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Embracing My Multipotentiality (But Wanting A Better Name.)

More than a few people have mentioned that the Whole Mark is a pretty complex soup of skills, interests and outright passions. And this website is only the tip of the iceberg, if I'm honest.

I used to apologize for my scatteredness. My Baker-writer-coachness. My traveller-teacher-speakerosity. My unfocused personal-local-global-intergalactic social causes.

I'm not apologizing any more, because I've found others like me. Emilie calls us Multipotentialites. Barbara calls us Scanners. Both put folks like me in the same league as Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin.

And seriously, who doesn't want to be aligned with Leonardo da Vinci?

It turns out that this whole specialist movement is a fairly recent phenomenon. Amateur artists, inventors, explorers and scientists were making all the cool stuff up until factories started needing specialized cogs to run the machines.

(Now, almost all of the enlightened amateurs were independently wealthy. I'm still working on that bit.)

I used to feel bad that I could get pretty darn good at lots of things, but never stuck with it long enough to be a master, guru or expert. I'd have a great time for 3-5 years, get good enough that I'd teach other people what I knew, then move on. From computer programming, to management, to marketing, to bread baking to podcasting and on and on it goes.

I've always admired the masters of the fields I've been in. Marvelled at their skills and the dedication required to achieve mastery. But I never wanted to commit all the way, which made me feel, well, flaky.

Both Barbara and Emilie have realized that we're not actually unfocused and lazy. Our brains are just wired differently than the fellow who learns one thing and completely masters it.

Our satisfaction is in the initial learning. Figuring things out enough that we can explain it to others, then moving on to another fascinating topic. And there are always lots of fascinating topics. Hurray!

They've also worked hard to find the others. Barbara through her writing and Emilie via her talks and her online community. They are connecting us together so we can feel more comfortable with who we are and how we work. This is awesome.

But holy dinah, I hate the labels. Multipotentialites? It doesn't roll off my tongue, that's for sure. And Scanners reminds me too much of manic flipping dials on the TV or the radio. Neither is soothing to my ear. Nor are the labels worthy of Aristotle, Leonardo or Franklin.

So I hereby offer up a new term for your consideration. The Curious Explorers. Explorers for short.

We're the people who are always fascinated by the world around us. The ones who watch TV with a tablet beside us to search Wikipedia for more details on what we are watching.

We're also the folks who look as deeply inward as outward, trying to understand why we feel that way or what exactly excites us about knitting or the snowshoe hare or photosynthesis.

Expect a line of luxury Explorer notebooks in the not too distant future. I've always wanted to start a designer label.