Why You Don’t Have to Choose One Life Passion
How Globonaut Connects to Multipotentialism4 min read

I had already been following Roselinde’s blog for a while when I noticed that she was launching Globonaut in June 2016: a new and innovative platform about travel. Time flies, because by now I’ve already been active as a Globonaut crew member for over three years. And honestly speaking: I’m really proud of what Globonaut contributes to the online world.

I feel at home in the Globonaut crew because we work as like-minded people with the same drive to create a beautiful collection of stories about culture, nature and society. We go beyond travel tips and lists with pretty destinations in order to share our vision. We cross borders between cultures, both while travelling and collaborating as this international team of Globonauts.

Globonaut is, I think, an inspiring platform. It’s refreshing, since the topics are so divergent; from travel tips to ideas about how we as people relate to geographical places. We write about the historical background of local holidays and the societal impact of travelling. But we’ve also worked together to share tips to beat the winter blues and helpful advice to improve your storytelling skills.

Wegwijzer die meerdere richtingen op wijst met een mooie zonsondergang op de achtergrond
Photo: Javier Allegue Barros

That’s exactly the reason why I love this platform, as writer, but also as a reader. It stimulates, provokes curiosity and relates to many of my passions: writing, photography, graphic design, travelling, cultural diversity and philosophy.

For a long time I wondered if there was something wrong with me. I didn’t have my career mapped out, like most of my fellow students. I couldn’t imagine specializing in one single discipline for the rest of my life.

Jack of All Trades

I’m writing this because I think Globonaut deserves an elegy (just like Roselinde, for coming up with it and starting this project!). But I’m mostly writing this because I started to realise that Globonaut plays an important role in my personal development. Ever since I started blogging for this platform, I’ve met more people that are similar to me, with countless of hobbies and interests. Those who are good at so many things and engage with them without (always) practising one clear profession. Many of the crew members are ‘manusjes van alles’, as we say in Dutch (similar to a Jack of all trades). I find that very inspiring.

For a long time I wondered whether I was different. If there was something wrong with me, because I didn’t have my career mapped out, like most of my fellow students. I couldn’t imagine specializing in one single discipline for the rest of my life.

Besides my studies in psychology, I also dreamed of becoming a journalist, taking photos myself, designing a magazine, and starting a career as a singer (and so much more). I felt frustrated that I couldn’t do everything all at once. And that I had to choose one passion in order to participate in the way society expects me to.

Multipotentialism and the Myth of One True Passion

Spaces like Globonaut remind me that there are more people like me. It reminds me of the inspiring examples of people who show us that you don’t always have to specialize. You don’t need to choose one passion to be successful in this world.

There are people who traded their dance career for running their own IT-company and than went on to become a creative coach. People who have a singing career, but also write children’s novels. You can be a gardener and a yoga teacher. There are freelance journalists that also know everything about natural herbs and analogue photography. And these inspiring people do all of that to earn a living and, most of all, to be happy in life.

Meerdere zebrapaden die allemaal andere richtingen opgaan (Shibuya crossing)
Photo: Ryoji Iwata

What is Mutipotentialism?

One of these inspiring people helped me find an important book. It was one of those books that just makes all of the puzzle pieces come together, giving me a huge ‘YESSSS’ feeling. The book made me feel understood and part of a community of people that are like me. This book spoke positively about these Jacks of all trades, instead using the term ‘multipotentialism’.

Have you ever heard of this term? Let me explain.

Multipontentialism is a concept that explains why some people have such a hard time answering the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ (as a child) or ‘what do you do for a living?’ (as a grown-up). A multipotentialite is someone with a wide range of interests, a never-ending sense of wonder, and a large pool of creativity. The term describes someone whose passions aren’t limited to one discipline and who can’t choose between their different passions and interests.

A multipotentialite is someone with a wide range of interests, a never-ending sense of wonder, and a large pool of creativity. That’s exactly what we aim to be as Globonauts.

Emilie Wapnick

In her book How To Be Everything, Emilie Wapnick debunks the myth that we should aim to have one perfect passion and/or one career. She paints an alternative picture, different from choosing a single career by specializing. As a reader you get to know countless of important names from the history books who came up with important inventions or started companies because they embraced their multipotentialism. They combined their knowledge from different disciplines and used it without feeling ashamed of not having a specialization.

Using different models and examples, Emilie explains how you can shape your life in such a way that you don’t have to conform to one career. She explains how you can give your diverging interests and skills space to develop. Instead of punishing yourself, you can be proud of this admirable attribute!

You know what, I have a hunch that a lot of the Globonaut crew members and readers will be able to identify with this term as well. Many of us spend our time taking photos, writing, talking about philosophy, and creating. We also think of concepts, work on new projects, and connect important themes. We don’t limit ourselves and make use of our diverging interests and skills. That’s exactly why I’m grateful that Globonaut exists.

This article was translated from Dutch to English by Maryse Carbo.

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