Why do I have so many passions? (+ Free Passions & Rewards Exercise)
‘Why do I have so many passions? Is it too many?’
If you’re asking yourself that question, you might.
Nothing in life really is a problem until you start asking questions.
If you have a lot of passions, you feel completely happy with that, but you’re just comparing yourself to other people asking yourself: “Why do I have so many passions and my friends are just focusing on one thing?”… Go you! Don’t change anything about yourself and live your life happily ever after. This article is not for you.
But if you feel overwhelmed by everything you want to do, starting more projects than you finish, feeling flaky or confused, and not making the progress you’d like in your life…
Then, yes, having too many passions might be a problem, and this blog post is for you.
Why being a Multipassionate is not the problem
Let me start by saying this: There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of passions and interests. Being Multipassionate is not the problem.
When, years ago, I discovered there was a word for people like me, I felt relieved:
I wasn’t flaky, or weird, or different: I was just someone with multiple potentials, dimensions, and/ or passions. Being a ‘multipassionate’ or a ‘multipotentialite’ helped me understand myself better.
And there is a big BUT.
Labeling can be helpful, until it becomes too sticky, and you fall back into victimhood.
A label can help you to understand yourself better, cope with your natural tendencies, and feel less alone.
But it can turn into a prison when you tell yourself that ‘this is just the way I am, I can’t help it, and I can’t change it’.
I am sorry to say this, but there is such a thing as having too many passions, when you’re burned out from being spread too thin and doing (and wanting) too many things at the same time.
The definition of ‘passion’
‘Passion’ literally means: a strong and barely controllable emotion. It speaks about a feeling.
However, what we call ‘a passion’ has less to do with the feeling, and more about the topic of choice:
- Personal Growth
Many of us get so attached to those specific activities that we forget what it really is about: the emotion, the feeling this activity, or topic, gives us.
Do you know what’s behind the things you love?
What makes you want to spend your time on those things?
What do you get from your passions?
Which feelings do they generate?
Those are the right questions to ask when you want to create a life that is fulfilling instead of just (too) full.
Focus on rewards instead of passion
Barbara Sher’s concept of ‘the scanner rewards’ changed my view on what it means to be a multipassionate. She explained the rewards behind your passions.
Your passions are just vehicles to make you feel a certain way, or achieve a certain thing.
What really matters are the rewards behind your passions.
Let me give you some examples to clarify:
Two people who love photography can have a completely different reason for their passion. One person loves to take portraits and make people feel beautiful and good about themselves. The other one is a wildlife photographer and loves the freedom the job gives her to travel the world and learn about animals. The first person could also have become a make-up artist, while the second person could’ve become a traveling vet because it would’ve given them the same rewards. Their specific passions are just a matter of coincidence and capabilities.
As a kid, I loved dancing, horseback riding, and gymnastics. Apart from being sports, they don’t seem to have a lot in common. But when I took a closer look at those things, I realized they tell a story about me and what truly matters to me: Freedom and Alignment. I loved gymnastics when I was flying in the air in full alignment and control. I loved dancing when I felt free in performing a challenging routine in alignment with a group. And my favourite things about horseback riding were galloping through the forest on the naked back of a horse, and jumping.
Maybe you love baking, cooking, knitting, and crochet all for the same reason: You love the homey-cozy vibe it gives you and the warm and loving vibe you get from people you cook or knit for. You could probably find 10 other hobbies that would give you that same feeling, but that doesn’t mean that you have to keep up with all 14 in your life. As long as something can give you that warm and fuzzy feeling, you’ll feel fulfilled.
How to find the rewards behind your passions
If you want to stop feeling flaky and confused and find the common thread behind your passions: find the rewards behind your passions.
Here are some tips:
- Ask yourself what it is about the activity/hobby/passion that you love most
- Ask yourself what that part gives you, what’s the reward or the feeling you get?
- You can recognize rewards because they are more general, and related to values like ‘freedom, alignment, creativity’
- One passion can give you multiple rewards
- Multiple passions can give you the same reward
My bet is that you will find maximum 10 rewards, and you’ll find that it will be much easier to create a life around those rewards, than a life around all of your passions.
It’s not about the vehicle, it’s about the destination
‘Everything you want is because you think you will feel better in the having of it’
– Abraham Hicks
Look, you want a car because you want to get somewhere (and sometimes to show how wealthy you are), but in both cases, you can use multiple vehicles to get there. You could have a boat, or a yacht.
Point is, it’s about the destination, not about the vehicle. (Unless it’s about the journey, but let’s not make this more complicated).
So the real question is: what’s life really about for you? What’s your destination?
You are not as flaky and confused as you think. I promise that there’s a common thread behind everything you do, but you were just chasing the wrong things.
I created a powerful exercise to discover the rewards behind your passions. Trust me, it changed my life, and that of my multipassionate clients.
Discover the rewards behind your passions
If you’re asking yourself “Why do I have so many passions?”, use this exercise to uncover what’s underneath all of your interests and passions as a Multipassionate or Multipotentialite in this free Notion exercise.