What if you don’t have ‘one true calling’?

I watched this video this morning over my coffee and it made my heart sing.

Lately, I’ve been having this same conversation with a lot of my 30-something friends.

A conversation about ‘finding your thing’. About reining in your passions in order to find that one special thing that will be yours, about which you’ll be the expert, the one people come to for advice.

It’s also, often, a pretty fraught conversation. ‘I’m in my 30s and I still don’t know what my thing is…’ ‘I got a degree in XYZ but that’s not what I want to do.’ ‘I’m into so many things… I just don’t know which one is my calling.’

There’s this huge pressure to identify your thing, and set your stall out. To commit. All around us, people have chosen their field of expertise and begun to excel in it. The internet is filled with advice – especially if you’re a freelancer or starting your own business – encouraging you to focus. To find ‘the thing you’re good at’. To pick one thing and specialise, to be able to sum up what you do in a single sentence.

This, we’re told, is the only route to success. Stop spreading yourself too thin! You’ll confuse people! You’ll never be truly good at something if you keep trying everything.

So what if you’re into, y’know, lots of things?

What if you don’t want to specialise, or the concept feels like a trap?

Does that mean you can’t run a successful business, or have expertise worth sharing, or, y’know, generally be a successful, contented, happy person?

Of course not!

Take a look at this inspiring and brilliant 12-minute TED Talk by wonderful Emilie Wapnick of puttylike.com:

Why some of us don’t have one true calling

I love how Emilie pinpoints how powerfully society drives home this ‘find your one thing’ message… and the anxiety this causes among people who love doing… many things.

The problem wasn’t that I didn’t have any interests… it was that I had too many

And I love that she has created a word for herself and the billions of others like her: MULTIPOTENTIALITE.

Multi – potential – ite. Amazing.

Find out all about it by watching Emilie’s talk, then let out a joyful roar of pride, then run off and do about 25 different things all of which you love equally!

Or head over to puttylike.com and celebrate with your people 🙂


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  1. chloetarot says:

    Yay, a word for us: “Multipotentialite”! I am much more open to letting myself do multiple things these days. I’ve always blamed it on being a double Gemini – so there’s four of us in here 😀 Actually, I find running my own business gives a lot of scope for this. I write blogs and ad copy, record videos, paint, draw, photoshop, write and record meditations, write ebooks, learn new software programmes, experiment with different marketing. And it’s all connected somewhere, but far from just focusing on one thing…

    • Beth says:

      Yes! I was thinkng the same. Emilie’s points about getting really into something…and then getting bored and moving on sounded so familiar, but I found myself thinking ‘well, am I a specialist now? Now that I’ve made tarot my ‘thing’?’

      I think it’s just that the many, many different aspects of running this business (and, oh yeah, my other business – web design!) keep my multipotentialite heart satisfied… for now. Like you, my days are a mix of writing, reading tarot, photography, design work, networking – all elements of my work with LRT. Then there’s all the web design, boat DIY and maintenance and the million other things in my life.

      Hmm, maybe not such a specialist after all!

  2. Sarah Dawn says:

    That video was incredible. Thank you for posting it Beth. I am definitely 100% multipotentialite. I always thought when I got bored it meant I was a flake and scared of commitment like Emilie said. This was super life affirming.

  3. Christiane says:

    Great post and video! I’m also doing many different things, which all keep me from feeling bored after a while and help me find new creative outlets along the way. How blessed are we to be able to earn our living this way?

    It’s good to see people being encouraged to follow their hearts and become ‘multi-professionals’, defying the conventional one-job life. But at the same time, they need to be taught how to manage their time and energy to make it work, especially when they’re self-employed.

    On a funny note, I’m still trying to figure out a suitable, straight-forward job title, When people ask me what I do for a living, I say something different every time depending on the situation and mood I’m in… I’d love to know how other multi-professionals address this…;)

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