Multipotentiality
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Multipotentiality

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Multipotentiality
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From childhood we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up and are expected to give a straightforward answer, like a princess. This is a folkway, a common or expected way of doing things that is accepted by society. Throughout life this question is phrased in different ways such as: "what major are you pursuing?" or "what do you do for a living?" No matter how the question is asked or how serious the question is meant to be, the expectation is you answer with one, maybe two, occupations that you're planning on pursuing for the rest of your life. I never had a good answer because I couldn't choose between teaching, baking, directing, assisting, hairstyling and the rest of the things I've written in this bubble. I often chose to just say teaching to give the type of straightforward answer that was expected of me because I assumed they were only asking to be polite, and I did not want to overwhelm anyone with a confusing answer to what they thought was a simple question.

After watching a TED talk this month, I have finally found my single answer: I'm going to be a multipotentialite. A multipotentialite is someone who has many different passions that span between various fields. During the renaissance period multipotentialites were considered gifted for being a jack of all trades. We are able to bring new insight to different fields like how drafting can help inspire new designs for my cakes. Multipotentiality, unfortunately, is a subculture in the current day because the dominant culture refers to us as flaky. Although we grow bored of our passions quickly after doing each of them exclusively for a period of time, we are able to best contribute when put in a work relationship with specialists; people who know they have one specific passion they want to pursue.

In this relationship the specialist can devote their time strictly to one certain area and when they get stuck, the multipotentialite is able to see the situation from a new perspective because our many talents allow us a broader range knowledge. The difference between specialists and multipotentialites is that a specialist has one major interest and wants to devote all their time to it whereas a multipotentialite vacillates between their passions, which society doesn't value because we're being "indecisive." On the screen behind me you can see that if a specialist and a multipotentialite were asked to dig for an hour the specialist would choose to dig one deep hole for the full hour while the multipotentialite would start a new hole each hour.

Nowadays it's difficult to be a multipotentialite because many jobs require college degrees. One person can only afford to go to school for so many years and take so many credits. There's no way to get 15 bachelors degrees in 4 years because each degree requires a certain amount of hours and there just isn't enough time in the week to complete all of them. Next year I plan on majoring in education and minoring in accounting because those are 2 of my passions that have the biggest necessity for a college degree.

There are some occupations that combine multiple passions such as teaching math. That's great, right? Well it would be if you have 2 passions and one of them is teaching. You could even start a music club if those are your 3 passions, assuming students like music, too. On the surface these jobs appear to show progress in the dominant culture's acceptance of multipotentiality, however, the number of interests jobs like these combined are limited. They encourage multipotentialites to assimilate to the social norm by settling for a single profession that combines a few of our passions.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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