Ketogenic Diet and Impostor Syndrome

Posted by Michael on 17 June, 2017 in Multipassionate |

OK, so I found another new passion. I’ve mentioned before that I am a combination of cyclical and simultaneous, but I often discover something new and fascinating, which I guess throws a bit of sequential into the mix. Sometimes, I think I’m related to that dog on the movie UP (Squirrel!). But more on the ideas of keto in a minute. First, I want to talk about impostor syndrome.

Impostor, or just an anonymous “expert”?

I learned about Impostor Syndrome from Emilie Wapnick. It’s basically the idea (more accurately, the fear) that you’re not qualified to be giving people advice. In the book Outliers , author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. This is often quoted to people who want to declare themselves “experts” at something. I got out my little calculator and discovered that coincidentally (or maybe not) the average bachelor’s degree takes about 10,800 hours of class time to complete.

So, Impostor Syndrome tells you that you’re not qualified to give other people advice until you’ve had ten thousand hours of practice. Without it, you’re not a master. You’re not the head monk in the Shaolin temple, teaching Kwai Chang Caine, because you haven’t put in the lifetime of study required to achieve that level of expertise. So you hesitate to give anyone advice because you don’t know it all yourself.

Problem is, this ten thousand hour rule isn’t really even true. For instance, a group of researchers examined a number of studies over a wide range of disciplines and discovered that practice is only one part, and not the major part, of becoming an expert. But to me, the more important aspect is your definition of what constitutes an “expert.”

Dictionary.com defines it this way: “a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority.”

I like to think of an expert as somebody who has enough knowledge to help others. That’s the idea ably expressed in Russell Brunson’s book Expert Secrets. Brunson says, “You see, people become leaders when they first try to master something for themselves. It starts with your own personal growth, then transitions to contribution.’ (Brunson, p. 6)

Brunson talks about charismatic leaders building movements that help people, that change the world. These charismatic leaders must position themselves as “experts” before people will trust their advice enough to be helped. And he blames Impostor Syndrome for blocking people from doing their part to make the world better. He says these charismatic leaders have a “voice inside them telling them they are destined for greatness. Yet at the same time, they have this other voice that consistently tells them that they’re inadequate, that they’re not enough. Not smart enough, not focused enough, not thin enough, not experienced enough, nor good enough…” (IBID)

So, Impostor Syndrome is an irrational fear of something that isn’t true. I remember once, as a substitute teacher, I walked into a seventh grade math classroom, and was expected to teach these people how to calculate the area and volume of certain objects. Well, I was never very good at math in school, and that was more than 40 years ago. So how do I teach it to 13-year-olds? Fortunately, I had fifteen minutes before class started, so I began reading the textbook, which provided excellent explanations of the process. I successfully taught this concept based on my fifteen minutes of knowledge they did not yet have. Ten thousand hours? Pfah, that’s for normal people.

So what’s all this got to do with a ketogenic diet? Good question, I’m glad you asked. Basically, I realized that I don’t suffer from Impostor Syndrome. Many Multipassionate people do. We’ve all been told about someone who is a Jack of All Trades, but Master of None. But I find myself learning as much as I can, and sharing it with others, almost immediately. And you can too.

What is a keto diet?

Some of my friends started mentioning ketogenics on Facebook, so I started looking into it. (such as my friend Hillary; ask her some questions) As we Multipassionates do, I totally geeked out, reading everything I could find. And then of course, I had to try it. Less than a week in, so no results yet, partly because I haven’t sufficiently mastered the practical aspects of eating this way. However, I immediately found myself in several Facebook groups about keto, giving advice to other newbies.

I’m far from a real expert, and even had to be corrected at one point because I did not adequately understand a particular concept about which I had been pontificating. But many people have expressed gratitude for what I do know, because it’s at least a little bit more than what they know. And I’m learning more and more all the time. Sometimes somebody will post a question, or maybe make a statement that just doesn’t sound right, so I jump in an do a lot of research, and then post the results in the group. I’ve definitely helped some people understand this better, and I believe I have corrected a few of the myths that surround keto.

