The relationship to the time of the multipotential

Multipotential Time Multipotentials often say, "I don't have enough time to do everything I'd like to do." To be multipotential is to love many things,to want to do many things, to change them often, and sometimes to stop very early, often without having gone to the end. Out of boredom, weariness, or irresistible attraction for something even more new or interesting! Do not throw stones at yourself if you recognize yourself in this description… we are all the same! This lack of time – or rather, this feeling of lack of time – is felt in a particularly sharp (and often acidic) way by scanners (another name for multipotentials). Indeed, when you are attracted by dozens of activities, when you want to test a lot of stuff, you have much more the impression of having an agenda far too full, much shorter days than when you have two or three hobbies, passions or hobbies. As a rule, they will be easy to stall in a week. I have already talked about the first exercise to do when you are a scanner in this article: make an in-depth list of everything that attracts you, makes you vibrate, makes you want to try. This is essential to start working on your red thread, your "verb", your personal "faceted ball", your "range" of interests (we will talk about this later). After a while, when you work on it long enough, you get to the point of having the feeling of having gone around your (huge) personal territory. And there (it's real life), we say to ourselves quite quickly: "But how will I be able to do everything? Where to start? What is most important to me? I want to do everything right away and at the same time!". So we are looking for the best tool, the most detailed agenda, the most sophisticated software, to try to create "To Do List", and schedules in which to fit everything. I know what I'm talking about: I even at one time developed AN OCD by trying to optimize every second! I couldn't do something as stupid and fast as getting out of the trash without putting the "task" on my agenda. Don't worry, I'm healed! 🙂 And I got through it the day I started researching… time. The best way to use it, the way we perceived time, and our relationship to the length of our lives.

The future does not exist

The first thing I remembered (my passion for neuroscience was helpful to me for the moment) is that in fact, our brains are playing tricks on us. Indeed, and to put it simply, our brain is not very good at distinguishing the past, the present and the future. A very large part of our gray matter is actually "primitive", and does not distinguish between the three. The past is always present, and the future is… very blurry, and very close. For our brain, in fact, looking at time on a long scale is difficult. Hence our tendency to look at many things in the present – without realizing it. Our intellectual brain, the pre-frontal cortex, has the theoretical knowledge of time, the future, the years and decades to come. But our "global brain" is not super good at "apprehending" it, going around it, really including it in our feelings and visualizations.

Our time is limited

The second thing to take into account, to integrate well, is what we have. Concretely, our desires have almost no limits, because new passions, favorites and attractions are born all the time, sometimes every day, when we are multipotential. But life has it: an average life of 78 years (for men) to 84 years (for women) in France in 2017, and it is the same for everyone, 24 hours a day. These are two figures (two averages) that must always be in mind: 80 years, and 24 hours. 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The famous Thirty Thousand Days of Maurice Genevoix… our "time capital" on our life. We may have several lives, but until reincarnation is clearly proven, let us be pragmatic and assume that the one we have is the only one we have. And this life, it's short, but it's also… very long. Many multipotentials have discovered this notion, have recognized themselves in the characteristics of this definition, in this personality trait, in this mode of operation, by watching the video of Emilie Wapnick, "Why some of us do not have a vocation".

On her blog,one of the important notions that Emilie talks about is our relationship to time, which she summarizes in this clear sentence:

"Multipotentiality is for life. You don't have to do everything THIS week"

Multipotentiality is for life, you don't have to do everything THIS week. It is very often a notion that we have a hard time understanding: we want to do A LOT of things, but we also have PLENTY of time. … well, less when you are old than when you are young. And we are also in a hurry sometimes. We come back to point four.

Back to Basics

The third thingis to know how to distinguish the URGENT from the IMPORTANT. It is the famous metaphor of pebbles, pebbles and sand.

It's one of my "things of mine": knowing how to sort out what really matters to you, and what in the end, on the scale of a life, doesn't really matter. This is the rather terrifying but very illuminating exercise of the… "deathbed". Turn off the phone, turn off the TV, sit down, lie down in a quiet place. Take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Imagine yourself in the twilight of your life. And think about what, in the end, was very important to you. What you will regret the most for not having done, if you have not done it.

  • Write a novel?
  • Have a child?
  • Cross Africa on foot (like the Chicks after their wedding)?
  • Parachute jump?

