Kids and young people are often expected to set a path for themselves, such as a college major that sets up a career track for a life's work. Committing to one choice can mean forgoing other options, sometimes for the rest of one's life. Emilie Wapnick wants to draw more attention to people who want to follow multiple paths throughout their lives and feel accepted for doing so. Drawing from examples of people who pursue multiple professions, like a psychotherapist who also repairs violins, Wapnick, a creative director who also teaches music, wants to open up the space for people who are comfortable with a more varied life.
In her TEDx talk, she says:
"The notion of the narrowly focused life is highly romanticized in our culture. It's this idea of 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.
But what if you're someone who isn't wired this way? What if there are a lot of different subjects that you're curious about, and many different things you want to do? Well, there is no room for someone like you in this framework. And so you might feel alone. You might feel like you don't have a purpose. And you might feel like there's something wrong with you. There's nothing wrong with you. What you are is a multipotentialite."