In other words, I’m using one of my passions to help others and to make the world a better place. And that’s the real definition of “expert.”

Your turn. Use the comments below to tell me how you’re overcoming Impostor Syndrome.



What are you going to do this summer?

Posted by Michael on 24 May, 2017 in Multipassionate, Rainbow Life |

I’m working with deaf and hard of hearing kids in a middle school, and for school people, this is a common question as we approach the end of the year. What are you going to do this summer? For me, it’s different every summer. (What a surprise, right?) A few years ago, I worked in summer school with autistic elementary age students. Quite a change from my regular year employment, but enjoyable. Other summers, I’ve done other activities.

I told the co-worker who asked me that that this year, I want to work on building my Multipassionate tribe. And she’s like, “What’s Multipassionate?” During the ensuing conversation, we discovered that she’s Multipassionate too, but in a different way than I am. Makes sense, Multipassionate people don’t fit into molds, so we’re always likely to be different from each other.

My co-worker is an American Sign Language Interpreter, which means she has the training and experience to translate the spoken word into ASL, for deaf people who otherwise wouldn’t understand what’s going on. But she does this in a variety of settings. Part of the time, she works here in the school, interpreting for our deaf students. Other times, she works at her church, and in other locales where deaf people need her services. So her job is always different, even though she’s doing the same basic task. That’s pretty cool.

Another co-worker is a former nurse who now takes notes for the deaf and hard of hearing students. Try watching a teacher’s mouth to aid in comprehension some time, while trying to write down what they say. You’ll realize why this is an essential service for these students. This woman is also a full time mom, and holds down two other jobs. She’s Multipassionate too.

I’m really planning to enjoy this summer as I learn more and more about the different ways people live the Rainbow Life. Love to hear your stories and experiences in the comments below. Let’s make this the summer of the Multipassionate!

Meanwhile, I need to tell you that I’m working on a very special post to share with you. I think it will have a big impact on many lives, so I’m trying to craft it carefully. That means it’s taking a bit longer, but I think it will be worth it. Make sure you’re subscribed to blog updates so you will be notified when it’s ready. It’s going to be Epic!



Multifaceted Multipassionate

Posted by Michael on 9 May, 2017 in Multipassionate, Rainbow Life |

Singing Irish songs in the pub was only one thing on my plate. (Photo taken by my three-year-old grandson)

Yesterday, in the space of about three hours, I waited out a hailstorm in the cable tv store, started reading a new book that came in the mail, looked up a passage in another book I’m reading to cross-reference it, changed to a third book after 50 pages or so in the new one, installed the new cable modem I got at the store, worked on re-routing the cables for my wifi, and then went down to the pub to play music with my son and grandson. Is your life sometimes like that? Do you find yourself pulled many directions at once, or in quick succession?

To the monopassionate, that’s unpleasant, a sign of “having too much on your plate.” But to the Multipassionate, that’s our super power. We not only can multitask, we like it. We revel in the joy of having too much to do, because that means our lives will never be boring.

The monopassionate world often lectures us about the dangers of over commitment. And in the sense of failing at important tasks because we just can’t find the time, they are right. We do need to prioritize. But that also means we can leave certain tasks undone if they are not the ones that are most important to us. We may have a lot on our plate, but not all of it rises to the level of necessity. We may have a full plate, but we are not obligated to stuff ourselves into a stupor. We take on a lot because we have many interests, and we work on each one until our emotional reason for taking it up is satisfied. Then we can move on.

My daughter is one of the happiest Multipassionate people I know. Many look at her life and warn her about over commitment and burnout. She just smiles and tells them she loves the variety of her life. She’s like that bee that Barbara Sher talks about, flitting from flower to flower. Nobody tells the bee to stick with one flower for life. What’s the bee’s “one true” flower? There isn’t one, because bee’s aren’t like that. Neither are we. Multipassionate is our nature, not our weakness.

What are some ways you experience the joy of the many activities in your life? Love to see them in the comments below.



What about family history?

Posted by Michael on 2 May, 2017 in Adventure, Rainbow Life |

This is me with my “cousin” Maggie, telling people about their family history. What a fascinating adventure.

