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3 min read

Multipotentiality: Your Personal Yellow Brick Road

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I refuse to believe there is a predetermined outcome for one's life.

What would be a series of predestined events lacking complete autonomy.


When I began researching multipotentiality, it covered two distinctly different topics.


  1. A term used to describe individuals who have many different interests, passions, and talents… often referred to as multipotentialites.
  2. A philosophical belief that each action, decision, and experience you have directs you towards or away from that which you’re capable of in this lifetime.


It’s my belief that there are ultimate outcomes of possibility for each individual person… and each action, decision, and experience create additional ones.


Meaning… every interest you have, if obsessively followed to its logical completion, would result in achieving your ultimate potential within that specific ‘modality’.

… yet every decision creates a new ultimate ‘reality’.


As for myself, I recognize that I’m extraordinary at reaching 80% mastery over a given topic in an extremely short period of time…

… but I often fail to complete the final 20% (because that’s a lifetime commitment).


Instead, I find exceptional pleasure in the fledgling and intermediate stages of progression - and I often remove myself and/or delegate the remaining 20% to a diehard integrator.


Developing the vision is where I feel I thrive.


This leaves me two options.

  1. Be on a constant and never ending quest to do, create, and discover more
  2. Commit to consistency in the mundane and become an expert in one arena.


It may be a belief that consistency leads to the mundane… but I choose both.


If you know me, you know I’ve chosen the former when it comes to business ventures, hobbies, and spontaneous adventure.

… and I've chosen the latter when it comes to values, health, and meaningful relationships (a relatively new development for me I’m still processing).


Because the above are so interconnected, in my opinion.

I’m going to look at them in tandem below.


</the psychology>

Multipotentiality is complex and multifaceted… or so it may seem.


Multipotentialites are often viewed as indecisive, unfocused or lacking purpose.

In truth, they have a unique way of thinking that grants them the ability to make connections and subscribe to possibilities others would miss.


This is where the vision component and ability to pivot freely act as incredible strengths.


In an effort to quantify this ability slightly, you can look at Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal).


Most excel in one set category… multipotentialites find strengths in many of them.

*Hence their ability to believe in multiple life outcomes for a single individual - which I find most fascinating.


According to Carol Dweck’s binary theory of mindset (fixed or growth)...

... those who are multipotentialites are also presupposed to be considered growth minded too.


If you don’t subscribe or feel in alignment with the above, try new things, follow your fears, and work to develop skills around what you are passionate about.


That’s 80% of the psychological battle, the remaining 20%, as we discovered, is sustainable consistency (which can be difficult for the multipotentialite).


If we look at the underlying psychological principle of why these individuals thrive despite unending uncertainty…

... they’re not afraid to take risks because they believe they can develop the skills necessary to succeed (resourcefulness).


</the system>

Multipotentialites are systems themselves (as are all beings).

They have a never ending array of interconnected parts that are always in flux.


To understand systems thinking from this perspective…

… imagine someone who is interested in business, music and art.


Traditionally, these interests are seen as unrelated.

Most would pick one and focus on it exclusively.


However, when we view these as interconnected (in which they are) the combinations are infinite…

... thus creating a multifaceted being.


The interconnected systems all uniquely prepare that individual on their path…

... and every action, decision, and experience they have automatically creates an infinite number of additional possibilities.


By approaching multipotentiality from the perspective of systems...

... it’s much easier to see how they complement each other… and make you uniquely you.


</the technology>

Quite possibly the greatest asset in a multipotentialites arsenal is access to technology.


The ability to connect with those who share similar interests, educate themselves on the who and how, and discover alternative perspectives to their own at the drop of a hat becomes invaluable.


This interconnectedness makes it possible to pursue multiple careers at once...

... and removes every ceiling one may have experienced in the past.


Life, now, has become a game of knowledge… and skill.

… just as it’s always been - only now the playing field is level.



A view of the world I’m still constructing… and being challenged on, yet something I find utterly fascinating and plan to let simmer over the coming weeks.


Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @Kevin_Wathey.

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