The curse of being multi-talented

I came across this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert today, which struck a chord.

I have friends who I believe are cursed by being multi-talented… and I do believe that that is a curse… I know people who are cursed by having many different interests. Their attention is kind of fragmented across many fields and I think it’s difficult when you’re like that unless you’re truly a Renaissance person and you can handle all of it at once. I think it’s hard to sort of find your way. – Elizabeth Gilbert

This articulates exactly how I feel when I reflect back on my 20’s.

The story goes back to middle school. When I was in 6th grade, I was given the assignment to write a long report on anyone I wanted. I chose to study the life of Leonardo Da Vinci, who easily became one of my biggest influences growing up. I was deeply inspired by his ability to live a life around his diverse interests and talents (e.g., creation/invention, painting, writing, math, astrology, engineering, geology, sculpture, music, architecture, literature, etc.) and I wanted to embark on a similar path.

Now I’m realizing that having many diverse interests can be both a blessing and a curse. With some sort of structure in place (e.g., in the form of a job), it has been a (huge) blessing in the past. But without any sort of structure (e.g., when I’m a free spirit), it could absolutely be a curse.

My takeaway: We must identify our priorities and focus. Without a commitment to our priorities, our focus can be on anything (or anyone for that matter). Also, if you’re a creative or have the ability to morph into one like me, add some structure to your daily routine. It’ll help with focus.

On my end: check, check.

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