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Multipassionate—What Is It?

Posted by Michael on 15 January, 2017 in Multipassionate |
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Live the Rainbow Life!

Live the Rainbow Life!

Break it down. Multiple passions.

Multiple: More than one. Several. Lots.

Passion: Strong and barely controllable emotion. Desire. More than just enthusiasm or excitement.

We are VERY enthusiastic about many things.

Emilie Wapnick has a list of terms for us:

  • Polymath
  • Renaissance Person
  • Scanner
  • Generalist
  • Slash
  • Masher
  • Jack-of-all-trades
  • Multi-Passionate

I prefer Multipassionate. Pursuing many passions, doing many things, taking many actions. That’s who we are.

The basic idea has been around a long time. For instance, Ronald H. Fredrickson presented a paper to the American Personnel and Guidance Association in 1974. His research called into question the whole idea of helping students find and pursue their one true passion,at least in the case of what he calls the multipotential person. Those people, according to Fredrickson, are “able to adapt themselves and develop the necessary specific skills to perform well in a variety of occupations.”

For many people, life is about finding your one true passion, then following the path that gets you there. Not for the Multipassionate.

For many people, life is about finding your one true passion, then following the path that gets you there. Not for the Multipassionate.

We could expand that idea to include performing well in a variety of circumstances and situations, not just occupations. And yet today, life coaches, career coaches, guidance counselors, psychologists and many others continue to push people to find their one true niche, without acknowledging that for some of us, that’s just not realistic.

For years, I did not understand that being Multipassionate is my nature, not a defect. I kept trying to find that one passion to which I could dedicate my life. Bosses, mentors, teachers, counselors; all tried to help me with that, to narrow my focus. Even they thought there must be something wrong with me because I couldn’t seem to get a grasp on this. I am not lazy, scatterbrained, ADD. I am Multipassionate.

But one day at church, I was sharing my frustration with a friend, and she turned on the light for me. She sent me to the writings of people such as Emilie Wapnick, and Barbara Sher. We got together with others like us and discussed these issues.

Leonardo DaVinci was Multipassionate. So were many other high achievers in history. As it turns out, so it my daughter, and she’s proud of it. When people chide her for being too busy, for trying to cram too much activity into her life, for having too many interests, she just laughs and says she loves it that way. Overcommitted? No, just Multipassionate.

This site is intended to foster a community where we can share our passions, learn about our identities and encourage one another in the Multipassionate lifestyle. I like to call it the Rainbow Life. Let’s get started.

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