The Struggles of a Multipotentialite

multipotentialite

The term “multipotentialite” is used to describe someone who has a multitude of interests and creative pursuits and has no “one true calling”.

If this is a real character trait, then I consider myself a multipotentialite.

My interests vary greatly. They include acting, professional wrestling, journalism, cooking (food, in general), music, current events, reading, writing, politics, entrepreneurship, and more.

One day I might think how great it would be to own and operate a food truck that I could later turn into a brick and mortar restaurant. The next day I am pondering on the conclusion of a plot I have devised for a novel, or maybe even writing a chorus line for a song. The day after that I am considering what it would take to get into politics at the national level.

My main interests, however, revolve around professional wrestling and acting. These were passions that sparked when I was very young. Younger than I realized.

When I was in elementary school, I told anyone who asked that I wanted to be a zoologist. It isn’t until now, looking back, that I realize the reason I wanted to be a zoologist was because I wanted to be the host/narrator of the Nature programs on PBS that I loved so much.

I find it strange how I, a generally shy and introverted individual, developed such a fondness and desire to be the center of attention; whether that be on television, the silver screen, or the middle of a wrestling ring.

I am sure a psychologist would be able to get to the route of it. I have my own ideas as I tend to be a self-aware person.

My main trouble is not figuring out why I am the way I am, but instead trying to figure out what to do moving forward so that I may live as fulfilling a life as possible.

What I have done so far:

  • I have trained (and am still training) as a professional wrestler and perform under the ring name “Andros ‘The Greek’”.
  • I have created a blog as a spinoff from my college radio show, The Motley Experience.
  • I have created a production “company” called ATM Productions, where I produce original short films (which I act in) and documentaries.

The above are the largest steps I have taken to further explore my interests.

Besides staying busy with the above, I also work full time as a demand planning analyst for a multinational beauty company. I will not devote too much time to this as it is but a means to an end, for better or worse.

My wrestling career is moving slowly, but I am overall content with my progress so far. This is because it is one of my few interests which I am able to tackle directly.

The main reason behind why I continue to operate The Motley Experience is because it offers me a platform to try and explore my other interests. I have designed it in such a way that I can post the short documentaries and shorts I create through ATM Productions, write journalistic pieces on currents events and other topics, write fiction, and more.

The frustration I have sometimes stems from the very same reason that I love my blog so much; it covers such a wide range of topics.

multipotentialite1

Today’s blog “market” feels close to oversaturation. Blogs that do well tend to have a niche topic that an audience is interested in. With The Motley Experience, I am not focusing on any one topic so it is difficult to gather that following.

My idea for the blog is to be somewhere in between the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, to find a middle ground between the more straightforward style of the former and the fun/silly/entertainment-esque style of the latter.

Both of the blogs mentioned, however, are giants and had funding from the beginning, along with staffs of real journalists.

I, on the other hand, am a one-man-show, with basically no funding and almost as much time.

Yes, I am complaining a bit. But this is the reality of what I am facing.

The lack of time mentioned is also proving troublesome, in general. I can’t make auditions or set up time to go to acting classes because of my work and wrestling schedule. I have the same issue when it comes to truly committing myself to writing a book, setting the foundations to create my own business, find a property I can turn into an investment, and more.

I do not want to give up wrestling, so that leaves only one thing: quit my job.

As you can imagine, this isn’t possible at the moment. At least if I want to remain financially responsible.

Many people say that you should just quit and dive into my passion(s) and see where that gets me.

I can’t see that as a possibility for myself, at the moment. I like having money to pay the bills, go to restaurants, pay for filming equipment and wrestling gear, having health insurance, and all the other great perks that come with a corporate job.

This thought process might be holding me back. Hoping that the pursuit of one of my interests as an after work activity, or hobby, will suddenly yield a magnificent opportunity which will allow me to quit my job may even be a pipe dream.

Perhaps the only way for me to achieve my dreams, is to throw caution to the wind and see where that takes me.

If you have some sort of support system, whether it be family or friends, I’d say go for it. I do not feel like I have that support, for reasons which I do not feel like explaining in this post.

So I am stuck between being responsible in a job that offers no personal satisfaction, and scraping time together to make my side projects work as much as I can.

choose-one

All of this leads to my biggest issue as a multipotentialite.

That issue, and source of so much anger, sadness, sometimes depression, and frustration, being this question:

How am I supposed to become good, or successful, at any of these interests if I am constantly dividing my time and attention between so many?

I find myself unable to give 100%, yet alone 80% sometimes, to any one of my passions.

When I decide to give up all and focus on one, after a short time I begin to feel incomplete. I am only truly happy on days, usually weekends, where I am juggling a few projects related to several different interests and making tangible progress. For example, a weekend where I perform well in a match on a wrestling show, write an article for my blog, and finish editing a short that I acted in.

This issue is why I am currently venting my frustrations in this post. At least by venting I am also writing, which is a passion.. #multitasking.

