Do you bounce from side project to side project?
Then this is for you.
Are you having a tough time finding your passion?
Is your stickability factor (your ability to persevere) maybe not high enough?
That’s not it.
You’re just fine.
I’m willing to bet that you just happen to be a multipotentialite.
A man or woman of many talents, passions and aspirations.
Multipotentialites come under many names: Renaissance person. Scanner. Polymath.
If you’re not sure, take the test here.
Go on. Do it. I’ll wait.
Take the multipotentialite test.
Now we can get right into the good stuff.
Finding the thread.
The common thread, I mean.
Multipotentialites often have a tough time finding a common theme among the things they do, because they’re often so vastly different.
It’s hard for them to connect the dots.
Today I want to show you how you can find a tool that will help you connect the dots in the future.
It’s not a miraculous fix and it’s not a prescription drug.
Just a trail to follow. A silver lining in the fog. The handrail to move along, hand over hand, because that’s how to find your true calling.
There are 4 steps you must follow.
I can’t hear you…
Step 1: Figure out your preferred learning style
What if I asked you to name one thing that all your hobbies, passions and interests share?
It’s a little hard to see, because it’s so meta, but once you see it, it’s clear:
Even if you’re into gardening for one week, surfing for the next, and coding for the rest of the month, all of these activities require learning.
What makes all multipotentialites rapid learners is that they naturally learn in their preferred style.
You probably have a good grip of how you learn and apply it all the time — subconsciously.
Now it’s time to get it out into the open.
The point is not to find one learning style and forget about the others — we know that science says that doesn’t work.
You’re trying to find a way of learning that’s related to all your passions.
I talked about how you can find your preferred learning style a bit before, but the truth is, all you need is a basic idea and you’ll figure out the rest.
For me, all it took was this quiz from Education Planner. Here are my results:
According to the quiz, I learn mainly by listening to people, followed by visual and tactile (=doing things) learning.
The second I read the result, I knew it was right.
I loooooooooove listening to people. I can watch interviews and talks all day long.
Earlier this year I completed Tai Lopez’ 67 Steps program. It consists of 67 video lessons, which are on average 45 minutes long.
That’s 50 hours (!) of just watching a guy talk and listening to him. I’m obviously one patient dude.
However, I also knew that in order to really internalize what I learn while listening, I have to write it down.
The program had a worksheet for each lesson, which helped a lot. I never looked at them again, but teaching what I learned right away, even if it’s just to a piece of paper, really made a difference.
It got me to think about it enough to decide that I was going to really give writing a shot over the next year.
And that’s all this step is supposed to do.
Give you a format for your creative output.
I highly suggest you take the quiz as well, and start exploring your preferred way of learning.
Click here to take the learning style quiz (it takes less than 5 minutes).
Note: Don’t overthink this. Once you get your result, think about it for a second, then look at all learning styles and go with the one your gut tells you.
In the end, you should have a good idea which of the following activities most suits you:
- Speaking (or singing)
1–2–3, which one is it going to be?
Step 2: Do what you do best — dabble around!
Now that you have an idea of how you’ll form your creative output, it’s time to pick a medium.
You can do this by doing what you do best: dabbling around with different ones!
For example, if you’ve chosen writing as your primary way of learning, there are still hundreds of options for you to communicate what you’ve learned.
You could post all your funny new jokes on Twitter, writing only in 140 character units, create a blog with really long, in-depth guides, or even start a column in a local newspaper.
Speaking isn’t just speaking either. Next to podcasting, audiobooks and other audio-only formats, there’s Youtube, with longer videos, Snapchat and Vine, with short and witty 10-second-gems, Periscope for live broadcasting, and many more.
Give yourself a month and create something really cool on as many platforms as you can.
The only way to find out what you really like doing is to find everything you don’t like and do what’s left.
For example, when I started really focusing on growing my email newsletter, I took a course that suggested a bunch of different strategies.
It taught me a good framework for writing blog posts, but said to write 250 words per day and then publish once a week.
I didn’t like that, because at 1250 words (5 weekdays of writing), my blog posts weren’t even halfway done.
I’m long-winded okay?
What I really wanted to do, was to start guest posting. That strategy came at the very end of the course, but I did it anyway.
Writing with the idea in mind that I can help someone else’s audience was such a great motivation, that I finished an entire blog post in one day, which ended up on a blog with 100,000+ monthly readers.
