Excerpt for Self-Confidence for Multipotentialites in a World of Specialists by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Self-Confidence for Multipotentialites in a World of Specialists

An Essay about how Mutipotentialites, Scanners, ENFPs & INFPs receive the Respect They Deserve. By Others and Themselves.


Reading this essay, you've already found out that you are a multipotentialite. You have, what most people would consider "too many interests". You have trouble focussing on one thing for a long period of time because you tend to come up with new ideas all the time. They fly into your head without you even intending it. The world is such a huge playground that wants to be explored! So many experiments to be undertaken! And almost every new idea reproduces exponentially!

There's a good chance your heart just jumped a little. Like many of my coachees, you feel like you finally found somebody who understands you. Somebody who doesn't judge. The first time you read about multipotentialites, you felt a heavy weight fall off your heart. You are not the only one! You are not alone in this! And there are people out there, thriving with this personality type!

The world feels glorious!

But not before long you get drawn back into the 'real' world. Because the fact remains: The world around us wants us to specialise.

You don't fit in.

Most cultures nowadays expect us to focus on one trait. Your bank account might inhabit tumbleweed rather than gold. Your friends roll their eyes at you, as you show them your newest project, which - in most likelihood - will never be finished. And your family seems in a constant state of worry. They all lack understanding about what on earth you are doing with your life. How are you going to survive without a specialisation? And, all patience aside: get a proper job, finally!

It's very easy for multipotentialites to get frustrated and depressed. We get the feeling, we don't belong. And without belonging, it's hard to see that there could be a bigger meaning to life. That's why we are so ecstatic, once we find out, that there is a term (or actually several) for who we are. Because when there is a term for it, there must be others who go through the exact same struggle.

And man, have gone through the same struggle! Sometimes it still catches up to me. But nowadays the majority of my days I spend in utter contentment. I'm excitement about my unique character trait. In the past, I felt bad about the impermanence of my interests almost every day. I tried to fight it. And even asjust read the word 'impermanence', you likely got a bad taste in your mouth.

Fact is, though: Life equals impermanence.

And this is actually one of the main strengths of us multipotentialites.

It's good, you don't fit in!

A multipotentialite's impermanence is a direct result of life and nature herself. understanding this, brings the conversation aboutth to a new level. Most people who try to push you into specialising, cannot see, multipotentialism was the original quality of the Homo Sapiens. It might be one of the main reasons why our species has managed to survive and evolve to this day. I'd even go so far to say that specialists are in immediate danger to go extinct in the future.

In my personal opinion, specialisation is an extended fad.

Multipotentialites over history

From the dawn of our species, we had to adapt to life circumstances very quickly. This is especially true for the times before we settled. Many historians call the agricultural revolution humanity's turn for a more unhappy life.

Back in the days when we were still a nomadic species, we had to be much better adapted to uncertainty. A farmer might have been uncertain about the weather or the next war. But his nomadic ancestors had to deal with a completely new environment on a regular basis.

One had to find shelter, read the weather, as well as traces and mother nature in general. One had to hunt, forage but also produce weapons and tools. One had to understand the social construct of the tribe. But also learn how to communicate with the spirits and other creatures. That brought one to learning which sacrifices were most appropriate for which entity. What's better? A piece of meat, berries, humans, or artistic creations, which one had to learn how to make as well.

Everybody in the tribe had things they were particularly good at. These jobs, they got more often due to that disposition. But the more of those traits one could execute - better or worse - the more likely one was to survive.

For the Homo Sapiens, it wasn't only survival of the fittest. It was also survival of the most versatile.

It was the most normal thing to be a multipotentialite. If you weren't, you'd likely go down much faster than your peers - together with your lineage.

So what happened? If we go by the Darwinian theory of evolution, we'd all be multipotentialites, correct? I'll come back to this question in a moment.

For now, we want to have another look at the history of multipotentialites. The number of multipotentialites shrunk over history, but it's easy to spot many big names. The big discoveries of humanity happened because somebody connected two unrelated pieces of information. This is also possible if two - or more - specialists have a successful exchange. But one multipotentialite alone is capable to get the same task done much faster.

The most famous multipotentialites in history include Aristotle, Leonardo Da Vinci, René Descartes, Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.

And even though history was mainly written by white men, there are plenty of multipassionate women who managed to make an appearance: Cleopatra, Elisabeth I, Hildegard von Bingen, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Queen Christina of Sweden and Queen Margarethe of Denmark.

History wasn't only mainly written by white men but is - to this day - written by winners. It would be heartbreaking, to find out how many multipotentialites got swept under the rug of history. Never to be heard from, ever again.

None of us has the obligation to become a historical hero. But we multipotentialites have a long list of important ancestors to get inspired by.

To this day, multipotentialites like Elon Musk guide the way into a more advanced future.

Specialists over history

It's time to look at the other side. Because, whether we like it or not, specialists have also done their part to advance humanity. We multipotentialites are amazing at finding missing links. But it tends to be specialists who take the won knowledge and use it to create something big with it. Why? Because we get bored with those new links and move on to the next thing.

Let's have a look at the question from earlier. What has happened to the very multipassionate nature of Homo Sapiens? If only multipotentialites survived in hunter-gatherer times, why isn't everybody a multipotentialite today?

In my hypothesis, it was the agricultural age, kicking off the specialist avalanche. We humans settled down and started growing our food rather than hunting and foraging it. To most people that sounds like a great accomplishment. But more food production also meant more people. Because if you want to grow food, you need enough hands. With more hands you need more food. Also, the more people settled in one spot, the bigger the issue of waste disposal became. We had to put our faeces somewhere. The number of bacteria, we surrounded ourselves with, grew with every new human and animal. This kind of bacteria meant early death in those days. Every family needed more hands, but their children tended to die within the first years of their life. Families reproduced as much as possible. Newborns were a life insurance rather than somebody beloved. The death of a child was overcome fast in those days. The more people, animals and plants inhabited a place, the harder it got to leave it again, too. You had to feed all those mouths. So people suffered big time, once a drought or frost hit the land. Back in the days of nomads, people would move on to another place where they could flourish again. This was hardly possible anymore after the agricultural revolution. It required a catastrophe of apocalyptical impact to happen.

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