Creativity, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Development, Perspective

Are you a multipotentialite?

It seems to me that the world has become more and more the domain of experts or specialists. Digging deep, learning everything there is to know about one subject seems to be the ideal. But what about those who don’t really want to dig so deep that so as to become one of “the” experts in only one field or domain, but rather enjoy learning a lot about many subjects? What about multipotentialites?

A multipotentialite is multi-disciplinary; someone who has many interests and pursuits in life. S/he is able to learn new skills and grasp new concepts quickly and at a level deeper than many others, but not necessarily at expert level. Multipotenialites flourish best when learning new ideas, exploring new fields and mastering new skills and concepts.

So, what do multipotentialites do really well? Here are a few ideas, stolen and adapted from Emily Wrapnick’s website, Puttylike.

  1. Do many things well – By this I mean better than average, but maybe not at the same level as those who are experts in only one
  2. Idea synthesis – Multipotentialites are able to combine two or more fields/domains and create something new at the intersections. Innovation happens at the intersections.
  3. Get the big picture – Or if not “the” big picture at least a bigger picture than thiose who are deep experts
  4. Rapid learning – Multipotenialites are used to being beginners and have, therefore, the ability to learn new concepts quickly and well. Many skills are transferable across disciplines.
  5. Adaptability – They have the ability to morph into whatever is needed at any given time.
  6. Insatiable curiosity – Multipotentialites love learnig about new things.
  7. Excellent “translation” skills – Because they are adept at a number of different fields or domains, multipotentialites are able to communicate with experts from those respective domains and help diverse experts understand one another.

The world is filled with complex, multi-dimensional problems. Experts are often the ones called upon to offer solutions for these problems, but perhaps experts aren’t the best suited people to do this, at least not alone. Multipotentialites, perhaps working alongside experts, could offer insights and cross-domain ideas that could beneficial in the task of solving some of our most pressing challenges.

Something to think about :-).


This blog post is inspired by a Ted talk by Emily Wrapnick and her website, Puttylike. Check both out here:

Ted Talk –

Puttylike –



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