoes have said that there are days when they feel like a mess. And it’s true. It’s not hard to find a multipotentialite unable to function for days because they are so strung up by the pursuit of their interests.
While the situation may look dismal, I want to tell you that I found a way out of the mess. I have applied and am still applying the tips below. I hope it helps people who are (or think they are) wired like me. Here goes:

There is a way to explore your multipotential abilities without feeling strung up by the pursuit of your interests. Click To Tweet

1. Knowledge:

It’s what landed me in the mess in the first. It’s also what’s getting me out of it. As I get knowledge on ‘the what’, I combine it with ‘the how’. For example, mentoring and counseling is one of my many interests, so I read up on what it entails and how it can be applied in my life and those of others. This way,  I’m not only learning about the concepts- I also know how to use it appropriately. Besides, what’s the use of knowing so much without applying it wisely?

Your quest for Knowledge: It's what landed you in the mess in the first place, It's also what can get you out. Click To Tweet As you learn about new concepts also learn how it's appropriately used. Click To Tweet

2. Potential or interest:

Know the difference. Sometimes our interests do not match our potentials and vice versa. The wisdom is in pursuing those interests we have the potential for. For example, even if you are interested in becoming a gymnast/ballet dancer, you would know that an early start in the sport/art is the determinant of your potential for it. If upon the discovery of your interests, your bones are already solidified by age, you might as well learn about the sport/art for recreational purposes. In this light, wisdom is realizing that there are just some things you do not have the capacity for, regardless of your burning passion for it.

Realise that there are just some things you do not have the capacity for, regardless of your burning passion for it. Click To Tweet

3. Environment:

Can it foster your interests? Some interests can only thrive in certain environments. An interest in skeleton racing can only thrive in a cold and snowy region. Sometimes, the economic situation you find yourself in may kill your interest if you intend to depend on it as a source of income. I can count on one hand the number of people who have paid me to do a portrait drawing for them. Make no mistake, I’m good at it, but if I was depending on it as my sole source of income, my passion for it would have been frustrated by a lack of clientele.

Be aware of how your environment can foster or destroy your interests Click To Tweet

4. Priority:

Yes, you can succeed in various field of endeavors at the same time. However, you have just only one body. If exhaustion does not kill you first, burnout might occur. Learn to prioritize your interests according to urgency.
Learn to prioritize your interests according to urgency. Click To Tweet

5. Find the connecting thread:

Find the connecting thread for all your interests. They may be combinable for one purpose. Personally, I combine my love for writing and drawing to teach, influence, and encourage.

Find the connecting thread for all your interests, this would give you some coordination. Click To Tweet

6. Purpose:

By this, I am referring to what you are created for by God as distinct from using your assignment as a platform for offering your talents in service to mankind. As a believer, I know my purpose is to know God and make Him known. Therefore, by the spirit of God, I’m able to curtail my interests toward skills that will drive the fulfillment of this purpose. This way, I can judge which interest is relevant or how to use it for God’s glory.

As a believer, I know my purpose is to know God and make Him known. Therefore, by the spirit of God, I'm able to curtail my interests toward skills that will drive the fulfillment of this purpose. Click To Tweet

7. Master one or two:

The downside of being a multipotentialite is becoming a Jack-of-all-trade. So you know a lot of things, but you do not have in-depth knowledge about them all. As much as possible, amongst all your interests, be well grounded in one or two. The others can ride on them. It’s advisable because you can monetize this one (or two) to pursue other worthy ones.

As much as possible, amongst all your interests, be well grounded in one or two. The others can ride on them. Click To Tweet

There is a lot to say about multipotentiality, so get as much information as possible about it if you happen to be one. There are books and YouTube videos on the subject matter. They will help you. Here is a recommendation – #AskAdaora: How To Handle Your Multiple Passions

Please comment if you have other helpful tips.

Read about your Purpose in life.

Also, read  Purpose vs Comfort 

Bolanle Abiola
Omobolanle Abiola is a young Christian lady who's currently trying out new things while finding her authentic self (in Christ, of course). She loves to read, draw and engage in interesting conversations (amongst other things).

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