We can’t talk about purpose without addressing being multi-passionate.
Many struggle to live their purpose because we’re taught that we have to choose one thing to be when we grow up.
But the truth is, not all of us are wired for a singular path. Even within the grouping of multi-passionate people, there are different variations of how we operate.
Simply put, multi-passionate people have multiple passions in life.
For some, those passions are related and, for others, they appear to be all over the place. I use the word “appear” very intentionally here because it’s easy for people to assume that a multi-passionate person is flighty or flakey, bouncing from one thing to another without any sense of direction. Sometimes that’s true, but only because they haven’t been taught how to harness this incredible gift.
And being multi-passionate is a huge gift.
It can feel more like a burden when we’re trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up and our only examples of that are doctors, teachers, lawyers, and others who chose one life path and committed until they retired. But that’s because society doesn’t tend to celebrate a multi-passionate person unless they achieve a certain level of success and make specific contributions to the world.
If you’re struggling to live your purpose because you think it should be one specific thing, the first step is owning your multi-passionate way of being.
It’s not something you can turn off, so instead, embrace it.
Here are some key things to understand about being multi-passionate:
First, some things are for work, and some things are just for you.
I’m incredibly multi-passionate and fortunate that many of my interests fit well into my brand and body of work. But not all of them do. I love learning about nutrition and fitness, and healthy living is insanely important to me. But you’ll probably never see me talking about food, nutrition, or exercise in my business (except if I’m sharing what I’m up to or prompting a client to look into these things for themselves). I won’t release a cookbook, and I’m not going to teach workout classes.
Fitness and nutrition are for me. I’m not motivated to incorporate them into my work, but they’re equally as important to me, so I prioritize them in a way that makes sense for my life. This is critical to understand as a multi-passionate person.
Some things are just for you.
Only you can discern what’s for you and what’s meant to be a part of your work. And remember, just because it’s not a part of your work and doesn’t generate income, that doesn’t mean it’s not important or shouldn’t be prioritized. Quite the opposite! We need to feed all our passions to stay happy and healthy.
Second, sometimes you’ll find a core theme, and sometimes you won’t.
The passions that are meant for our work can go one of two ways.
There are a lot of multi-passionate individuals out in the world fitting their passions under one umbrella, whether that’s a multifaceted role in a company or a business that’s as unique as they are. Sometimes you just need someone outside of you (like a coach) to help you see the forest for the trees. Meaning, someone who can listen to all your seemingly unrelated passions, skills, and interests and help you find that overarching theme that brings them together in a really fun and fulfilling way. This is something I’ve been doing with clients for over a decade!
All that said, not everyone’s passions will fit under one umbrella, and that’s okay too. When that’s the case, it’s about figuring out a path that allows you to touch on all your passions while making money and without splaying yourself too thin.
Third, in addition to having multiple passions, you also have a unique rhythm to your interests and how you flow through them.
Every multi-passionate person has their own rhythm and cycle, and it’s imperative to know yours and follow it. Some people are into a passion for months to years, and then they’re done with it. This might look like reaching mastery on a certain subject and then changing professions, or it can look like growing different businesses to a certain point and then selling them before moving on to the next.
Some people like to touch on multiple passions throughout each day, week, or month. Personally, I like to touch on my passions throughout the month. That looks like writing almost every day, making art, reading, working on different projects or facets of my business, and learning new things. I like to be engaged in my interests as frequently as possible, but not necessarily every day.
Others cycle through different passions over seasons. That might look like teaching during the school year and leading adventure trips in the summer. It could be spending the colder months indoors coding new software and warmer months at conferences and networking. Sometimes it’s just about spending a few months on one thing, followed by a few on something else.
None of these are better than others; it’s just about figuring out the way you like to flow and honoring that as best you can.
You won’t be happy if you try to find a singular “normal” path.
Stop shaming yourself for “bouncing” between things if that’s what you think you do, and take the time to understand your passions and learn your unique rhythm.
People who aren’t multi-passionate won’t understand this, and they’ll even go so far as to make it wrong. Don’t involve those people in this part of the process as you try to figure out what’s right for you. Instead, surround yourself with more multi-passionate people! There are a lot of us making magic happen in the world.