On Multi-potentialites

Today I’d like to share with you one of my very favorite TED talks (and trust when I say: I watch many). It’s ‘Why some of us don’t have one true calling’ by Emilie Wapnick and goes out to all my fellow philo-and polymaths. It is in this talk that she coined the term multipotentialite, which Wiki describes as an individual whose interests (and jobs) span multiple fields or areas, rather than being strong in just one.

Although not a new concept, the way Emilie acknowledges the power of extensive curiosity and exploring many fields, rather than dismissing us as job-hoppers or fickle-minds, has really empowered me and helped me in my journey to embrace this trait of myself in a world of specialists. She has re-framed something I once perceived a weakness as a strength, and I thank her for this.

Emilie herself has been a musician/songwriter, a web designer, filmmaker, writer, law student and entrepreneur. “This is how I’ve always lived,” she writes, “moving from interest to interest, building on my skills in different areas, and synthesizing the knowledge I acquire along the way.”

Myself having been a marketeer, webdesigner, UI designer, artist manager, ecommerce manager, blogger, consultant and teacher amongst many more things, I relate to this strongly and definitely identify myself as a, what Emilie calls, multipotentialite. I will surely write more on this topic later, but think this is a great place to open up the discussion. Emilie hits the nail right on the head in portraying a life of plenty passions, spread curiosities and multi-disciplinairy mastery.

If you’d like to learn more about Emilie’s view on multipotentialities, you can check out her website Puttylike, her home for multipotentialites where she blogs about the topic weekly.

For now: enjoy the talk below and let me know your thoughts on multipotentiality in the comments.
Is this concept new to you? Are you a multipotentialite?

From TED: What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you’re not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you’re not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls “multipotentialites” — who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?

Posted by Nadia Piet

New Zealand-born, Amsterdam-bred terrestrial being, practicing the art of living in a digital age, and help others do the same. Passionate about shaping the future of work, education and life and helping people and organizations navigate the many challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Because I believe “the best way to predict the future is to create it”.