Family history can mean different things to different people. To me, the idea includes genealogy, stories, memories, and even participation in events. Scottish and Irish festivals are an example of the latter. Among the hats I wear is the one where I am the state commissioner for Clan Thompson International. In that capacity, I attend Scottish and Celtic festivals all over my state.

I got started in this because my family has traditionally attended a Scottish-Irish highland festival in Estes Park, Colorado. We were always told that Thompsons are a “sept” or kind of a sub-clan, affiliated with Clan Campbell. One year, I went to join the Campbells in the big parade of Clans, and one of them said, “Hey, Thompsons have their own clan in the parade, you should join them.”

This was exciting news of course, so I went right over and joined with my “real” Scottish family, not only in the parade, but in their booth in the Clan area, and in membership. I plunked down my check and signature right there and then to become a member of Clan Thompson.

Since then, I’ve learned that Thompsons are not really affiliated with Campbell, at least not in any great numbers. Campbells are generally a Highland Clan, and there was a Thompson or two associated with them, but there were a hundred thousand Thompsons in the Lowland Border areas between Scotland and England. The documentation shows that we were a bonafide clan back as far as the 1500s, at least, and probably farther than that. (HINT: Some spelled it with a “p” and some without, but we’re all of the same name.)

How much have you looked into your family history? It can be a fascinating adventure. I’ve met so many people now who are amazed at what they learn about the history and background of their people. I always tell them, “The best time to start documenting your family history is twenty years ago. The second best time is right now.” What steps will you take to learn about your family and background? Love to hear from you in the comments below.



Improvising your passion!

Posted by Michael on 24 April, 2017 in Creativity, Multipassionate |

Ashley really helped us get our Improv on!

I enjoyed a wonderful class on Saturday, taught by Ashley of the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse in Denver. I’ve been teaching Improv Drama to middle school students for several years now, and it’s one of my passions for sure. Ashley helped me take it to the next level. We even did some games I have used with my kids before that I’ll bring around again because Ashley taught me better ways to play them.

I’m always looking for new ways to explore my passions. Isn’t that what being Multipassionate is all about? So when I saw the flyer at my local library adverting this class, I knew I had to be there.

If you’ve never done Improv, consider taking a class or workshop. Unless you’re a really serious introvert, it’s a great way to get out of your shell a bit and have some fun, while learning about yourself and others.

One thing that I struggled with was what Ashley called “long form” Improv. I’ve done a lot of the short form, along the lines of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” but the idea of doing a scene for twenty, thirty minutes or more was pretty intimidating. We didn’t do anything quite that long, but I did wind up doing a monologue on a random subject that was much longer than the usual one-liners I teach my students. It was a challenge, but one that I enjoyed and learned from.

What activity can you do this week to explore your passions? Love to hear from you in the comments below.



Exploring your passion through family

Posted by Michael on 21 April, 2017 in Multipassionate, Rainbow Life |

We had such a lovely time at Easter, joining with Grandma and Grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren. Whether you celebrate the resurrection of Christ or not, most American families like to gather for dinner and shared enjoyment of some sort. We were no exception. Even had a couple of family members hooked up remotely and passed around the table. It was a very enjoyable experience.


There are many ways to make your family your passion.

Of course, my grandsons were my favorite, followed closely by my parents, who are in their eighties, but still active and on my team. Who am I kidding? I loved and enjoyed each person there, and we missed the ones who weren’t there. Family is special, whether your family is the traditional style with multiple generations, or the random assemblage of people you live with. Value them as part of your rainbow life.


Sometimes families are encouraging and helpful. Use this to advance your passions as much as you can. But what if they’re not supportive? Use that as motivation to prove to them that your Multipassionate life is really valuable and worthwhile. Won’t it be satisfying when they say, “You were right, this is really who you are, and what you were meant to do.”?


I am getting more and more excited as my Rainbow life unfolds. How about you? Does each day bring a new adventure? If not, why not, and what can you do about it? Love seeing your comments.



Should every kid go to college?

Posted by Michael on 10 April, 2017 in Multipassionate, Rainbow Life |

How much is your diploma worth?

