Sometimes it feels like society has all these rules and stereotypes at the ready, which are not necessarily the best for us to believe or utilize.
For example, Multipassionates have been hiding and underestimating ourselves for decades because of them. I have spent YEARS thinking there was something wrong with me and trying to fit in better, but the truth is that all this time I was squandering my full potential.
Today I want to bust some myths and offer you my point of view because I have been living the life of a Multipassionate for too long and have finally accepted all that I am. There's a certain freedom that comes with acceptance. So let's do this thang.
Let's examine the top 3 "problems" Multipassionates torture ourselves over and see if there are specific strategies that would help us work with them.
1. Can't pick one thing?
I bet everyone has always been telling you to pick one thing, right?
First of all, you can tell someone to pick one MESSAGE, but not one THING.
Secondly, you don't have to pick. In fact, you are who you are for a good reason, and no successful or fulfilled person has EVER ignored what Nature gave them. Besides, the idea that you have to specialize and that you have to choose one career path is a pervasive myth that does more harm than good. It's what I call "residual thinking." Nowadays creativity is much more essential in the business world than it used to be, which means that being a "full-stack creative" is a viable strategy. (Just think of a Virtual Assistant or a creative business owner - both need to be talented in many ways.)
Furthermore, I've been doing research on being Multipassionate because I'm writing a guidebook, and the one thing that's crystal clear is that having many interests is a gift for the people who can figure out how to converge them.
Perhaps you've heard of the term "creative convergence"?
To some it seems like a fairytale term, but I have seen too many examples to disregard it. Like Marie Forleo and Sophia Amoruso and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The idea is to put all - or most - of your passions and strengths into one basket and come out with a UNIQUE "lifestyle business," which is tailored to your personality, values, and needs.
Nature did not give you the gift of Multipassionality to torture you or make your life impossible. It gave you this gift so that you can do what you want with it. We all have our cards to play and it's up to us how we play them. Personally, I would be bored if I chose one thing. I have chosen one message, however, but that's the subject for another article.
For now, it is enough to know that Multipassionality is not a problem. It's an opportunity to learn a lot of things and connect them in unusual and unique ways.
Which - ultimately - is what creative rebels are really good at doing.
2. Easily distracted?
Granted, this can be a problem, except for you it's mostly because you're having too many ideas and passions, and you're too curious about things. Let's be realistic - most people would kill to have many ideas. So it's not really a problem.
Being distracted, on the other hand, can be handled with the help of systems.
What does a highly anxious person do to avoid nervous breakdowns in public places? They imagine everything that could happen so they're prepared, right? Well, it's the same for Multipassionates - we just prepare in a different way.
Systems. If you get distracted easily, you need to develop systems that help you focus when you're in danger of getting distracted.
For example, say that you have a business and you have too many ideas right now. This happens to me all the time, so I have prepared several ways to deal with it. One of those ways is my Calendar System where I assign projects and challenges to each month and sometimes switch them up if I decide the system has gone rigid. Another system I have is to set a FOCUS for the month. If I'm focused on creating things for Multipassionates until May, I'm going to postpone any unrelated idea that comes to me in April.
I can't tell you what your system should be, except that it should have breathing room. Multipassionates tend to suffocate easily, so never set systems that are too rigid. Now sit down and think of ways to work with your Multipassionality.
The following questions should help:
- What is the goal you need to achieve by the end of this month?
- How often do you usually get ideas? Can you store them somewhere?
- Is what you're working on more or less important than the idea you just had?
- Can you think of a painless way to prioritize your business goals?
- Are there any tools that could help? (journals, calendars, etc.)
Good luck with coming up with a system that works for you! It sounds a little bit boring, especially for a Multipassionate, but you know how sometimes routine grounds you while everything else changes? Systems ground you by giving you focus.
At the end of the day, we all need focus to get things done.
3. Can't finish?
When OMG, I'm so excited about this! turns to Uff, I am so bored with this, you may feel disappointed and betrayed. What used to be a joy has become a chore. But if you never finish anything, how are you going to make a living for yourself? How is anyone going to take you seriously? These are the kind of torturous questions we struggle with.
The seeming inability to finish things has been my own personal nightmare.
You would think it's a problem because of a failure to learn to be "better," but it's actually a problem because of my limiting belief that I should change myself to be able to finish things. But nobody should ever feel the need to be a different person!
First of all, it's not possible to be someone you're not. Secondly, you would not be happy even if you did change. And finally, you were born this way for a damn good reason and your mission in life is to find that reason. The truth of the matter is - nobody needs some kind of radioactive willpower. The only people who need it are people who were meant to specialize. Multipassionate people are meant to shake things up by making weird connections because we have the curiosity to dabble in many different areas.
Anyway, you do need to finish some things - if you want to be successful - and that is completely doable. You just need to know your Multipassionate Clock.
For example, I was listening to an interview with Nathalie Lussier where she said her usual time frame for projects was 18 months. Any more than that would make her restless.
I related so much to that, as any Multipassionate would.
My own motivation usually fizzles out around the 6th month, and that's when I need to change direction or introduce something new or just change everything completely. That's not a lot of time to work with, but it's what I have and I'm not complaining.
For example, I put a 6 month deadline on my big projects and a 2-week plan for my smaller projects (books, challenges, etc.) because that is how much time I have until a new shiny idea comes around or by the time I'm completely bored with the project.
Maybe you feel like you can't RELY on yourself because you jump from thing to thing. Maybe people have called you flaky before. It's time to accept the truth that it's NOT YOUR FAULT and IT'S NOT A PROBLEM. I don't hear anyone calling your sleep cycle a problem. Or the fact that you have blue eyes a problem. These things are natural, so they can't be problems. They're potentials you can turn into obstacles or opportunities.
So what if you have a short attention span? So what if you've wandered a lot? So what if you have had to switch jobs every month? These experiences have given you everything you needed to be where you are now. They have made you who you are.
So let's drop the word problem and use opportunity instead! OK?
There is nothing wrong with you. Multipassionality is a tremendous gift!
Take it from someone who has been called flaky her whole life; someone who has been put down for it her whole life; someone who has never believed she could make a dime or be successful her whole life. We are just as capable of being successful and we are far more capable of introducing original ideas into the world. Because only a person with this kind of breadth of experience can shake things up like a true rebel.
It's time to embrace all that we are and create the best possible life and business and whatever else we want for ourselves. It's time to believe we can do it.