…. was a finding from an article in the Journal of Happiness Studies recently. Admittedly the research was on students only but the findings were significant enough to get the authors speculating about numbers of passions and happiness and well being. The results clearly showed that those with 2 or more passions scored significantly more highly on a number of well being criteria than those dedicated to one. Now for someone often extolling the pluses of a portfolio career this is manna from heaven. I have total respect for all career patterns including the rapidly declining 20th century one of one job for life. But I am old enough to recall being criticised throughout my life, at least until this century, as someone who lacked ‘stickability’, dedication, a sense of direction and, as my headteacher described me in 1961, “On your tombstone Hopson it will simply say ‘He was a dilettant'”. I was not sure what that was so went home and looked it up in the dictionary and you know what – I thought that sounds pretty good to me!
Since then we have had Barbara Sher – who I did a webinar with a couple of years ago – talking about people who are scanners. She describes scanners thus:
Unlike those people who seem to find and be satisfied with one area of interest, you’re genetically wired to be interested in many things, and that’s exactly what you’ve been trying to do.
Because your behavior is unfamiliar — even unsettling — to the people around you, you’ve been taught that you’re doing something wrong and you must try to change. But what you’ve been told is a mistake — you have been misdiagnosed. You’re a different creature altogether.
What you’ve assumed is a disability to be overcome by sheer will is actually an exceptional gift. You are the owner of a remarkable, multi talented brain trying to do its work in a world that doesn’t understand who you are and doesn’t know why you behave as you do.
But increasingly we now meet and hear people who are passionate about developing portfolio careers and the statistics are clear that it is a real career choice now.
But to this day some people still ask me when I am going to focus on one thing ……………
And if you want more proof of its validity as a life choice watch this great TED talk on multipotentialities by Emilie Wapnick.
Enjoy your portfolio career – like I do.