… It's up to you to draw from your Scanner Notebook to draw YOUR Bucket List,the list of what you ABSOLUTELY want to have done before leaving this Earth, during your life. There can be simple things, very easy to understand, and that take little time: "Get tattooed this dragon drawing that I always have in my bag", or "Visit Kyoto for a week". There may also be things that take time: "Fluent japanese".

We do not all have the same heritage of time

The fourth thing to understand is the fact that we have more or less time, and not just because our days are full. It is less easy when you are old than when you are young. In that case, we need to focus even more on the important things. But also list everything you ABSOLUTELY want to achieve AND that actually takes little time, that can be started, and completed if the urge is still there, on a shorter scale. Like what:

Objective: to launch a blog on the "Steampunk" look

Scale: 3 months.

It is quite feasible, even if you start from scratch. And a blog can have ten, a hundred, or ten thousand articles: it's up to you to see if your goal is to master WordPress, to talk about the clothing styles you like, to show your own creations, or to become a specialist. Or even to earn an income from it. It is a fantasy present in many multipotentials: to succeed in becoming a specialist in a field. As we will see in other articles, this need to be a specialist is essentially a social, cultural and professional pressure, coming from the need to define people by realizationss. But since we talk about time in this article, just remember this information: it takes an average of five years to become a specialist. Over forty years of "professional life", you can therefore become a specialist in… eight different areas. Think… We can also be in a hurry sometimes. This is something that is felt by all multipotentials. For two reasons. There are already the habits of today's world: everything, and right away. When you can discover a book, order it online and receive it at home the same evening, you get into the habit of having everything very quickly. An information or a product thanks to the Web, a friend at the end of the line, an Über at the bottom of his door, a plane ticket from his printer … The technological tools of the 21st century have changed our relationship with time. Earlier in the history of man, we took well into the fact that to make a boat, it took months, years. For a cathedral, this could be spread over several generations… As we saw above, in addition, our brain is not very good at understanding the entire duration of the future, so it is easy to be devoured by the desire to start (or even finish) something in the week. Everything, right away, and at the same time. There is also the fact that if we have already started a lot of activities, projects, trades … without having the impression of having gone to the end, we lose patience. We are tired of being frustrated,of having the impression of disappointing ourselves, of disappointing our loved ones. We are tired of waiting, we finally want to find our way AND find the right job that corresponds to it AND in the right company, in the right country, with the right salary, NOW. I am very familiar with that feeling. And it penalized me more than anything else to want to go faster than music. Learning, building, succeeding, mastering, it takes time.


To succeed in your multipotential life, after listing all your personal projects, especially those that are really close to our hearts, you have to take the time… to review and reconstruct its relationship to time. We have a limited amount of time, different depending on the person: depending on the age, the fact of having children or not, the amount of time already taken by his professional activity… you have to learn to manage your "time" assets. For this, there is a methodology, which allows you to plan your projects, and thus make them more concrete. Which also makes it possible to visualize them in terms of the time really needed, thus becoming more objective. This makes it possible to project oneself on the future,and to program deadlines, steps, and a final goal. It's also very motivating, which can really help multipotentials who get bored very quickly to reboost and take over this project at some point. This method does not prevent you from doing several things at the same time, sometimes even with a different rhythm for each one. I also propose this small exercise: visualize your projects over the next five years.One year is too short. But five years makes it possible to carry out most of the "important" projects. And choose:

  • either a "big project" in your bucket list,such as learning and fluently speaking a language, saving and making a long trip, renovating a house, or setting up a business for example.You will not be able to do everything. But it is certain, in five years, among these "great projects", you can realize one.
  • or a list of everything you want to have "tried" (started, launched, tested…) over this period. Whether it's sewing, paddle, painting on silk, yoga, writing a novel… everything that tempts you and that you would really like to test in real life, to see if it is really "your thing".

The other projects will always remain on your To Do List,but concretely, objectively, it will be for after! >>> To discover:

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The book: "50 Dream jobs for multipotentials.le.s"

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>>> You don't know what to do with your life? You are attracted by many professions, and you do not find your professional path? You can't get to the end of your projects? I can help you!

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Sophie Barbarella

Writer and Public Speaker

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