I love the myth of the Jack of All Trades.
Well, not exactly. I love to talk and teach about the myth of the Jack of All Trades Master of None, because I know that it is a myth.
I love to watch what happens when someone realizes that Jack of All Trades is the new superhero — that being multipassionate and multitalented means that you can do incredible things, in large quantities.
It’s time to forget the whole “master of none” idea and start mastering your multiple passions.
What does it take to follow a number of passions and master them?
How can you realize your superpowers as a Jack of All Trades?
First, let me stipulate that to be great, or even very good, at a number of things, you really must be passionate about them.
I’ve got a little story that illustrates this principle.
I once decided to get an MBA in marketing because most of my freelance writing involved marketing and I thought that would be a good way to increase my credibility and my income. It did not, as they say, work out.
Because I am passionate about marketing, but not so passionate about the business school stuff I had to study.
You simply cannot become a master of anything you’re not deeply and passionately interested in.
You might become fairly good at something you have no passion for (I’m a good cook, but I don’t like to cook), but you cannot be a master without practice and passion.
And if you can’t do it in one area without the requisite energy and enthusiasm and excitement, you certainly can’t achieve mastery in more than one area without that kind of passion.
So now the question is, how do you do it? What personality traits and emotional qualities help you master multiple passions, and if you do not currently have those qualities, can you develop them?
I’ve identified four qualities I think are absolutely necessary for becoming a “Master of Most,” and the good news is that I believe most multipassionate people have these traits, or can develop them.
Because, as I said, passion is the most important factor, and you’ve got that or you wouldn’t still be reading.
Here are the other four:
Energy: The main reason most people succeed in no more than one field is the amount of energy it takes to pursue more than one thing at a level of mastery.
However, I have never met a person who had multiple passions and the desire to pursue a lot of projects, who could not summon the energy to do so.
I see a couple of reasons for this.
First, I think the desire to do a lot of things requires a certain amount of energy. If you didn’t have the energy, you would not generate the ideas.
Second, I think a multipassionate person creates energy with the enthusiasm and excitement for all of those projects.
Enthusiasm: The difference between energy and enthusiasm is that energy is the actual physical energy and endurance to move forward and complete the projects.
Enthusiasm is translating your passion into action. Enthusiasm is getting and staying excited about a project, or an area, long enough to get results, while you do the work to get the results. I guess you could call enthusiasm the mental energy.
You may not always have enthusiasm. That’s okay; I sometimes lose mine in the middle of a long project.
But you do have the ability to get enthusiastic and to regain your enthusiasm by remembering your passion.
Persistence may seem like something you don’t have and can’t attain. You will require tenacity to do well in all your pursuits, or at least in many of them.
Successful people are extremely persistent.
The good news is, if you really want something, you will find a way to be persistent, even when you think you’ve had too many failures and setbacks.
In fact, I think persistence is a part of true passion. We may not feel that we have the mindset or the energy to persist in the face of trials, but we do. That’s passion.
Resilience is the ability to adapt and deal with the setbacks, whereas persistence is the courage and energy to keep going.
Persistence is important—you can’t cross the finish line lying on your back in the road—but resilience allows you to do the right things to succeed and not just persist. Resilience involves adapting to the current situation.
Do you have all of these qualities?
I say that you do by nature of being a mulitpassionate person. It’s who we are.
We’re the Jacks of All Trades, and we’re amazing.
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Angie Dixon is a writer, with a focus on personal development and marketing.
She is author of the book The Leonardo Trait: Create the Life You Were Born to Live – “the first user manual for the brain, and the emotions, of profoundly creative, prolifically productive people–the guide your unique brain should have come with.”
Her site: www.TheLeonardoTrait.com
Additions by Douglas Eby, author of the TalentDevelop sites:
Creative people are complex and multitalented. Along with the benefits of many abilities and passions, there are challenges in realizing so many interests.
Creativity researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says, “If there is one word that makes creative people different from others, it is the word complexity. Instead of being an individual, they are a multitude.”
In the video, Emma Watson says, “I want to be a Renaissance woman. I want to paint, and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do everything.”
Viggo Mortensen once commented: “Photography, painting or poetry – those are just extensions of me, how I perceive things, they are my way of communicating.”
In the video, Barbara Sher comments about multitalented, multipassionate people: “One problem I run into with a lot of Scanners is perfectionism.”
See my related article for more quotes and resources: Interested In So Many Things: Creative and Multitalented.
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Entrepreneur Emilie Wapnick writes:
Music, film, web design, law, business, personal development, writing, dance, sexuality, education – all of these are or have been interests of mine. They come and go (and sometimes come again).
I remember being a little kid, not knowing what I would be when I grew up. I wondered the same thing in my teen years, and again in college. Sure, all of my interests would make for wonderful careers – just not on their own.
Would I have to settle on a “practical job” and pursue my various passions on the side or choose among my interests and just commit to one thing?
Both options made me my heart ache… I knew I could be doing more – that I had more to offer the world.
Renaissance Business is the story of how I brought all of my interests together, and how you can do the same.
From article Being A Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur.
Article: Thinking Like Leonardo Da Vinci —
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci.
“We tried to make something much more holistic and simple.” Steve Jobs
Michael Gelb is an expert on creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership…One of his most popular books is “How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day.”