Being multi-creative: a curse or a blessing in disguise?

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This story you are reading  turned out to be longer than I wanted/expected, but it was never intended for bragging about my achievements: on the contrary…

When I was 5 years old I wanted to be a rock star.

That apparently didn’t happen. Then, at age of six I had to be satisfied with short ballet lessons. Soon, already at a school a fling towards poetry was quickly forgotten and “heavy” stuff like math, physics and chemistry took place. I grew up in an environment and belief system that only by being a good pupil/student, hard working in some technical field would only pay off. In high school somehow I got fascinated with magnetic fields,  earthquakes and volcanoes (although in my home country there isn’t almost any). Yet it was interesting scientific field, unexplored enough to satisfy my hunger for knowledge…Strangely enough, due to some circumstances I got a chance to work in the medical field and apply my engineering knowledge in a completely different way! A gratifying experience that introduced me to a whole new world. Nevertheless, I worked in research for several years, when I fell in love with sustainability. Again, my curiosity was awaken and I branched into a PhD research, connecting geophysics, management and sustainability.  And that’s how I led my life until my early thirties. In the meantime I took language courses (English, Italian, Dutch..), dance lessons, ext. I traveled across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Africa..Taught at the University and worked as a consultant for big corporations…As a great fan of mythology I drifted into learning astrology as well, which is still my active hobby…

Then first health issues began to appear (with some I’m still dealing with) and obviously something was wrong. We sometimes pay high prices for our high ambitions, yet something inside  is driving us to move forward. Being multi-creative, curios about the world and having many interests turned out to be both curse and a blessing in disguise, for me. You simply don’t know how to stop, but insights and revelations thrill you all the time; you always feel like you are playing; that you have insatiable need for new and that you have inexhaustible source of energy.

In very interesting post How to Deal with Multipotentialite Burnout,” Wapnick articulates how we may go “too far” in pushing the boundaries of our capacities to keep achieving.

It’s a collapse. Complete mental exhaustion. While most people experience burnout from time to time, creative people who have multiple interests are prone to hitting this point more frequently and more intensely. It makes sense, considering how passionately curious we are, and how easy it is for us to lose ourselves in our projects.”

As much as I am the proponent of creativity, it really can have a dark side – which I have also experienced. And today I would say that the key is balance – as much is for every multi-creative person of great importance to honor each part of their creative soul.

It’s what keeps them alive and empowers them. But not at the expense of health or that something else you need to sacrifice. The timing is also crucial. In my case, if I could do something differently, I would do things at much easier pace.

Often people ask me: “But, don’t you want to specialize in just one field, to become a great expert”? And I say “No. I strive for experience, for taste of something new; there is always a drive to learn something new.”

A common denominator for most of my creative outlets is research and writing. And that’s what I mostly do now, but at much slower pace..and I read a lot of poetry! 🙂

About year and a half ago, poetry silently again entered my life and many things changed for better – even my health since poetry has a healing properties for me. After some time thinking I decided to share my positive experience about poetry in this blog and explore further how it can be beneficial in our stressing work life.

So, if you recognize yourself as a multi-creative person, never neglect your needs. But, instead of ‘everything now and here’, enjoy in your creativity with ease and be compassionate towards yourself; strive for contribution, adding value in what you do, and never shy from learning. It’s a prerequisite for any type of growth.

When  you do things from your soul, you feel a river

moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling

disappears.  Don’t let

others lead you.  They may be blind or, worse, vultures.

Reach for the rope

of God.  And what is that?  Putting aside self-will.

Because of willfulness

people sit in jail, the trapped bird’s wings are tied,

fish sizzle in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness.  You’ve seen a magistrate

inflict visible punishment.  Now 

see the invisible.  If you could leave your selfishness, you

would see how you’ve

been torturing your soul.  We are born and live inside black water in a well.

How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don’t

insist on going where

you think you want to go.  Ask the way to the spring.  Your

living pieces will form

a harmony.  There is a moving palace that floats in the air

with balconies and clear

water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained

under a single tent.

Rumi

25 Comments

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  1. This chimes a helluva lot with how my life has been all throughout; can’t claim the achievements you’ve had, but the frustrations and ambitions I share. Very grateful to have read this post. Thank you so much for taking the time out to write it.

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  2. That’s an interesting perspective. And a new one for me. Perhaps partly explains my burnout 20 years ago, though we are all different. I never really settled on one thing and still struggle to balance things, even though I know I need to. Writing/poetry suddenly became the most important thing about a year ago and I haven’t looked back 🙂

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  3. Wow, what a wonderful piece, with a great poem by by Rumi to end. I burned my self out, trying to write to much, and neglecting other parts of my life, and life around me, so now I write when I feel for it; so have not written any thing for over a week, but now the ideas and words are flowing again. Thanks for sharing this, best wishes and blessings, Charles.

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  4. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself with us. This post comes at the right time for me since I too have multiple interests and can border on obsession when I am passionate about something. I’m reading a book called the Why Cafe which is very useful for challenging the things we place priority on and tie such priorities to our purpose. Thanks once again for a great read. Chevvy

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  5. “We sometimes pay high prices for our high ambitions.” I love it. I can now explain my many exclusive hobby phases–I’m just “multi-creative.” Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Wow, so timely.
    Recently I was reflecting on the things I have done in my life, from acting to writing to singing to jewelry making, to design and still love for academics. I love cooking, photography, fashion and just art in general. My sisters tell me I took everyone’s gifts coz I seem to excel in so many things.
    Sometimes people don’t understand the passion and drive a multi talented person has to discover new things and pursue whatever interests them. I’m glad to know that there is nothing wrong with me, rather I should appreciate who I am.
    Although I should check my pace.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] But we also have to keep in mind that many factors influence our decisions and how we see ourselves – especially in early adolescence. In my culture, technical sciences were seen as a crown of any scientific advancement and many of us were conditioned to make our educational choices according to that premise. Not what you are talented for, not what you liked to do – but rather what job markets needed. And there is nothing wrong with having that factor in mind, but also trying to find that middle ground where you can really express your talents and true nature – in meaningful and contributive way, is what you can do best for yourself (especially when you have a lots of interests). […]

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