emilie‘What are you going to be when you grow up?’ A question that is asked of us from as early as 3…I don’t know about you but I still can’t answer it simply or succinctly. Why? The question demands a singular answer rather than multiple responses.

According to Emilie Wapnick, our culture expects us to pick one thing, to specialise to be successful.  But there are a group of people who don’t fit this. Some people want to be and do lots of things. Their curiosity is such that they explore, reach a certain proficiency and then move on to another area that fascinates them. You maybe thinking ‘Jack of all trades- master of none’ but this is a cultural construct too!

There are many people who do more than one thing but who are just not celebrated by the mainstream. These people are the ‘Multipotentialites’.

Rather than looking upon these people as having a lack of focus or purpose they actually have ‘super powers’- many of which relate to creativity.

The the 3 super powers are: idea synthesis, super fast learning skills and adaptability.

Idea synthesis because they take what they’ve learned from one area and apply it to the next thus creating new synergies or interconnections.


Adaptability because they can move from one field to another and thrive. Adaptability is one of the top skills identified by Fast Company magazine for the 21st century.

Wapnick proposes that the combination of a specialist and multipotentialite is a powerful one.

So if you are secretly passionate about more than one area- celebrate yourself and your super powers- the new world needs you!

I shall start: I love the training and consultancy work here at The Creative Thinking Company, I also love hiding away in my studio painting, I also like to share this passion with others and help them access their artist self and experience a sense of freedom and creativity. I also want to use my skills to make a social impact and lift women out of poverty hence my social enterprise Shift Makers.

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Whilst many of these are creative intersections anther is the Art and Leadership programme I recently launched.

Wapnick’s talk has helped me understand why I have a desire to do so many things and know that its okay- actually more than okay-  I have super powers!

Dare you declare yours?  What else do you want to be when you grow up?

Watch the Ted talk that inspired this post here.