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Garima Gupta
4 May 2017 . 6 min read

Multipotentialite Emilie Asks Us To Embrace Our Scattered Pursuits And Interests


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“Not all of us have one true calling, so embrace your inner wiring. Because the world need multipotentialites!” says Emilie Wapnick in her famous TED Talk that has been viewed over 3.6 million times, and has been translated into 36 languages.

Donning multiple hats, Emilie Wapnick swiftly transitions between being a writer, a career coach, a blogger, and a community leader.

She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike.com, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives.

Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She’s been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Financial Times, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Lifehacker.

After writing this post on her phenomenal TEDTalk, we at SHEROES caught up with this talented multipotentialite on her life, Puttylike and her new book How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up, which comes out with HarperCollins in May 2017.

“I’ve known for a long time that I had a lot of different passions and curiosities, but I always saw it as a bad thing. I worried that I would never be able to settle on one field or job for the rest of my life and this caused me a lot of anxiety. It was in my mid-twenties when I started thinking about how much richer my life was from having a background in everything from music to design to law. I decided that, instead of fighting this impulse to explore multiple domains, I was going to embrace it and find a way to make it work, practically speaking.

Puttylike was a calling to quench my multipotential cravings

There aren’t many resources out there for multipotentialites (most of us don’t even know we’re multipotentialites, we just think there’s something wrong with us). I wanted to share what I was learning and help other people build sustainable lives and careers around their many passions. I saw Puttylike as a way to explore the unique challenges that multipotentialites face, and to provide helpful advice and a space for collaboration and connection within our community.

“You don’t have to choose one thing to be about. If you have many passions and interests, you can find ways of integrating them into your life.”

Multipotentialites she admire and we all can take cue from

James Franco is best known for being an actor, but he’s also a painter, sculptor, poet, filmmaker, and teacher. I love how unapologetic he is about working in multiple mediums. He just pursues work that feels meaningful and doesn’t worry if it will surprise or confuse people.

Charles and Ray Eames were a husband-wife team who made significant contributions to modern architecture and furniture. They also worked in industrial and graphic design, fine arts, and film. The way they built this creative/collaborative life together is infinitely inspiring to me.

How to Be Everything,  a practical guide for building sustainable lives for multipotentialites

I wrote How to Be Everything because I wanted to create a practical guide to help multipotentialites build fruitful and sustainable lives and careers around ALL of their passions.

As I was writing it, I interviewed and surveyed hundreds of successful multipotentialites to try to understand how they made a living. I learned so many interesting things, and pulled out some key lessons, advice, and exercises to help readers figure this out for themselves.

There just aren’t very many lifestyle or career books aimed at people who don’t want to just be one thing, so many of us feel really lost. Hopefully my book can help here.”

“Follow your curiosity, surround yourself with other people who are pursuing big dreams, and don’t be afraid to do your own thing.”

When you are putting yourself out

At first, it was a little scary putting myself out there. I share a lot of personal things on the blog and talk about my life a lot. It was a big adjustment. Over time, as the members of the Puttylike community showed themselves to be kind, thoughtful and fun, I began to relax a little and I even became close friends with several of them.

Creativity matters to me. I believe that creativity happens when two unrelated ideas combine to form something new. It’s how social change and progress come about. I also care deeply about relationships and empathy. We do so much better as a society when we take the time to imagine what other people’s lives are like.

 


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Garima Gupta
A budding engineer and a dancer at heart, driven by the zeal to make a dent in the world.

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Responses

  • M*****
    This reads like good news and more good news.I have always felt this pressure to do what I am trained in rather than be ''scattered '' and explore the interests that give me joy.Thanks for helping us believe we can do it all.
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