Are you a Renaissance Woman?
Are you being punished, judged and labeled because you have many interests, skills, talents and passions and will not settle for any ONE thing?
There is a myth that I want to address today. The myth of specialization.
We have been made to believe that in order to ensure our success we need to specialize in one thing, serve one narrow niche and focus on something very specific.
Society often creates myths that serve its needs at a particular time. Specialization is a myth of the industrial era, where fast delivery of specific parts that would be joined by a machine was the priority. But life is not a factory.
Even science today finds that nature does not specializes and that a holistic approach becomes increasingly necessary.
Specialization may still work for many people —though for many others the routine of specialization is proving outdated as our financial structure is in the midst of radical changes.
But there’s a group of people for whom specialization is not only a curse, but it can cripple their genius. This person may be a Creative Genius, Renaissance Woman (or man) or a Multipotentialite.
If you are one of us, then for you specializing is like amputating an arm or leg. Ahhgrrr!
The Creative Genius
The Creative Genius is a visionary who sees the forest and each tree. She connects things that seem to have no connection to others. That’s why she is a genius!
The Creative Genius lives in a universe that is a fascinating puzzle, and she finds pieces of the puzzle everywhere, and she loves connecting the dots!
- What do birds have to do with self-esteem or your influence in the world? Find out in this case study.
- What do a rose, the soul, alchemy and the Sacred Feminine have in common? Contact me and I’ll send you the answer. (Just choose this post as the subject of your question and write “Alchemical Rose?” as the subject.)
- What does gardening have to do with success? Find out in my Success Seed Audio Journeys.
You are a Creative Genius if:
- You like to connect the dots in the story of the world.
- One thing helps you understand a completely different thing or situation.
- You love to use one gift or talent to create a unique approach to a situation, cause or path.
Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci were Creative Genius. Obvious, eh? But you could be one too!
There is a variation of the Creative Genius. The Renaissance Woman is the opposite of the specialized expert. She hates to limit herself to one interest when her interest is expansive.
Here are three scenarios that reveal if you are a Renaissance Woman (or man)
- Do you have more than one gift or talent that you have cultivated? For example, I am a storyteller, writer of fiction and non-fiction, poet, dance-theatre performer, visual artist, shaman, spiritual teacher and transformation artist.So how on earth do I make a living from all these talents? Just hearing what I do drives some people crazy! I have gathered my gifts under an overarching theme: I help women change their lives by changing their story. How I do this? Through a combination of storytelling, body integrative approaches and shamanic tools. I illustrate my own products and writings and use ARTchemyTM as a unique process of transformation, incorporating visual art and arts and crafts, combined with shamanic processes of transformation and soul work.
- Do you have several strong passions or causes that you feel compelled to work for, even though they may not seem connected to your areas of expertise or gifts? Well, how about a computer specialist who loves video games and has a passion and talent for animals? What’s stopping her from working on a zoo, creating programs about animals, working on a forest program or creating an ecological video game… or all of the above?
- How about a poet who is also a visual artist and loves trees? What’s stopping her from writing poetry about trees and illustrating it and then working with a tree conservation program to use the poetry book as a fundraiser? (If you are interested in my upcoming poetry collection, The Tao of Trees or want to partner with me to help save our trees through this publication, contact me.)
The Renaissance Woman…
- Has many gifts, passions and causes. She is passionate about her causes. She is fluid with her gifts.
- She can handle multi-tasking. She loves working on several projects at once.
- She has incredible concentration skills and usually does the work of three people in one hour.
- She cannot settle for a piece of the pie because she bakes the whole pie.
Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou are Renaissance Women. (If you are a guy, you may be a Renaissance Man.)
- What if you’ve “drifted” all your life?
- What if you are good at starting projects but have a hard time sticking to them?
- What if you shift interests easily and frequently?
- What if your passion is for traveling, meeting new people and learning new things and staying too long with one thing, in one place bores you to death?
Are you a loser?
No. According to Emilie Wapnick you are a Multipotentialite.
Emilie’s story is an example of how to thrive as a Multipotentialite.
In her biography at her site, Emilie starts with these words:
I don’t like labels, but if I had to describe myself, I’d probably use some combination of artist, entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and coach. I also play a few different instruments, I’m taking a chemistry class, and I occasionally design a website or two.
But all of this could change tomorrow.
That’s why I don’t like labels. Because I am not one thing. There’s something that draws me to each of my interests and it’s not “excellence.” I have no interest in committing to one thing forever. Once I no longer feel inspired in a field, I simply move on. Some people call this “quitting,” I call it growth.
This is how I’ve always lived– moving from interest to interest, building on my skills in different areas, and synthesizing the knowledge I acquire along the way.
I want Multipotentialites to stop beating themselves up about being unable to find their “one true calling” or fit into a box. I want them to see that their diverse background and insatiable curiosity isn’t some huge failing, but that there’s a very good reason for it…
– See more at: http://puttylike.com/about/
Emily has a thriving business as a blogger and creative director of the Puttylike Community that supports and guides Multipotentialites.
What can you do?
If you are a Creative Genius, Renaissance Woman or Multipotentialite, do NOT force yourself to specialize. Instead do this:
- Seek role models who are like you and find out what they are doing. It is sure to be innovative, out-of-the-box and diverse. Don’t copy it, though. Use it as a blueprint and adapt it to create your own solution.
- Seek blogs and coaches that can help you integrate or maximize your nature. Depending on your personality, you may be able to integrate your gifts, like I’ve done, create a practice that allows you to benefit from your fluidity, like Oprah has done, or do like Emilie, find the overarching theme in your diverse talents and build a business using that.
- Know that specialization is not the only way to earn a living, and may actually be in the way to extinction. Do not judge or label yourself. Rather, look at the opportunities your nature offers.
- Don’t let anyone tell you that you are a drifter, a loser or a “jack of all trades, master of none.” You are perfect for your purpose, and if you are not a specialist, then that is what is needed for your purpose. Find out what it is, and open your mind, because your purpose may be fluid, diverse, changeable and holistic.
- Seek instead to plant your gifts on the right kind of soil to flourish in all your diversity. Remember: a diverse biosphere is richer and has better chances for sustainability. Your multi-passionate, multi-talented nature can also lead to sustainability if you nurture what is organic to you.
I want to end with a quote from Steve Jobs on creativity:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” – Steve Jobs, February, 1995, shown in http://www.swiss-miss.com/2011/10/steve-jobs-on-creativity.html