A few days ago, I mentioned a conversation with my friends at work. Included was a discussion of the value of higher education. We work in a school setting, where advanced college degrees are a significant qualification that will help you advance in your career. That’s definitely true for the monopassionate teacher or administrator. The more diplomas you have, the more respect you garner in this setting.

But seriously, for most of us, ESPECIALLY Multipassionates, a college degree is a four-year commitment to a one year passion. Why should I spend years in classes, and pay huge sums for continuing education, if I’m going to move on in a few months or years? I love taking classes and learning, and so do most Multipassionates, but that doesn’t mean that long-term programs are necessarily a good thing for me.

The average annual cost for a 4-year degree at a public university is just under ten grand for tuition and fees and probably that much again for room and board. It’s $24,000 if you study out of state, and $33,400 for a private school. That’s a big investment. Should we just bite the bullet and do it, because our culture says it’s necessary?

In our field, the gospel is that all of our students should be encouraged to go to college. It’s seen as the goal of all we do. Low-income families are counseled about financial aid, low-performing students are pressed to improve their grades as part of a college strategy, all students are required to take advanced math, language arts, and history classes, and encouraged to try out for Honors or Advanced Placement classes that will help get them into a better college. The system pushes all students into the college pipeline, whether it’s suitable for them or not.

Years ago, students in high school were often separated into “college bound,” “trade school,” and other categories. This was called “tracking” because you put students on a track to maximize their success in whatever they did after graduation. These days, that’s a bad word, seen as discriminating against some students in favor of others. And yet, we see students every day who would be far better off learning a trade, such as plumbing or carpentry, rather than spending four years and $80,000+ on a college degree.

So many people I run into these days have immense student loan debt. If you pay it on time, it’s years of bondage, if you miss a few payments, it’s a credit report that prevents you from owning your own home or buying a car on credit. And the more advanced your degree, the more you owe by the time you get it.

And that’s just for monopassionate students. What about Multipassionate people, who don’t want to be doctors, lawyers, or teachers their whole lives long? A big investment in higher education is highly recommended for those fields because it pays off in the long run. But for we who run from one dream to the next, it’s an investment in a future that may never come.

None of this is intended to discount the value of education. As I said, I love classes and learning. I spent twenty-four years completing my bachelor’s degree in a field in which I am not currently employed. But I don’t consider a minute of any of those classes to be wasted. I use all that information in so many ways my college professors could never have imagined. But I also cannot imagine a scenario in which I would pursue an advanced degree again. I did post-graduate work but never completed the Master’s degree as I intended. Today, I don’t regret that one bit.

Is an advanced degree something important to you? If so, go out and get it. But if you’re Multipassionate; seriously consider whether that huge investment of time and effort will produce something you’ll enjoy for a lifetime, or just until the next passion comes along. Will you be paying for it long after you’ve moved on to something else?

Love to hear your stories and experiences. Please comment below and enhance the experience for all of us in the Multipassionate tribe.



Being Multipassionate is your super power!

Posted by Michael on 7 April, 2017 in Multipassionate, Rainbow Life |

I was chatting with some co-workers yesterday, and we discovered a common bond. They’re Multipassionate too! How many people do you meet on a daily basis that may share your enthusiasm for the Rainbow Life?

During our conversation, we also discovered a common history. In a monopassionate world, we Rainbow people are often seen as misfits; people who have failed to discover our one true passion. But the fascinating friends with whom I was discussing this reminded me that being Multipassionate is not a weakness, it’s my super power!

You are a Multipassionate Superhero!

My daughter continually reminds me that for us, a full life is a satisfying life. The monopassionates complain about being overwhelmed by life, by having too many options, by being pulled in too many directions. But for the Multipassionate, a full schedule is a happy thing. We cannot be bored because there’s always something to look forward to, something excellent to anticipate. In that, we have such a great advantage over those who have only one passion to pursue.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having ONE TRUE PASSION and spending your life pursuing it. But it’s not for everybody. It’s certainly not for me, and it may not be for you, if you’re Multipassionate. I have been so frustrated by quizzes and advice articles that assume the only way to live my life is to find my one true passion and then follow my dream. I try to answer questions such as “When was the time when you felt most fulfilled?” and the like. But seriously, I can’t name one, but I can easily name twenty. I find my fulfillment in moving from passion to passion. Some are repeated, some are new. But moving on is my lifestyle, not my weakness.

