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

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! ☺ 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









Putting It All Together 

Examining my diverse interests and fields of study, I revealed several overarching  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 from 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 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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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.

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