Another trait of gifted adults is a strong drive for self-improvement and the need to understand themselves better. This process inevitably leads individuals to those ah-ha moments when they are able to find peace with some of their gifted traits. Below is an excerpt from a letter written as a cathartic exercise by a man as he came to terms with his own multipotentiality, and the impact it has had on his life and on those around him.
Looking back on the events of my life and the zig-zagging course of interests that comprise my experience . . . I can say I am proud I didn’t let parental, peer or organizational pressure force me into doing only one thing. Knowing myself, as I do now, I would have died inside, and become very bitter about my life, had I succumb to that pressure.
Our present society seems increasingly intolerant of the renaissance mentality that accompanies multipotentiality. All I can say to that societal pressure is, “It will only be me, at the end, who will determine the worth of my life. Any regrets, or peace-of-mind, associated with my experience will be mine to judge.”
By the age of 40 I had matured enough to observe my behavior objectively. I was fortunate, in that I allowed myself the time to pursue the self-analysis. I treated it like any other area of interest that caught my attention. My entire life has been a non-stop series of hobbies. When I choose to experience something, it has never been enough to just perform the processes associated with the “thing” being experienced. Once I have figured it out, I am rarely interested in continuing the activity.
When I approach a new interest, my focus is intense. This intensity can, at times, demand the exclusion of any other normal activity . . . eating, bathing, sleeping, etc. This insatiable curiosity takes no effort on my part to generate, it is as natural as breathing. This behavior can be hard on those around me, who persist in caring about and loving me. If “understanding” were a substance, if understanding the nature of a “thing” could be condensed into a drug, then I would be correctly described as an “Understanding Addict”.
It was not until recently I found there are labels for people like me, “Multipotentiality”, “Scanner”, “Renaissance Man”, etc. I have not run into many individuals having these traits, but it is comforting to know there are enough of us that someone has bothered to put a label on us!
No matter your age, if you see something of yourself in what I’ve described above, I implore to be strong. Don’t cave in to pressure to be “normal”. I have lived many lives in the past 59.5 years and don’t regret any of the experience associated with them.
Take the time to understand yourself and the courage to be yourself. Be proud to embrace the world with the knowledge that doing one thing for the rest of your life is not an option for you… live it all if you can, explore every last nook and cranny because it needs to be experienced and understood by you.