One thing my friends pointed out is that those who love us most are often the worst at understanding our Multipassionate nature. Have you had the “talk” from your parents about settling down to a “real job” or finding your path? Do your spouse or other special people in your life question why you don’t have a “mission” to fulfill or why you drop a certain passion when it has fulfilled your needs? How do we deal with those who love us, but don’t understand? It’s something we need to deal with.

Did you grow up thinking you were somehow defective because you didn’t have one true passion? Rejoice! You are one of us. Multipassionates are those of us who have discovered we don’t fit the mold of “expectation.” But this is not a weakness. Not in any fashion. It’s is our strength, our SUPERPOWER! We not only CAN, but MUST pursue a multitude of passions.

Please, give me comments below on how you have done this, or questions about how it can be done. Our community, our TRIBE, can support each other in making our world better by exploring our multiple passions.



Sharing your passions with others

Posted by Michael on 3 April, 2017 in Adventure, Multipassionate, Rainbow Life |

Discovery: my grandson loves trains. Memory: so do I. Juxtaposition: One of my passions is taking my grandsons to the Railroad Museum.

This is an amazing place, full of wonder and passion. Are trains on my list of passions? I’ll have to check. The list changes all the time. Does this happen to you as well?

Some of our passions are constant; others change. Some drop off, some are added. But all of them are part of the Rainbow Life.

My grandsons are definitely high on the list of my passions. I’ve always valued family; love my parents, my wife, my kids. But there’s something about having grandchildren that amps that up a notch. I can say without fear of contradiction that I have the world’s most adorable grandsons. Oh, you may contradict me, but I don’t fear it. I know the truth. 🙂

Sharing one of the my long-term passions with my oldest grandson is one of the biggest joys of my life. His mother, my daughter-in-law, told me that when I got a membership to the Railroad Museum so I could take him as often as I wanted, it was one of the greatest gifts I could have given him. I replied that it was just as big a gift to me as well, as I enjoy it every bit as much as he does.

What’s a passion you can share with somebody? Might be a friend or relative, might be a group of like-minded people. But somehow, sharing a passion, especially with someone you love, multiplies the joy. There can be inconvenience, obstacles, even good reasons not to do it, but isn’t that true of most of the really important things in our lives? Make the leap today. Take your sweetheart on a date, even if you’re busy. Play with your kids. Write your parents an actual, handwritten letter (I was surprised how much my eighty-something parents enjoyed this.). Think of one of your passions and how it might involve other people, and just step out. You’ll be glad you did.

Love to hear your stories. Post your experience below so we can all be inspired.



Getting my Irish passion on

Posted by Michael on 25 March, 2017 in Creativity, Multipassionate, Rainbow Life |

In the Rainbow Life, green has always been my favorite color. Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but my dad taught us that we’re Irish all year long. I guess it shows more around the holiday associated with the Emerald Isle.

I have an Irish band called Mulligan Stew. We call it that because it’s different every time. It’s kind of a Multipassionate Irish band. We hardly ever do set lists, we love requests, and we’re constantly interacting with the audience. It’s very interesting to take music that’s often hundreds of years old and share it with new audiences in a new way.

I find that being Multipassionate helps keep things new; not only my life and music, but for the audiences we share with. So we can take a song that everybody’s heard many times (such as “What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor?”) and do it in a way that modern people can relate to (Make Him Donald Trump’s Media Spokesman). Of course, we’re equal opportunity offenders; that’s just part of being Irish.

At the same time, I was able to use my storytelling skills to share the life of St. Patrick with a group of people at the local recreation center. There are many myths about St. Patrick, but few people know much of the true story. For instance, did you know he came from Wales? And no, he never chased the snakes out of Ireland. (HINT: There were never any snakes in Ireland.)

What passion will you choose to celebrate this week as part of your Rainbow Life? Love to hear about it in the comments below.


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