Ted Talks – Why some of us don’t have one true calling – Emilie Wapnick

Emilie Wapnick is a writer and artist who discusses what she calls “multipotentialties”.

In society as we grow up, we are often asked what we would like to be when we are older and often as we get older this becomes harder to answer unless you are one of those people who know exactly what you want to do with your life.

Emilie talks about how she would become interested in something and it was all consuming and this would be the career she would be working towards when she would suddenly become bored or unfulfilled. Once the challenge of learning all she could about this area she would get bored and then move onto another career choice.

After this happening a few times it starts to cause a lot of anxiety as she wasn’t sure if she could turn any of her interests into a career. She also worried that something might be wrong with her as she couldn’t stick to one career choice and even though maybe she was self-sabotaging herself.

Emilie called this type of person “multipotentialities” – This is where a person has multiple potentials and not just one career choice.

Even the question what do you want to be when you grow up is limiting us to one choice and not 10 choices, so we start to believe that we have one true calling and one destiny to perform in our life. For those who have many ideas this can feel quite limiting and they often feel alone and become anxious about what they are supposed to be doing with their life.

I think I am personally a multipotenialite as I have always struggled to narrow myself down to one career path. I often go off in one direction and then I will start to change my mind and go off in a different direction. To others it seems that I cannot make my mind up, but I am just trying different things to see if I like them or not. I would much rather try different ideas/ career options that be suck in a job for the next 20 years that I disliked. We are taught that we need to have a career sorted by the time we have finished university but actually quite often even people in their 40’s have not yet figured out what they want to do. We need to take the pressure of ourselves to find the right job for us because we may never actually find it, but we can enjoy the process of trying to get there if we make sure we enjoy what we do.

We have to embrace our own life choices regardless of what other’s opinions may be as all that really matters I that we are enjoying the lives we lead.

 

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