Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

So Many Career Paths, So Little Time

20 Comments

“If I had 10 lives, I wouldn’t be able to do everything I wanted to.”

“My problem is I love to learn a job, then I optimize the job to do it in the fastest possible way, then I’m bored, and I want to move on to something else.”

“Sometimes, there are so many things that I want to do, it’s paralyzing and I end up doing nothing.”

Sound familiar? Could this be you? If it is, you may suffer from multipotentiality. A condition that afflicts many of the rainforest-minded. You may think that you are a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none or a dilettante; that you skim the surface and never dive.

Maybe.

But what if it’s just that you’re fascinated by anthropology and gardening and researching and mathematics and art history and sustainability and, well, you get the idea.

How do you choose? What gets left behind? How do you explain to your parents that you’re changing your college major for the fifth time? How do you explain to your friend Amy that you’re bereft because you have to choose engineering over music? How do you explain to yourself why you’re still working at Starbucks? How can such a smart person be so confused?

And how many times have you heard: Just pick something. Anything.

Oh boy.

You would if you could. It’s hard for others to understand that you love learning new things. And you learn them quickly. The possible career paths are overwhelming. Friends look at you quizzically, “This is a problem?” YES. It is. But how do you choose when you want to do it all? How do you choose when you’ll lose interest in a year? How do you explain that you’re not ungrateful but that you just have to avoid boredom at all costs?

This is how.

1. Refuse to Choose. This is the title of a book by Barbara Sher. She explains how you can craft a career plan that combines many of your interests. She provides examples and suggestions and understands your rainforest mind because she has one.

2. Go to empoweryou.com and read Zen and the Art of Making a Living. Laurence Boldt, the author says, “Make your work an expression of love in action.”  He provides resources for people wanting to have a positive impact on the world. He has powerful ideas and lots of fine philosophy.

3. For the poet in you, read David Whyte’s books on work. (Crossing the Unknown Sea–Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity) His ideas aren’t practical as much as they’re brilliant.

4. Go to rebelsatwork.com. Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina provide fabulous support for smart people working in the corporate world who are struggling with the inequities, ineptitudes, and injustices.

And finally, you can walk many paths over your lifetime. You have a right to a work life that is meaningful, purposeful and intellectually stimulating. And, as David Whyte says,“To wake the giant inside ourselves, we have to be faithful to our own eccentric nature, and bring it into conversation with the world.”

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Author: Paula Prober

I'm a psychotherapist in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in counseling gifted adults and consulting with parents of gifted children. The label "gifted" is often controversial and confusing. I use the metaphor of the rain forest to describe this population. Like the rain forest, these individuals are quite complex, highly sensitive, intense, multi-layered, and misunderstood. They're also curious, idealistic, highly intelligent, creative, perfectionistic, and they love learning. I've been an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I've written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Advanced Development Journal. My book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016 by GHF Press and is available on Amazon or at your independent bookstore.

20 thoughts on “So Many Career Paths, So Little Time

  1. I really like this one Paula.

    Like

  2. I’d like to add a resource http://www.puttylike.com EXCELLENT posts and support from Emily.

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    • Oh my goodness, Manal. I just went to her site. She looks like quite an amazing resource. I love her term “multipotentialite” to describe people with multipotentiality. Thanks so much for mentioning her. I’ll spread the word.

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  3. Thank you for sharing:) We are a lot of people trying to figure out what to do next or what we are “meant” to do. I think you sound like a clever person and your tips for more reading are great.

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    • I appreciate your comment. In case you didn’t see it, another resource was suggested by someone in ‘comments.’ It’s a blog at puttylike.com. The young woman who writes the blog has many great ideas and is creating a community of “multipotentialites.” Thanks for writing!

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  4. Thank you so much!

    I’ve been reading but not posting.

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  5. Paula,

    So great to have found your blog! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard ” Just pick something. Anything.” The good news is that I am doing just as you prescribed and loving it. Combining all of these things has unleashed a creative landslide! Keep writing, I cannot wait to hear more.

    Kathy

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  6. I don’t know what to do. Every time I think I’ve found a passion to pursue as a career, I find multiple reasons not to pursue it. They’ve ranged everywhere from writer to geologist to pharm tech to psychopharmechologist to teacher to tutor to even mortician. Could Refuse to Choose truly be effective when you’re not even sure what you’re passionate about?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Are You A Multipotentialite*? | Your Rainforest Mind

  8. Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much, Judith. I’m not sure what to do about that. Do you know? I’ll try contacting the WordPress support people. I’m getting many of the pics from flickr. I appreciate your letting me know.

    Like

  10. Pingback: Existential Depression in Gifted Teens | Your Rainforest Mind

  11. Pingback: If I Can Do It, So Can You — Finding Your Purpose(s) | Your Rainforest Mind

  12. Pingback: Multipotentiality: Are You Overwhelmed By Your Too Muchness? | Your Rainforest Mind

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