James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change
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Late to the multipotential party

There-isn't-only-one-path

Throughout my life I've struggled with choosing one way of doing things or one way of explaining something.

That's not how the world works for me, and I kind of either assumed other people thought the same way or there was something wrong with me. I've discovered that it's perfectly normal and even has a name: multipotentiality.

I'm not claiming to be gifted or a polymath, only that I'm interested in many fields and I've been fortunate enough to make money in more than one.

I also recognize that I've applied the way I think and see the world in ways that I hadn't thought about before, and that I know the results can be great.

For example, when I helped design a language curriculum, my thoughts turned to what I'd learnt through design (how to graphically represent and explain the curriculum outline), law (seeing the issues from a number of perspectives and reaching conclusions based on evidence), education (adapting topics and themes to different levels), language (making the content clear and easy to understand), and considerations from other fields.

I also now recognize why some things frustrated me, like why somebody only wanted a logo when they really needed to address other issues like customer satisfaction, brand image and employee retention.

So although I'm late to the multipotential party, I'm so glad I finally found it, not least because I can see the same things in my son.

My wife and I tend to get frustrated with our son when - in our eyes - he seems to want to do everything except what we want him to do. When I step back and listen to him, and observe what he's up to, I can see that he's seriously interested in a few different things. And he's good at them.

Although I've been encouraging him with some things, I now see that I haven't been as supportive as I could, and should, be.

I'm hoping to change that and I reckon I'll be talking about this, and applying it in my work and life, quite a bit more in the future.

 

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