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Most people become multi-faceted and think they are polymaths. Just because you have the high-potential, high-interest, it doesn’t mean you’re always right in every area and can come up with creative solutions and become a genius.

Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields. It can also refer to an individual whose interests span multiple fields or areas, rather than being strong in just one. Such traits are called multipotentialities, while "multipotentialites" has been suggested as a name for those with this trait.

By contrast, those whose interests lie mostly within a single field are called "specialists."

While the term "multipotentialite" is often used interchangeably with "polymath" or "Renaissance Person", the terms are not identical. One need not be an expert in any particular field to be a multipotentialite.

Isis Jade makes a clear distinction between multipotentiality and polymaths.[1] Multipotentiality refers simply to one's potential in multiple fields owing to his/her diverse interests and attempts. Polymaths, on the other hand, are distinguished by their mastery and expertise in several fields. In this sense, multipotentialites can be viewed as potential polymaths, but not genuine polymaths.

In the present day rat-race scenario many people are becoming multi-faceted to survive but that is not the right way to become a polymath.

The polymath is restless, inquisitive and driven to explore, and potentially master, a range of diverse subject areas. They easily shift between rational(critical) and experiential/intuitive thinker. The rational system is analytic, logical, abstract, and requires justification via logic and evidence.

Polymaths are highly accomplished individuals who are motivated to take action towards their goals. Polymaths are fearless and completely comfortable juggling multiple projects and commitments at the same time.

Moreover as they are experts in several fields, they can creatively connect the fields easily to find innovative solutions.

The convergence economy, internet age, connectivity, the rise of the Creative Class, and other modern developments are bringing about a return of a more positive opinion for generalists and multipotentialites. So people are acquiring as many skills as possible getting several educational qualifications. But that a few years of work doesn’t make you an expert in all the fields.

It takes years and years of hard work to even acquire knowledge in several fields and then the right thinking powers to carve your own path to the abode of excellency using this knowledge. Then when this excellency takes to the pinnacle of creativity, solutions to various problems emerge automatically.

I don’t think this can be brought with training or a few pep talks. It is a life time penance. You should have the right set of mind to accomplish it and sustain it despite the innumerable problems you face.

With training and books you can become multi-faceted but not a polymath.

This is not to discourage you but to make you understand the real meaning of a polymath. If you really understood it, you would definitely try to become one.

No training or books are necessary.

And prepare well to face the side effects of becoming one!

Footnotes:

  1. http:// "Isn't Polymath and Multipotentiality the Same Thing?". IsisJade. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.

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