So I just did more of that.
One of the things I learned during the 67 Steps program is this:
Double down on what works.
However, in order to do that, you first have to find what works.
(If it doesn’t work, try something else.)
This is how the movie Minions became such a success. They took the most popular characters of the previous movies, and gave them their own movie.
There’s one caveat though, when it comes to your passions: You also have to find what works specifically for you.
If you love writing for your own blog, but absolutely despise writing guest posts, because even looking at guest posting guidelines makes you sick, then don’t do it.
It’s not worth it.
(The successful way to a creative career)
Even if you have to take a longer path to get where you want to go, wouldn’t you rather have fun along the way?
So buy a domain, start a Medium account, create a Youtube channel, and start finding out what works!
Note: Being a multipotentialite, I of course didn’t stop at writing. Even though it’s my main focus, and I’ve written well over 200,000 words this year, I still started to create videos, audio, and holding live webinars. Come on, you’re a multipotentialite. ABD — Always Be Dabbling 🙂
Step 3: Revisit your passions and list them
While you’re doing what you do best, how about you do some more of it?
Monkeying around with a ton of different things obviously works for you, so double down…
…and re-visit your passions.
You’ve probably already noticed that you’re moving through your life in circles.
Passions come and go, but they always come back in one form or another.
In this step you should list out 5 of them.
Here are some examples:
The car I learned to drive in was an E46 BMW 3 series. I loved this thing.
I did a driver safety training in it. I drove my friends to the club in the middle of a blizzard, 3 days after my 18th birthday. And I almost crashed it into a gas pump at the gas station once.
(what a gangster)
BMW became the only car brand I like (fine, Ferraris and Lambos are also okay), but throughout my college years it became less and less important, since I was never using a car at the time.
But last year, when I came close to finishing the degree, I thought I’d apply for an internship — and I got it.
I spent 6 months at BMW M, intern-heaven on earth.
(guess which one I DIDN’t drive that day)
Working there was great, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back, but at the end of the internship I decided it was time to start my own thing.
Will I go back? Who knows.
The point is: There’s a season for every single one of your passions. And just like seasons, they come and go.
So pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down previous passions you were following.
Just off the top of my head I can think of 10, and I bet you can too: Cars, Legos, video games, freestyle soccer, card games, coming up with ideas, habits, reading, video editing and marketing psychology.
Create a list of at least 5 of your passions, including current and previous ones.
Step 4: Start documenting the journey
No matter which one you’re chasing right now, just keep track of all of them.
The important part is that you start documenting the journey.
Once you’ve explored a bunch of different media, settle on one for a while, preferably 3 months or more.
Again, what you should commit to is a way of creating, not WHAT to create.
Who says you have to start a blog that only talks about Lego models, or Lil’ Wayne?
Don’t listen to all this “you have to create a niche blog to monetize it with SEO and affiliate marketing” bla bla.
Of course you can do it, and of course it works, but do you really want to talk about hair straighteners for the rest of your life?
I doubt it.
Just create a blog in your own name and talk about everything you do.
Sorry to break it to you, but since you’re a multipotentialite, you’re probably not destined to give the world the next iPhone.
You can however, in Nathan Barry’s words, teach everything you know.
Don’t make your story about one particular thing, make it about you.
Take a look at what I’ve talked about on my blog, for example: How to Google, how to find love on Tinder, to-do lists and recently, how to minimize your wardrobe.
Same with my guest posts: They range all the way from UI and UX design, over blogging, personality types and sleep to writing for a big publication.
The world keeps telling you a lie, until you tell it to yourself: “I can’t blog about X today and about Y tomorrow.”
Yes. You. Can!
Stop believing the hype and instead start documenting your own journey.
We wanna know about every crazy turn it takes.
“I don’t know what I should focus on” is just another excuse to not get started.
Recap — how to find your true calling in 4 steps
I don’t know how the dots will connect. But I know these 4 steps are how to find your true calling:
Step 1: Get an idea of what learning style you prefer over others and pick a way of creating.
Step 2: Play around with different media to see which one you like most right now.
Step 3: List out 5 of your current and previous passions.
Step 4: Start creating your story, document it and teach everything you know.
As long as you keep experimenting, the only habit you really need to be successful is the habit of creating.
Keep sharing your journey and making it helpful to others.