The day I discovered there was a word for people like me with so many far-reaching interests was almost as powerful as when the introvert penny dropped.
I was a multipotentialite. I like to deep-dive into things, get started on stuff until I’m no longer stimulated by it, or else just find something else which captures my attention. This has led to my mastering, or getting pretty good at, a number of different things. 8 months ago, I started working for my first ever startup, and I amazed myself at the sheer number of things I’ve done, and fairly effortlessly. From building a website to running events and delivering presentations, to bringing on new clients and writing content.
I’m also currently reading Leonardo Da Vinci’s autobiography by Walter Isaacson, and I am fascinated by other multipotentialites and creatives who have lived lives where they have gained mastery in different areas. On some level, that’s what I aspire to do, if “aspire” is the right word for it.
However, there’s one thing I realised which my good friend – and current CEO – helped me to realise.
To do well at anything in life, you need to stick at it.
My CEO is one of the most aspirational people I know in real-life, someone who is also a multi-potentiality; he studied a Masters alongside building his business, and is currently doing a PhD whilst building his latest business, the startup I am currently working for.
So to hear him say that was powerful for me. This was the guy who literally seems to hardly sleep, and to function and multi-task like a man with had so many talents – and so much resilience.
I think that’s the key word, resilience. To start things and follow them through, to stick at them, is to be gritty and grow as a person and be resilient.
He said a similar thing to me when I went through a blip during the Masters and thought I wanted to drop out. I no longer found it interesting, I didn’t see the point, I wasn’t enjoying it. The easy thing to do would have been what I came close to doing, before my CEO talked me round and convinced me that finishing this Masters would be a really fundamentally important thing for me as a person. He knew I had dropped out of two degrees previously. He knew what it would mean for me.
A lesson for me as I approach turning 30 next year is that there is great, great power in perseverance and sticking at things. To achieve mastery and grow and develop as a person, and build the sorts of habits and subsequent mindset that stands us in good stead for life.
It’s something I have to keep reminding myself as someone balancing various projects in my life right now, and constantly being tempted towards this direction and that direction.
I am a beautiful multi-potentialite with exactly that, lots of potential in lots of different areas. However, somewhat conversely, in order to really nurture that potential it is essential to stick at things and get really good at them.
To focus and be gritty and persevere and see things through. To have the power to say “no” to certain things; after all, every time we say “yes”, we are really saying “no” or de-valuing and de-prioritising the other things we currently have going on in our lives right now.
As an excited, curious creative who has much I yet want to try and put my effort towards in my life, I really want to manage the balance between honouring my many interests and sticking at them long enough for them to be meaningful, and not transient, for me to grow through them, so that they’re not just another notch on the belt, another project that gathers dust, something else I tried but didn’t follow through on.
That’s my hope for 2019 – and beyond.
Friday, 11th January 2019 | this article first appeared on IntrovertJedi