Being Multi-Passionate Without Losing Focus
In my most recent TEDx (coming soon – watch this space) I talked about how I used to believe that my many passions were a bad thing.
I shared how as a medical student I struggled with being labelled a ‘dilettante’, and responded by throwing myself into medical school – not that I had much choice once my clinic hours were up to 100 per week! But the real point here is that it took some self love and acceptance for me to embrace my other passions again, without feeling guilty about not having a singular focus.
I think this is actually quite a common problem. So last week I went live on Facebook to talk about this, and I invited my friend and colleague, Bruce Cryer, to join me and share his thoughts on this.
Bruce told us how his team members from his time at HeartMath were in a band together, which satisfied their need for musical creativity and performance. They were of course all deeply passionate about their work with HeartMath, but thrived on that variety and musical expression.
I’ve noticed in my Lightworker community that some people worry about having more than one interest or business niche, and what that should mean for their branding. They wonder if they need a separate brand for each interest; or if they can bring their multiple passions together under one ‘umbrella’ brand.
One of our Make Your Mark Global authors, Shelley Thomas, shared her feelings during the Facebook live about being restricted this way in business. She said that even niching herself felt painfully disingenuous and incomplete at times. That’s something I really resonate with as a multi-passionate person. When I first started out as an Entrepreneur, I felt I needed to be more focussed, but at the same time, excluding my other interests felt unnatural.
Even later on in my career, once I had branched out to other interests in my working life, AND I had made the time in my days for creativity – I was still unsure if I could or ‘should’ share my musical side. I suppressed and hid this part of me for years, believing that it wasn’t as important as my medical career, or later my TV career.
But when I finally admitted that I had multiple interests, I did so embracing who I really was! I had to stop flinching at the judgemental comments of others. I had to stop caring if people wanted to call me a dilettante or label me with ADD. I needed to own my multi-potentialite, renaissance human identity.
So HOW did I learn to embrace it all without losing focus?
Well, it sounds overly simple, but here’s the thing. Suppressing my true self was taking an awful lot of my energy. When I stopped fighting myself, suddenly doing what I was meant to do felt really natural. So the focus came when I was happy and excited about life, doing things my way.
Sure, you might need to bring in a little bit of discipline. Bruce talked about scheduling in his singing, his meditation and journalling, to make sure he stays on track. This might work for you too! But in short, I’d say it’s about not wasting energy, fighting who you are, and instead finding the best way to work WITH yourself.