In summation, being a multipotentialite feels like a gift and a curse. I am rarely bored because there is always something going on that piques my interest. But then I may run into aggravation as I hit a block in exploring that interest.

If you have made it this far (1) thank you so much and (2) please comment and let me know what you think of the term “multipotentialite”.

Do you consider yourself one, or know someone who is? If so, how do you or that person deal with the multitude of interests and possibilities you find yourself trying to juggle?

I would genuinely love to find out.


The original version of this article was posted on the Medium on 9/25/16.

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3 comments

  • Hey Man!
    I stumbled upon this article again after going through some existential times. This is a well-thought out article and probably captures what a lot of young (and probably older) folks are feeling today. I don’t know if the past 2 years have cured some of your ails, but I’ve grown to better understand my feelings better since the post, and have met some folks who may be “multi-potentialites.”

    Here’s my thoughts to a multi-potentialite after going through a few rigors of 20s life:
    The key seems to be managing expectations. The key to happiness for minimalists and those Buddhist monks – is that by wanting less, they are able to give more, and be fulfilled. So maybe ask yourself, what’s your goal with all your different passions? As econ students, we understand that our energy and time are scarce resources, and we must manage it carefully.

    Remember the Supply and Demand curve? Every person has a natural equilibrium point between Supply (what they can put in or give) and Demand (what they want). It sounds to me like your demand curve was higher than your natural equilibrium point, and you may have needed to manage your expectations to shift that Demand curve down into the equilibrium point. Remember our old macro/micro tests – there’s a net loss in output in the gap, and that net loss in this case stems from frustration!

    It seems you’re already thinking of your job as a transaction rather than a passion, and that’s the right way to approach it based on the the multi-potentialites I’ve spoken to. Your financial responsibility enables you to pursue your passions.

    You’ve also probably incorporated as many of your passions into your daily life as you can fit in, so enjoy those moments as they come rather than think about how you’re not getting enough of it – later look back at how far you’ve grown over time. You’re already giving as much as you can – maximize that, and set smaller digestible goals for each of your passions (which you can balance). That way, once you reach them at it’s own pace, you can feel good about it, and then move on to the next attainable goal within it. It’s good to shoot for the moon, but remember you gotta reach the stratosphere first, then atmosphere, etc.

    The other school of thought is that since nobody can be good at everything, if we wanted to try, then the best way is to get good at one thing at a time, and then move on the next. Keep doing that until you’re good in many different areas, and in the long-run you’ll become the man (or woman) you want to be. This doesn’t sound like the approach for you, but maybe for others

  • Going off now into some Sociology..

    I think society does push people into choosing one area via ‘finding passion’ or simply achieving financial stability by specializing in one area. We’re constantly exposed to role models and famous people such as celebrities, actors, sports stars who achieved fame through their niche careers. And if us younger generation want to hold down a good job, or carve out a ‘niche’ like what you’re trying to do with your blog, the best option is to specialize.

    Having a ‘true calling’ is also addictive. As we work hard to achieve success, we can build on it to grow higher and higher. Once there, you can feel comfortable, secure, and may feel afraid to wander off into something new where you’re a novice and insecure.

    All of that isn’t kind to the younger adults such as yourself who need to establish financial stability, but prefer dabbling in different areas and lack the time, resources, or experience to pursue all in full.

  • Now for some of my own personal reflection..

    I’m one of those that prefer focusing on one thing at a time before moving on the next, and have what some people may consider an ‘addictive’ personality. I’ve definitely been influenced by peer pressure and society to follow an inflexible growth arc of school, job, masters, etc, which rewards this psychology. It’s positioned me well with career success thus far, and has given me respect from peers, dragged me out of low points in my life, and gives me purpose when I wake up.

    But there’s definite downsides too. I feel like I’ve missed chances growing up to be more well-rounded and and open-minded. There’s gaps in my knowledge and experience that puts me behind my peers, and I feel insecurity and anxiety when I step out of my lane. The pursuit of passion is also marked with many days of frustration, sometime depression, as you put everything into one thing, and your happiness depends on it. That’s not always so healthy, and that focus can also make me lose sight of the big picture.

    I just gone through another cycle at work where, through no fault of my own, I’ve lost some of the things that give me fulfillment, and am now searching for meaning outside of that area. It’s not so easy when you’re so used to putting all your time, energy, and thoughts towards one cause, and just ‘chilling’ after work. It’s intimidating to step out of that routine, but they say awareness is the first step, and I now need to take action to start pursuing other passions I pushed to the side.

    Another area I’m trying to improve in, is shifting up my ‘Supply curve’. I have some time to give now, but energy’s another story. If I can improve my diet, maintain a better sleep schedule, exercise more regularly, and slow down some bad habits, I could boost my energy levels, which will also help me think more positively.

    It took me some angry moments, depressed days, and lots of anxious thoughts before I started seeing more clearly. I might consider that the ‘withdrawal’ period after being addicted to one area for so long, but now that I do, it’s up to me to not relapse.

    YC

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