When You’re Multi-passionate and Multi-capable
I work with individuals with high intellectual intelligence.
When I visualize intelligence, I see a brain with an extreme amount of neural connections that fire rapidly and can easily form more connections.
Individuals with high intelligence typically learn quickly, think deeply, and possess a keen awareness of the world around them.
They are interested in many things and are therefore multi-passionate.
Due to their ability to learn quickly, they are multi-capable and can study and pursue almost anything they want.
Most people consider this to be a gift.
For “gifted” individuals, it can feel like a curse when combined with being multi-passionate.
Since they can pursue anything they want and the list of things they are interested in is endless, it quickly becomes paralyzing to know WHAT to choose.
Our culture places a lot of weight on picking one thing when it comes to educational and career paths. We are encouraged to pick one major and one career.
For the multi-passionate and multi-capable, narrowing a vast amount of options down to one can feel overwhelming. Furthermore, it can feel painful to eliminate interests.
Highly intelligent people also have a strong sense of justice. They often feel they must use their intelligence and contribute to the world. This further complicates selecting career paths, as they debate which option would enable them to have the most impact on the world.
If you identify as multi-passionate and multi-capable, one of the most helpful things you can do is to accept that your brain is different.
I spent many years thinking there was something “wrong” with me because I wanted to pursue writing, law, medicine, and art.
I felt ashamed that my “problem” of figuring how to “live up to my potential” was inconsequential when compared to people with “real problems,” such as poverty and sickness.
Does the problem of being multi-passionate and multi-capable come from a place of privilege (i.e. having a high level of intelligence)? Absolutely.
However, that does not negate its impact. Or make it any less real for the person living it.
If you are someone with high intelligence, you will face different challenges. Shaming yourself for those challenges only makes it worse.
Once you let go of how you wish you could be (someone who could know your one true path and make a massive contribution in it), and accept how you are (someone who is multi-passionate and multi-capable), you can make choices that align with who you are.
For starters, you can remove the pressure that there is one career track for you and you must find it now. More likely, your career will be fluid throughout your life, as you combine and explore different interests.
Once you embrace this, you can evaluate your options in the present and make a choice for now.
You can also know that you can try out the career field and switch if need be. The upside to being multi-capable is that you can handle career shifts.
After I graduated college, I thought I wanted to go to medical school. So I completed a one-year program in which I took all of the science prerequisites, combined with shadowing various fields within the medical field. That year showed me I did not want to be a doctor.
My time spent preparing for medical school provided me with valuable information. It let me know I really wanted a job that helped me address the problems of the soul.
If you don’t know what you should pursue, simply making a choice and trying it out can be extremely helpful.
Another way you can work with your multi-passionate mind is to let yourself be interested in many things.
For example, if you’re in college, you can have multiple majors or minors. You can also find programs or colleges that let you design your own major and integrate multiple fields.
When looking at careers, you can look for jobs that allow you to combine your passions. One of the biggest draws to me about art therapy was that it combined my passion for art, science, psychology, and helping people.
You can also consider creating your own business. Being an entrepreneur requires you to wear many hats (finances, marketing, etc.), which can be very intellectually stimulating. You will also then have the flexibility to make business changes as you evolve.
As an art therapist in private practice, I’ve been able to restructure my business and shift my client population over time. This allows me to continue evolving with my passions and expand my capabilities.
As a multi-passionate and mult-capable person, you do not have to have it all figured out now. You can embrace that it is difficult to discern the “right thing” for your entire life, and select what works best for right now.
I provide therapy for highly intelligent individuals
with overwhelming thoughts and emotions.