Why Not?

Why not try it?I just finished reading Undeclared for Life from Emilie Wapnick at Puttylike.Puttylike is all about multipotentialites, and the unique problems they face when interacting with the world.  Similar to a polymath, renaissance man, or dilettante, multipotentialites are rarely happy doing one thing for long periods of time. They thrive on different activities and get bored when it’s the same every day. Back in the Renaissance days that meant pursuing many different types of activities in many different areas like art, knowledge and learning, music and physical activity. Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with being one of of the most famous but there are many others. His contributions to science and art give you an idea of the breadth of activities he regularly participated in.When I think of pursuing the standard western tradition of going to school and then dragging through one single career path till retirement I get dizzy and go cross-eyed. I just can’t see myself doing that (maybe if I wasn’t cross-eyed). With an infinite number of incredible things to do in the world why would you want to limit yourself to working and watching TV? I can’t fathom it.While I can’t compare myself to Da Vinci, I think I regularly do a few more things than most people. Here’s a bit of a list of what’s been going on recently.My ActivitiesI regularly use the 2 monitors on my desk to code web applications, write blog posts and articles for my 3 websites, edit the photos and video footage I’ve taken.Right beside me sit 3 cameras, a waterproof helmet cam for action shots, a small point and shoot for the fast and light adventures I do in the backcountry and a digital SLR for more time-consuming but better quality photography that I’ve recently started to get into.To the other side is bin of tropical aquarium pieces from the 75 gallon fish tank I’m currently selling. I ran it for a few years but due to a recent focus on travel and a smaller home, I’m looking to get rid of it. I’m sure I’ll get another one.Just behind me is a pile of outdoor gear that has been well-used this seasons, skiing almost every weekend then running and mountain biking during the week. Don’t forget the snowboard that I used for 12 years up until last year and the wakeboard I break out every summer. Right beside the snowboard is a bunch of hiking gear that gets pulled out every summer for multi-day trips into the mountains and along the coast. My scuba diving gear will get brushed off when the water gets a little warmer as well, something I’ve been dying to do more of.I like the individual sports but played team sports for a long time as well. Elementary school was just the beginning when I played on every sports team they had. Soccer, football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, floor hockey. There really wasn’t anything I did do then. High school got a little more focused with many days playing and practicing rugby and soccer. Now, days during the summer are spent playing rugby, ultimate frisbee and beach volleyball.Last year was full of trail running races and running the 47km long Juan De Fuca trail and while this year will be a little different the big adventures will continue.My computer and soon my walls are full of photographs I’ve taken travelling over the last few years. I’ve spent time in Mexico, the US, Australia, and New Zealand, with the majority of my time in my home province of BC, Canada. There will be many more to join them after the next planned trips to France and Thailand.I also have a day job writing online applications for the municipal government for the city I live in.The list may seem like a long one but most people have done many things in their lives. The difference between myself and most others is that they have done most things out of necessity, not voluntarily. They need to get a job to pay the bills. If they’re tired of working, they plan a vacation on their vacation days that they have. If they need to de-stress they go to the gym or play a sport during the week. Weekends are spent recovering from the stress of the week.I didn’t write this list to gloat. I merely wanted to show what’s possible when you have goals in mind and push yourself to attain those goals. This isn’t even a long list. Take a quick look at other lifestyle designers online and you’ll find lists much longer and more interesting than mine. That’s not the point though. I’m not trying to do more things than the next guy, I’m simply trying to do everything that I find entertaining. I guess you could say I have a goal to try everything. If I don’t like it, then I won’t do it again. But what if I do?If I hadn’t tried something then I would have no idea what it’s like. I would never have known what it feels like to bungy jump, travel alone, or go backcountry skiing if I hadn’t got in touch with people that could help me and then done it. If you don’t try you will never know.If there’s something you’ve been wanting to try then go do it. With online resources like they are now, you can learn to do anything you want to do in a short period of time. If it’s just money you’re lacking, make that savings account, name it Awesome New Thing and do not touch it. Figure out how much money you need and put a bit away every paycheck. I’m seriously looking into a private helicopter licence right now. Yes, it’s expensive but that’s what saving is for. If you gave up on every single worthwhile goal you ever had, where would you be right now?For the Comments:What are the different things you’re doing? Do they all fit together? Do you love doing them all?

3 thoughts on “Why Not?”

  1. That sounds familiar to me. I have so many things I’m interested in and I can’t pick just one and go with it. I tried but it didn’t work.I like playing keyboard, I played guitar for years, I design websites, I programm, I’m totally into Anime, I like entrepreneurship, blogging, reading, philosophy, buddhism, and so many more things – it would take hours to just list them all here.But it’s not that I’m doing all these things every day, because when I do something, say, more than 3 days in a row I get bored. I used to think this was a problem because I’m not really an *expert* in anything. I don’t think that anymore.I gather knowledge in so many different areas and I think that’s great. I can’t even imagine doing the same kind of work for 20 years and practice the same hobby everyday. I guess broad knowledge is what I’m really after and that’s why I like to dive into something intensively for a short period of time and then do something completely else. I’m just too curious for having too much of a routine.I guess I’ll check out Puttylike now. 😉

    • Totally hear you Jonathan. It’s tough to focus on any one thing and stay interested in it for long periods of time. The hard part is doing that so you can make some money from it. Dabbling so often doesn’t make much of an expert. Often experience in many areas will be the source of some cross-pollination of ideas though.

  2. Ross, I agree. Success (in the monetary sense) is difficult to achieve when you don’t stick around long enough. Maybe it’s even impossible that way. And that’s because for selling anything you need people to trust you and to position yourself as an expert of some sort. If you stop after 3 weeks than it’s all pretty much for nothing.I recently listened to an interesting network marketing course by Alan Cosens and he made this really clear by saying that ‘Never, ever stop!’ was not only the first rule of network marketing but also the sixth and seventh. Although I don’t intend to do network marketing I still think that this rule is really important for anything you do that requires people’s trust.

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