If you’re a multipassionate or scanner personality, your life motto could be “not enough minutes in a day.” I know, I’m one, too!
It can be incredibly challenging to try and find the time for your varying and changing passions and still find something to focus on to, for example, earn your living with.
Your mission today is to learn how to choose which passion to focus on.
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Task 1: Income or not?
There is this false belief in our society that to pursue your passion, you need to make it your income. It’s closely related to the belief that a passion can’t be a priority unless you’re highly talented and/or proficient. Let’s unpack this.
I define a passion as something which lights you up. That’s it! Not something you’re a prodigy in, have done for a long time, and/or are particularly good at.
If you do have a passion you’d like to turn into your income, go for it! Just remember – especially if you’re a multipassionate – there’s no need to make money with all your passions. Just pick one. The rest can still be a priority, but they don’t all have to be your income.
Task 2: How to choose and prioritise
How do you choose the passion that should become your income? And if you don’t wish to make money with it, how to you pick the passion(s) to focus on at this moment? Here are a few approaches:
- Write down all your current passions. Highlight the ones you’ve had for most of your life or at least 10 years.
- Find “themes” among your passions, such as study/academic, sports, helping others etc.
- As a multipassionate, whatever “buzzes” for you the most at any given time, is your priority. Focus on it, and trust that when you lose interest, you’ll have learned what you needed to learn.
- When you make your passion your business, pick one that matches a theme which has been present all your life.
I used to have a habit of working on my business and then getting sidetracked by some series or other on Netflix. If it was about something I’m interested in, I justified it by saying I was just pursuing my passion. And then I spent every free minute watching episodes and hardly worked on my business at all.
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The active/passive nature of passions
You see, a lot of passions have an active and a passive side. For examples, if you’re a writer you need to read a lot of books, but you also need to get practice writing – a lot. If you’re a painter, you need to look at others’ art but also produce your own.
All of this takes time. The problem especially with multipassionates is that they’re likely to be passionate about at least two or three of these, resulting in a passive-consumption fest like my own Netflix sprees.
The power of focus
Yes, you can honour your multiple passions but you also need to focus. It’s just too easy to get sidetracked, and ten times easier for a multipassionate.
This process is the remedy:
- Pick two or three passions at a time, to focus on.
- Breathe – it doesn’t mean your other passions are off the table, just temporarily on hold.
- Make sure to keep a balance between active and passive work on your passions.
- Keep distractions at a minimum (such as your Netflix subscription or Social Media).
You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done! None of this is set in stone, by the way – you can review and revise at any time, which passions to focus on.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where…”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
A friend posted this except from “Alice in Wonderland” on Facebook, of all places, and when I saw it, it hit me like a brick. You see, I’ve always struggled to explain to Coaching clients, friends, and acquaintances why goal setting is so very important. People tend to yawn and roll their eyes at me, the “self-improvement nerd”.
Sure, there have been studies which found that the 2% of people who have written goals are the ones who reach their goals, but hey, there are so many studies about so many things… It’s easy to simply dismiss it and continue as before. What I love about the example from “Alice” is that it’s so wonderfully graphic. It speaks to your mind and your imagination alike.
In a way, having no goals is like turning up at the train station and asking for “50 miles straight ahead” at the tickets counter. It just doesn’t work that way. If you don’t know your destination, or if you are unclear about it, you won’t make any progress as there simply are no tickets to “somewhere in the North of the country”.
Life, of course, always moves ahead and changes. We get older, we experience things, every day passes and becomes irretrievable the next morning. In other words, we are on a moving train anyway, but in order to get on a train of our own choosing, we must be clear on our destination.
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