“If I had 10 lives, I wouldn’t be able to do everything I wanted to.”
“My problem is I love to learn a job, then I optimize the job to do it in the fastest possible way, then I’m bored, and I want to move on to something else.”
“Sometimes, there are so many things that I want to do, it’s paralyzing and I end up doing nothing.”
Sound familiar? Could this be you? If it is, you may suffer from multipotentiality. A condition that afflicts many of the rainforest-minded. You may think that you are a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none or a dilettante; that you skim the surface and never dive.
But what if it’s just that you’re fascinated by anthropology and gardening and researching and mathematics and art history and sustainability and, well, you get the idea.
How do you choose? What gets left behind? How do you explain to your parents that you’re changing your college major for the fifth time? How do you explain to your friend Amy that you’re bereft because you have to choose engineering over music? How do you explain to yourself why you’re still working at Starbucks? How can such a smart person be so confused?
And how many times have you heard: Just pick something. Anything.
You would if you could. It’s hard for others to understand that you love learning new things. And you learn them quickly. The possible career paths are overwhelming. Friends look at you quizzically, “This is a problem?” YES. It is. But how do you choose when you want to do it all? How do you choose when you’ll lose interest in a year? How do you explain that you’re not ungrateful but that you just have to avoid boredom at all costs?
This is how.
1. Refuse to Choose. This is the title of a book by Barbara Sher. She explains how you can craft a career plan that combines many of your interests. She provides examples and suggestions and understands your rainforest mind because she has one.
2. Go to empoweryou.com and read Zen and the Art of Making a Living. Laurence Boldt, the author says, “Make your work an expression of love in action.” He provides resources for people wanting to have a positive impact on the world. He has powerful ideas and lots of fine philosophy.
3. For the poet in you, read David Whyte’s books on work. (Crossing the Unknown Sea–Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity) His ideas aren’t practical as much as they’re brilliant.
4. Go to rebelsatwork.com. Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina provide fabulous support for smart people working in the corporate world who are struggling with the inequities, ineptitudes, and injustices.
And finally, you can walk many paths over your lifetime. You have a right to a work life that is meaningful, purposeful and intellectually stimulating. And, as David Whyte says,“To wake the giant inside ourselves, we have to be faithful to our own eccentric nature, and bring it into conversation with the world.”
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