When You Can’t Find Your One True Calling: Maybe You Are Destined to be Doing Multiple Things

When we were kids, adults used to ask us the question of ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’. Some kids will answer silly things like bubble master, a ninja, or a french fry. And then there are those kids who will acknowledge being a doctor, a teacher, or an astronaut. You might probably answered better claims, but the truth is no one really care about what you say at that age.

Good for me because I was the type of kid who’s never been able to answer that question. It’s not that I don’t have any interest whatsoever, but instead I had too many. Especially during my teenage years โ€“ I was in the cheerleading team, I love Asian history, I write poems, I support environmental tourism, I was speaking Spanish, I love watercolor painting, I read a lot about Marie Antoinette, and I was rather interested in 1950s culture and the Baroque period specifically.

So when I graduated highschool, I couldn’t think of a major that I should suppose to pick in college. Eventually, I ended up majoring in Cruise Line Operations in international tourism. But my college major didn’t even matter 2 years after my college graduation.

Nikola Tesla, for example, was a an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, theoretical and experimental physicist, mathematician, futurist and humanitarian and can speak 8 languages fluently. Leonardo Da Vinci, for another example has areas of interest included in drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, science, music, mathematics, and many more. To add more people, there’s Aristotle, Hellen Keller, Benjamin Franklin, Jagdish Jandra Rose, and the list goes on.

Kids don’t hear much about these people. All they hear is the idea or destiny or the one true calling, the idea that we each have one great thing we are meant to do during our time on this earth. And you need to figure out what that thing is and devote your life to it. What I’m really trying to say here is that we tell kids, “you cannot be a ballerina and an English professor at the same time.”

You might feel alone, or you might feel like you don’t have a purpose, or something’s wrong with you. But what if you are someone who isn’t wired this way? What if there are many things you liked to do?


I came across a TED Talk titled Why some of us don’t have one true calling by Emilie Wapnick. Emilie talks about ‘multipotentialite‘, a term for a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life. She talks about why multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. She refers to an individual whose interests span multiple fields or areas, rather than being strong in just one.

She also used other terms that usually connote the same idea, such as polymath and a Renaissance person. That actually during the Renaissance period it was considered the ideal to be well-versed in multiple disciplines.

Emilie’s take away is for you to embrace your inner wiring, whatever that may be. If you’re a specialized at heart then by all means, specialize. Embrace your many passion, follow your curiosity down those rabbit holes and explore your intersections.


Leonardo Che Ritrae la Gioconda (Leonardo Painting the Mona Lisa), by Cesare Maccari

44 Comments Add yours

  1. That is a very interesting post and I completely resonate with it. I haven’t come up with one true calling and I have always been headed in multiple directions. Yet there is a great overarching theme behind the scene: finding the ultimate meaning of the whole existence and, in the process, raising my level of consciousness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Opening a door may lead to another hallway full of doors, am I right? Thank you for reading! Really appreciate you sharing your thoughts

      Like

  2. Helen says:

    I resonate with this so much! I have also come across the concept of this personality type quite recently and I was kind of relieved I don’t “have to” have one goal or passion and I can in fact pursue multiple goals or even careers. ๐Ÿ™‚ The idea of a true calling is so present in society, but I guess it is really a bit overemphasized…
    I wrote a blogpost about this topic as well recently, however it is in German.
    Have a nice day ๐Ÿ™‚
    Helen

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Halo Helen, thank you so much for reading! Wie geht es Ihnen? I wish I can read German, however, you are right. We don’t “have to” choose only one passion or goal because we are not limited to that. I appreciate you for sharing your thoughts. Vielen dank!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sel says:

    I agree with thsi 100%

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading! I appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. I think this post is for me because the things you are interested in are familiar to my bucket list….. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will definitely check that out!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Will watch this one big brother โฃ๏ธ๐ŸŒผโฃ๏ธ

    Liked by 2 people

  6. zankpacker says:

    Heey budy….๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 2 people

      1. zankpacker says:

        Where do you come from?

        Like

  7. markbierman says:

    I’m an author, but my ‘survival’ job is in law enforcement. If only I could make a living at the former. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Yes, there is nothing wrong with multiple ambitions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Youโ€™re never too late to pick the life youโ€™ve always wanted ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. markbierman says:

        With a family to support, it does make it more difficult.

        Like

    2. That will always be a job. You calling is one thing check through events of life most celebrities are known for one thing. So catch it Jesus christ came with just one purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Something to ponder ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

      Like

      1. Just one that it takes a lot and you go miles in life before finding it we are created for one purpose not multiple. Nice write up

        Liked by 1 person

      2. To be honest I was thinking about my ‘mission’ in life last night before I went to sleep. Thanks for reading though and for sharing your thoughts, really appreciate it!

        Like

      3. Only God can reveal in clarity but there are little glimpse and patterns one that reoccurrs in different in different manifestations. Take care. I pray that God gives you a revelation on that by his mercy it is a hard thought process and can be scary not knowing why you have certain skills, talents, energy etc. Grace abounds. ๐Ÿ‘

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thatโ€™s really beautiful. Iโ€™ll take note of that. Thank you so much brotha!

        Like

  8. Besitoss says:

    I feel this a lot sometimes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s comforting to know that there are other people who are also experiencing this. Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Mark Tulin says:

    Great post. Why should we believe that each person has a single calling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark Tulin says:

        Youโ€™re welcome

        Like

  10. dannymellema says:

    A great post man! You seem like an interesting and intelligent lad!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, old sport! I donโ€™t really think I am but hey bless!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dannymellema says:

        I’d love to find out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I needed at least 2 bottles of nicely brewed beer to prove that I am as intelligent as you foresee ๐Ÿ˜…โœŒ๐Ÿป

        Like

      3. dannymellema says:

        That sounds like a deal!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. If you guys are in, then please count me in ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป We shall do it soon!

        Like

  11. Jenorillo says:

    Jack of all trades, master of none. I relate to this so much as well ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right?! Or maybe we can be masters of multiple things โ€” itโ€™s just that we donโ€™t try enough ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  12. I identify with the topic of this post because in my life I have always explored more than one life purpose (never abandoning the most overarching quest for the ultimate meaning of life that encompasses all specific life missions).
    However I remember reading a book by S. Pressfield entitled “Turning Pro” that puts forth the interesting alternative that turning pro in a specific area is not something we do after we have eventually found who we are but rather is the very thing that can help us find who we are: โ€œWhat we get when we turn pro is, we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and to live out.โ€

    The idea here is: turn pro by becoming exceptionally good at something and a life purpose and mission will follow. I didn’t exactly do that but it sounds like an interesting perspective

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Turn pro by becoming exceptionally good at something and a life purpose and mission will follow.” That is well noted, tito. Salamat!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In the Philippines there are many who try to become more than pro: many Filipinos want to be GINiouses

        Like

  13. tminzie says:

    I could not agree more with this, for some reason from a small age it’s often drilled into us that we have to do one thing but I don’t believe that for a second.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. chaezel0104 says:

    Its nice to read a post from my fellow filipino blogger. Keep safe on your travels bro.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dapper dude! Hope you are staying safe yourself as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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