Career Change, Creativity, Education, General, Introvert, Motivational, Multipotentialite, Reserved Rebel, Self-Development

Reserved Rebel: How Discovering My Multipotentiality Led to Fully Embracing My Differences

Reserved Rebel

You may have seen the words, “Reserved Rebel” in the title of this website, and wondered—what’s that?

Reserved Rebel is a term that characterizes my evolution from a practicing pediatrician—to a perpetually curious, knowledge-seeking writer, and passionate explorer of diverse interests.

It perfectly describes the essence of who I am.

I came up with it in my quest to understand why my strong desire to explore a variety of interests, was always met with an equally strong resistance to commit to one path.

This hesitancy often created a sense of anxiety. In my mind, the commitment to one path felt like losing the ability to freely explore other paths.

I’d already spent a considerable amount of time working towards one career goal—becoming a pediatrician. And while I’m grateful for that pursuit, I wasn’t in a hurry to forfeit this newfound freedom to explore.

But, when you’ve trained to become a doctor, the desire to “do something else,” can be seen as inexplicable and absurd.

“After all of that training, you want to do ‘something else’… and you’re not quite sure what that ‘something else’ is?”

I’ll admit, it does seem odd… looking from the outside.

But I could sense there was something to my need for variety and my desire to use all of my talents, delving deeply into multiple fields of interests.

Multipotentialite Pic
Source: https://goo.gl/images/X8wBFr

Revelation Through Research!

I understood this desire better, after watching the TEDx Talk by Emilie Wapnick: “Why some of us don’t have one true calling.” (Listen to it here!)

After hearing it, I knew I’d found my tribe! ☺

Puttylike.com is the website she created for “people determined to lead a life based around their many passions”— a point driven home by the website’s tagline: A Home for Multipotentialites!

Even still, when I first heard the term, multipotentiality, I thought it was a made-up word to describe people—like me, who were afraid of committing to any given area of expertise.

My research revealed the following:

1.) Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields. (I liked the sound of that!).

2.) The term has been around for a while. In 1972, R.H. Frederickson, et al. defined a multipotentialed person as someone who, “when provided with appropriate environments, can select and develop a number of competencies to a high level.”

3.) In her book, “Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams,” (2007, Rodale Books), Barbara Sher refers to individuals who “cannot and should not decide on a single path” as “’Scanners’—people whose unique type of mind does not zero in on a single interest, but rather scans the horizon, eager to explore everything they see.”

In addition to “Multipotentialites” and “Scanners,” people with many talents and interests have also been referred to as “Renaissance People,” “Polymaths,” and “Multipassionate.”

I found all of these definitions comforting and was reassured by the descriptions of people who were considered multipotentialites (Maya Angelou, Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Gordon Parks, Julia Child, Aristotle, Hedy Lamarr, Sir Issac Newton).

Multipotentialite Post Pic
Source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1066754

Putting It All Together

Examining my diverse interests and fields of study, revealed several over-arching themes: health & wellness, creativity, music and dance, education, parenting, self-development, and the mind-body-spirit connection.

Whether working in different areas or writing about a variety of topics, my goal has always been the same—to offer encouragement, insight, and information about everything I’ve learned and/or experienced.

I’ve been on a path toward accepting ALL of the characteristics and idiosyncrasies that define me.

These aspects of my personality form the perspective I bring to my experiences—molding the context of what I share with others through my writing, consulting, lectures and conversations.

In the updated welcome to my website, I mention lending my introverted, ADHD, multipotentialite, Coach’s wife, Christian mom, arts & science perspective (and my background in medicine), to what I share in my writing.

Reserved Rebel speaks to the introverted, knowledge-seeking, experience-chasing, insight and wisdom-sharing aspect of who I am, and combines several of my interests in the following ways:

Reserved: being introverted, empathic, and mindful; an avid reader, researcher, and writer.

Rebel: being a creative, multipotentialed, life-hacking ADHDer, who dares to be different, fights to find balance, and honors who I am and what I need.

The Reserved Rebel goal: encouragement to honor your differences, embrace unconventionality, live authentically, and create a balanced life.

Whether you identify with some, or all of that, I’d love Reserved Rebel to become a community that connects like-minded people—a place to share thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on making the Reserved Rebel goal attainable for all of us!

Do you have questions or comments about this article? Please leave me a message below! ☺

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About drdayolanier

Pediatrician turned singer-songwriter (children’s music, gospel, and jazz), health & wellness blogger with a Christian perspective, lecturer, exercise instructor, dance enthusiast, avid reader, life-long learner, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.

View all posts by drdayolanier →

2 thoughts on “Reserved Rebel: How Discovering My Multipotentiality Led to Fully Embracing My Differences

  1. Nice positive spin… I suffer from this, or i thrive off of this condition, depending on the perspective. I have not achieved a level of acceptable achievement in any one pursuit YET. Music happens to be the one thing i can focus on that makes room for everything else i bring to the table. What i wouldnt give to be annestablished musician kind of like i imagine a pediatrician is established with a thriving practice.

    The negative lense is skewing my outlook, i admit. Im focused on the next step(s) so much so that i sometimes fail to look back down the mountain i have been climbing. “Maybe im just like my mother. She’s never satisfied” – Prince Rogers

    The reason im replying is to thank you. I am who i am. Unapologetically. When i think about it im pretty dope. But tomorrow will be better. This blog entry was a desperately needed breath of fresh air. You could have easily kept it to yourself. Im glad you didnt. Im glad i read it!

    Keep up the good work!
    PS I think i went to Cornell with you.

    1. Thank you, Damian! I enjoyed reading your comment— a fellow Cornellian AND the Prince reference, lol! Suffering and thriving sound about right, on any given day… and accepting who we are, makes all the difference.

      I believe true success is tied to fulfillment, so “acceptable achievement” is in the eye of the beholder! “Keep on striving” – Dave Hollister 🙂

      From one creative to another, I’ll end my comment with one of my favorite quotes. It speaks to the importance of honoring our individuality and unique perspective:

      “There is a vitality, a life force, and energy… that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.” – Martha Graham

      Thanks again for your response!

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