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Struggling on Your Career Path? Maybe You’re Like Leonardo Da Vinci!

multi passionate da vinci Illustration mona lisa by Tamara Shopsin; engraving from Hulton Archive / Getty

My dad is the most entertaining person I know. He’s been throwing parties and organizing events for hundreds of people for fun for as long as I can remember.

Contests are one of his signature moves. Dad divides the guests into two groups, usually by gender, and a few people get to the stage and play.

Sometimes he calls for singing competitions, or “guess this stranger’s occupation,” since some people don’t know each other. If you guess right, your team wins a point.

He also asks a lot of questions on topics like geography, medicine, sports, in formats like:

  • true or false,
  • choose the correct alternative,
  • find what ties these 5 words together,
  • is X Albanian dish sweet or salty,
  • and many others.

These games are the cause of endless laughter and will loosen up even the stiffest people. On Friday night, he asked me the questions from his upcoming contest. One of them was about Da Vinci.

Dad mentioned four of Da Vinci’s achievements (well, one of them was jail, so I guess three of them) and asked which one happened when Da Vinci was 64, in 1516. I guessed right, in case you were wondering 💅.

By Friday night, all I’d scribbled down for this Sunday’s article was the title. As someone who believes nothing is coincidental, Da Vinci’s mention made me realize I had to write this for you.

Da Vinci’s achievements and coexisting passions

Da Vinci was an artist and a scientist, a painter, sculptor, architect, and military engineer. He drew some of the world’s most famous (and expensive) paintings Mona Lisa, the Vitruvian Man, The Last Supper.

Da Vinci invented a flying machine.

He’s also famous for his water studies, known as the Codex Leicester, now owned by Bill Gates, who “had some of its digitized pages used for a screen saver on the Microsoft operating system.”

He considered a military engineer career and designed war machines.

Da Vinci was an architecture and military engineering advisor, but also a painter and sculptor.

He was an androgyny pioneer.

In the 90s, a pornographic drawing of his was rediscovered. (Don’t pics or it didn’t happen me!)

There are more than 7000 pages of his drawings and ideas, known as “Leonardo’s notebooks.”

He asked questions like:

  • “Why is the sky blue?”
  • “How does the heart function?”

Da Vinci created the first usable version of scissors and diving suits.

Maybe you’re struggling on your career path because you’re multi-passionate like Da Vinci was.

Many people believe science and art can’t coexist peacefully.

Da Vinci, though, believed the two influenced each other. He never felt obliged to choose one passion or pursue only one idea.

Can you imagine how different our lives would’ve been if Da Vinci’d decided to stick to painting only, or developing new weapons exclusively?

We’re speculating here, but imagine if no one else came up with the idea of flying, scissors, or studying anatomy religiously, and Da Vinci was busy following his uncle’s advice that he should stick to one skillset “if he wants to make it in the job market.”

That’s not your Achilles heel, it’s your superpower

marie forleo multi passionate leonardo da vinci

This past week, I went to Marie Forleo’s YouTube channel, sorted videos by “Date added: oldest” and started listening to her videos from day one as I worked. (Highly recommended activity.)

“Named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation and one of Inc.’s 500 fastest growing companies, Marie Forleo’s goal is to help you become the person you most want to be.”

She has an award-winning show, MarieTV, world-class online training programs, and a #1 New York Times bestselling book.

I love Marie for many, many, many reasons. One of them is that she came up with the term multi-passionate entrepreneur. Marie Forleo not only defined success for many multi-passionate people, but showed us that it was possible.

“Being multipassionate isn’t your Achilles heel, it’s your superpower.”

Marie Forleo

When she started her business, she loved “personal development, business, hip hop, fitness, spirituality, marketing” and found a way to incorporate all of those into her mind-blowingly successful career.

Even though our current education system and career paths make going after many desires seem impossible and even undesirable, by making room for your life’s passions, I deeply believe you’ll make something super unique out of them.

The less-traveled road

Marie, Da Vinci, and my dad actually, who is a civil engineer, an advisor, owns a specialty store with sports equipment, and coaches young swimmers for fun, have taught me I don’t have to choose between my work passions or the people I want to serve.

You don’t have to choose, contrary to what we’re told. I’m a writer incorporating my Psychology degree in my articles and working with companies on topics like business, marketing, communication, and so much more.

It’s crucial to move strategically especially when you’re multi-passionate, so you’re not stuck on thinking about all you want to do for years, rather than moving forward towards all your career goals one step at a time. If you think you’re multi-passionate, check out the recommendations below.

If you want to do it all, the less-traveled road ahead is bumpy, tiring, and long, but it’s doable.

I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self (and all the people who made me feel insecure) that my varying range of career interests didn’t mean I was undecided or flaky or throwing away my future.

It just meant that Da Vinci and I had more in common than I’d thought.

Resources for multi-passionate people or those of you struggling to figure out the next step in your career

  1. Buy Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams Paperback by Barbara Sher.
  2. Take the 10-Year Test. “Imagine yourself 10 years down the road. When you look back on your last decade, do you regret not having done the thing?”
  3. Marie Forleo’s six strategies to help you explore and do all the things you love, without looking or feeling flaky and five tips to thrive as a multipassionate soul on an unconventional path.
  4. I’m a huge believer in looking inward for the answers we need. You might enjoy this meditation for manifesting your dream career and other related meditations in the category.
  5. A new model for finding the right job. Two inspirational quotes only!
  6. I’ve written more than 45 articles on this topic: Building a successful and mindful business. If you’re unsure about your future career-wise, you might find them helpful.

6 thoughts on “Struggling on Your Career Path? Maybe You’re Like Leonardo Da Vinci!”

  1. Te pergezoj shume per artikujt qe shkruan. Je nje vajze shume e talentuar dhe shume puntore. Dy cilesi qe kur behen bashke, krijojne mrekullira. Keep up the good work! Shume suksese!

  2. Just what I needed to read today 🙂
    As the ever-wondering/wandering type, I find the article both reassuring and inspiring but above all I appreciate the recommendations.
    Thank you!

    1. Thrilled to hear that! Thanks for sharing this with me and for reading, fellow wanderer. Remember: “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

  3. Makes you wonder about all the passions of individuals that never materialize because of a “tunnel vision” thought process?

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