The Most Damaging Thing an Adult can do to a Dreamer
I always thought there was something wrong with me.
Each year somebody would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up and every year it was different. Typically my choice was deemed ‘unrealistic’ and my parents or teachers would encourage me to pick something else.
So my inclination to pursue the multiple interests that intrigued me and formed my passions receded.
I didn’t feel normal and the criticism at a young age blunted my enthusiasm. I settled on something instead of allowing my wide-eye’d-wonder, my expansive feelings and creative mind to soar. My growth was stunted — in order to fit in.
“I want to be an Architect.”
Mission accomplished — no more question or strange looks. Acceptance and contentment achieved. Now I must tailor my experiences and skills to enable my pursuit of my new, more worthy goal.
One problem, I hated it.
Almost immediately I was bored and desperate to escape from the tedium of one subject.
I was the first person in my direct family to go to university so just getting there was seen as an achievement. I came from a relatively poor school in one of the UK’s most affluent regions and by way of career advice there was nothing to rely on.
I didn’t even know what I didn’t know and this prevented me from being able to pursue the things in which my passion lay.
The biggest problem with the ‘pick a path’ approach isn’t that you have to define what you will pursue at an early age. It’s that you don’t even know all the paths available for you to pick.
That’s the problem with specialization too early.
Nobody had ever taught me about what a Venture Capitalist was, or a Management Consultant or an Investment Banker. The difference in classes isn’t nepotism in the traditional sense — it’s the availability of knowledge which certain sections of society have of opportunities that are available.
Polymath, Renaissance Man/Woman, Multipotentialite — whatever you want to call it, it means the same thing. It is what I’ve always been but was too scared to encourage my eclecticism to flourish.
Why as a people, do we not encourage this wide mind scope in everyone who show an interest in a multitude of things? Instead, we let those people flounder in doubt with thoughts about a lack of self-worth.
There are 3 huge benefits to multipotentialites which are often overlooked:
- Idea synthesis —
Combining two or more fields and creating something new at the intersection. The cross pollination of ideas, skills and experiences enables to birth of entirely new ways of thinking.
- Rapid learning —
Multipotentialites are used to being beginners and are less scared about trying new things. They recover quickly from failure and learn the lessons it teaches. They develop paterns and behaviours which enable them to master things quickly while almost every skill acquired is transferable enabling the pursuit of future opportunities more efficiently.
The ability to morph into whatever you want to be is the single most important skill to thrive in 21st century. Multipotentialites adapt and thrive through understanding. They are able to break down problems they don’t understand, see the element of things they have done within it, and pull it back together again.
Which all speaks of fresh opportunity. The combination of multipotentialites with specialists which leads to results which neither could achieve on their own.
Or an entirely new future where the value of them is finally realised on their own with the ‘assistance’ of something else.
SatNav is what will happen to all professions — humans still operate the car but navigation to a destination is made significantly more efficient through technological assist.
People get there quicker and easier and can focus on driving instead of thinking about where to go.
What does SatNav for Doctors or Lawyers look like? It would be idiotic to not utilize tech which gives access to the sum of all human knowledge.
Realistically, this will save lives by enabling the expert to focus on the problem at hand, dealing with the person.
The typical assumption made currently is that tech will replace human operatives.
The contrarian truth is simpler — humans will become better when augmented by tech which will enable them to stay one step ahead of full automation.
What is more likely is fewer people doing the same amount of work, more efficiently and effectively due to tech assist. This will be done more safely and save lives.
The question it also asks is this: If the ‘SatNav’ is doing the heavy lifting, do you need subject specialists acting as the human to human interface, or would a multipotentialite be more effective in understanding all the problems at hand?
The New Birth
We could give birth to a more efficient ‘proffesional’ who may not be qualified in the field they are working in, but who are able to offer a higher quality service which is more accurate and safer due to the technological assist.