A few months ago a good friend recommended a TED talk by Emilie Wapnick: Why some of us don’t have one true calling.
To quote Emilie,
“A multipotentialite is a person with many interests and creative pursuits.”
Not only did her talk ring bells in my heart for my own feelings … that I have always been a Jack-of-all-Trades-Master-of-None my whole life, but I could see why my own children were not necessarily able to chose a specific career path and embark on dedicated further study. There are just too many areas of passions and interests to narrow everything down to one focussed study or career.
Our culture applauds devotion, dedication and specialization. Our faith believes in having a purpose and a calling. People easily identify a gifting. So, in many ways, people look down on multipotentialites as time wasters, under-achievers, immature, or “wasting your talent”. Others may even ask, “What’s wrong with him/her?” especially when talking about young adults who are still exploring their options.
There seems to be accepted formula ~
- Know what you want to become when you are older +
- Choose the subjects and study course to match this choice +
- Specialize +
- Graduate with a degree/s +
- Find and specific job in the career +
- Work in that field = SUCCESS
Many children and young adults feel stressed and insecure that they can’t define exactly what they want to do as a career. Many homeschool parents feel that they have failed to encourage their multipotentialite child to study or excel in a specific area. Parents of multipotentialites often wish they could feel secure about their young adult’s future and feel frustrated that their child hasn’t “found themselves” yet.
Very interestingly, Emilie describes 3 “superpower” strengths of multipotenialites ~
- Idea Synthesis – combining 2 or more fields and creating something new at the intersection. Innovation and new ideas happens at the intersection.
- Rapid Learning – multipotentialites learn hard when interested, they are less afraid of trying new things. She says that it is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you are drawn to, even if you end up quitting, because you might apply that knowledge in a different way from what you anticipated.”
- Adaptability – the ability to morph into whatever you need to be in any given situation. Some employers believe that adaptability is the single most important skill to have to thrive in the 21st century.
Contrary to schools, systems, institutions and “specialist” mentality, homeschooling provides the perfect environment that allows the multipotentialite child the freedom to embrace their “inner wiring”.
In your homeschooling, encourage your children to be diverse, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. Provide opportunities for exploration, diversification and intersection. Stimulate their curiosity. Let them be discoverers!
Allow your child to let go of things they are good at to be able to explore other areas or skills. No matter how gifted or talented your child is, do not make that their label or box, but allow it to develop, change or take a back seat in favour of new and diverse interests. In the end, everything they have learnt and discovered becomes the fullness of who they are … multi-potential-ite!
Encourage your children (and yourself) to be themselves!
In Grace, Nadene