One True Calling??
I’ve never felt like I had one true calling. My problem is I’m interested in too many things. And these things often have little to no overlap in skill sets. Well intentioned friends suggested I may be a renaissance man, or a polymath, and that I’d figure it out eventually. But, the problem with this description is it implies you are an expert in multiple areas. This is definitely not the case. Am I good at some things? Sure, but an expert… definitely not.
And that, my friends, is the crux of my problem. Society tells us to choose your passion. Choose what you excel in. Choose your one true calling. So what do you do if you don’t have a true calling? Is something wrong with you?
Maybe Not, And That’s Okay
A while back I stumbled across a TED Talk from Emilie Wapnick about why some of us don’t have one true calling. In the video, she coins the term multipotentialite. She defines this term as “someone with many interests and creative pursuits.” So how is this different from a renaissance man or polymath? Well, for one it is less gender specific than renaissance man. There is also less implication of expertise than polymath. It simply means you have potential in multiple areas. This fit me to a T.
The video left me feeling inspired. It felt like, for the first time, I had been given permission to be the person who flits from one thing to the next; like a hummingbird looking for more nectar. I could finally let go of my self-conscious fears of not being good enough. I could put away the unrealistic expectations of choosing one path. Maybe, I was just looking at it the wrong way? Maybe, I wasn’t supposed to choose one thing and that’s why I never found my niche?
A Job With Flexibility
And then I realized, staying at home with my child was the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for. No more same old routines mandated by a boss who may or may not have your best interests in mind. If you get tired of doing whatever you are doing when you stay-at-home with your kids, you have the power (and authority) to change things.
Yes, your kids will have a say in what you do during the day, but you’re still in charge. You still have the final say. And when you have an infant, it’s even easier to dictate what you do during the day since they don’t have much of any opinion about the daily activities one way or another.
Pursue Your Passions Without Fear
Being a stay-at-home dad has allowed me to pursue multiple passions, sometimes concurrently, without feeling like I am wasting my time or money. I don’t have to feel guilty about dabbling in some DIY home projects when I feel the urge to be creative. I can do this for as long as I like and then move onto my next passion. Even better, I can simultaneously show my kids this passion and teach them about what I am learning. It works on so many levels: I can show them what passion looks like, expose them to new things, and do this all within my normal routine.
I’ll Take One Of Each, Please!
So if you’re feeling like you are stuck in a rut, or are stressing out about not knowing what you want to do with your life because you have so many varied interests, consider doing all of them. And whenever the mood strikes to move onto something else, don’t be afraid to listen and go where it takes you.
Here’s the video from Emilie Wapnick in case you care to watch it. Enjoy!
How To Find Your Passions
- Start small.
- Set aside some time for yourself during naptime and make a list of your interests.
- Don’t judge or censor your thoughts.
- Once you have a good list, choose a few ideas and pursue them.
- Don’t worry if it doesn’t go anywhere. You’ve lost nothing by trying, and at worst have gained a new skill.
For more inspiration try visiting Emilie’s website. She has an excellent resource page for curious minds. What are you waiting for? Start today!