HOW TO OVERCOME THE STRUGGLE OF BEING MULTI-PASSIONATE

Are you that person who does many different unrelated things and you are criticized for not being focused on one?

Do you feel lost when people you know have a particular thing they are pursuing, while you juggle different hats without a possibility of finding a job title that contains all your passions?

You are multi-passionate.

It is alright to change your mind every now and then. Don’t beat yourself up for going in different directions; be open to trying new things.

If you embrace it, you will find new systems to help you do all things you are interested in, while remaining focused and productive.

A multi-passionate individual is a person who has various passions and often finds answering the question, “what do you want to become in the future (or when you grow up)” difficult as they feel they have to settle down to one thing only. Such an individual is also known as a renaissance person, multi-potentiality, polymath, or scanner.

In today’s business environment, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferris, and Richard Branson are good examples of multi-passionate people.

Other historical examples include Maya Angelou, Aristotle, and Sir Isaac Newton among others.

Wondering how to be okay with being multi-passionate? Here are the steps to take:

1. Accept who, and where you are

As with some many other things in life, you have to accept who you are, then devise a strategy or strategies that will help you through the journey.

Speaking about his own journey of finding self, Nick Maccarone observed that by not limiting himself or attempting to dupe his heart into some “conventional path it knew better than to follow” he allowed himself to “take a little bit from each experience and lean into the intricacies of my being”.

“I am not defined by one thing or by anything,” He wrote on Medium“I follow where my heart and curiosity beg me to consider. I pursue each path as wholly as I can while not exhausting the possibility of doing the same for another.” he continued.

Clarity comes from engagement, not thought. - @marieforleo Click To Tweet

2. Keep a record of all your ideas

Often, an idea will pop in your mind and sometimes it feels like the calling that you have been waiting for. However, it changes and you are back to the drawing board.

Without a doubt, it will be difficult to be knee-deep in one project for too long. As such, keep a record of all interests and ideas that come up.

In addition to writing, reviewing the ideas is also important. Assign yourself time to go through the ideas to track what you have tried, and what you will try in the future.

Keep a small book with you to write random thoughts. Establish a day in a week or month when you can sit down to review them.

Stephanie Medford an artist, designer, writer, and traveler notes that she keeps a ‘for later’ list of books she wants to read in the future.

On the rare occasion when I have nothing to read, I turn to that list,” she adds in her article called ‘the joys of being multi-passionate’.

The best way to go about unveiling your ideas is by acting on them. Pick something on the list, anything- and jump right into it. Click To Tweet

3. Act on decisions, don’t just think about them

When uncertain about an idea, don’t wait until when the choices seem clearer in your mind.”Clarity comes from engagement, not thought,” says Marie Forleo, an entrepreneur, writer, and philanthropist.

The best way to go about unveiling your ideas is by acting on them. Pick something on the list, anything- and jump right into it.

It is by doing that you discover if the idea is something you want to put your energy into or move to the next thing.

All in all, you don’t have to feel bad for not having one specific passion that you follow.

Franchesca Ramsey, an artist, comedian, activist, TV and YouTube personality and actress advises other renaissance people to keep a calendar. Additionally, she tries to stick to the schedule and also keeps a personal day to explore things that she was not able to do during that week or work on personal projects.

“My team knows that if it is on the calendar, that’s the time that is blocked off.”

“You kinda have to set those boundaries for yourself,” she adds.

Below is a link to the 31-minute interview Ms. Franchesca did a while back to help you get started and re-discover yourself as a multi-passionate individual.


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10 steps to making better, boss-like decisions

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This 10-step-process for high level decision-making was presented by Professor Simon Gifford of the IE School of Business. Gifford is a lecturer, entrepreneur, and experienced consultant.

Gifford spoke to the women of SheHive Accra 2016 about using this 10-step-process to make better business decisions, just like the senior executives he coaches.

1. Recognize that there is a decision to be made

Often times, we are presented with a decision but do not realize it. Acknowledging that a decision must be made is a crucial step in running a successful business. Then ask, is this an operational or strategic decision?

An operational decision is one that is made often and about the day-to-day of your business. Strategic decisions are one off, long term decisions that can change the course of your business.  If the decision is operational, this level of decision-making processing is not necessary. But if it strategic, then follow along.

2. Frame the problem

Sometimes, the real question is at higher or lower level than the immediate concern you are faced with. But knowing this requires introspection. We may believe that the problem is one thing when it is actually another.

To make the right decisions, ask the right questions and be aware of your capabilities and resources.

3. Define your objectives

What are you trying to achieve by making the decision? For example, are you aiming at being more profitable, increasing your market share (they are both related but may not the same), or increasing exposure?

Which of these objectives are related and may overlap? The questions and decisions they pose are different. Be sure to identify your objectives.

4. Understand your context

In other words, situational appraisal: understand what’s happening in the market now.

Where does your industry stand? Where is the global market going? What do think will happen to your industry or market in the future?

5. Evaluate the situation

Though similar to step 4, this scenario analysis is at a firm or business level. Take the business out of its current context and understand the situation you face in a future context.

What market or external forces affect your decision? What issues in your work capacity, resources, or operations affect the decisions that you will make?

Professor Simon Gifford
Professor Simon Gifford with SheHive Accra 2016 Participants

6. Generate some options

What possible decisions you can make? Most times, companies look at it from binary perspective – we either do or don’t do something.

Create a list of responses or options to the issue you’re facing, breaking them down to a small, manageable list. Role play the options through the scenarios you outlined in steps 4 and 5.

7. Option evaluation

Take all your options and evaluate them against the objectives. You may have set more than one objectives. So weigh your objectives.

How does each decision fair against each objective? Which options holds the highest tally for the objectives you care about?

8. Make a decision

Choose the option that fares best against your option, then perform a risk analysis. Do this narration: you implement that option and things go horribly wrong – what could have been wrong? Can you stand the outcome of the worst case scenario?

Make recommendations and negotiate with your key stakeholders. Then decide and commit. (In this step, you should discuss how you will break ties as well).

9. Implement your decision

At this stage get the people involved in the implementation of the option into the decision making process.

Considerations about these stakeholders should have been made in step 1 but at this point, bring them in to discuss the decision, how it was made, and considerations of best and worst case scenario.

10. Evaluate your decision

There should be continuity between the evaluation and implementation steps so that changes can be made.

Profession Gifford concluded by stressing the important of due diligence and process in high level decision making. While this 10-step-process can be easily laid out, enrolling this process in real time takes a lot of effort and resources.

But, the rewards to making well thought out decisions is tremendous on the business, organizational, and personal level.