Why It Sucks to Be Good at Everything

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First, let me share this sentence which completely destroyed me:

“I see it as a curse, rather than a blessing, to be good at more than one thing.”

— Twyla Tharp

This is one of the latter.

The first time I heard Emilie Wapnick use the word “multipotentialite,” a switch flipped inside me:

“Yes!” I thought. “Thank God someone understands!”

It’s possible this behavior is an extension of the philosophy borne from my schooling, when straight As were expected. And I had all the answers!

I was good at everything.

No, that’s not right. I wasn’t good at everything. I just mastered the three R’s of public education. You remember the three R’s, right?

  • Review
  • Regurgitate
  • Release

In other words: learn material long enough to pass the test, and then move on. These three R’s encompass everything required to succeed in school. Mastery? Who needed mastery when I could learn just enough to get by?

(Oh, and also who needed it when I sat next to our valedictorian Kaci and I could look through the gap in her arm to see the answer to Question #4?)

As usual, I have led you here with a question I have no answer for. Sorry about that. Instead, another quote from a creative master:

“I didn’t choose to become a dancer… I was chosen to be a dancer.

I live and work out of necessity, as deeply and committedly as an animal. There is no choice.”

— Martha Graham

Through this single-mindedness and sacrifice and dedication, Graham changed the world.

But that was the old days! Now that we are in a new century, we can be as many things as we want to!


No matter what opinion you hold on the issue, here is the only question you need to answer today:

Are you using multipotentiality as an excuse?

It is one thing to have multiple interests. It is quite another to abandon ideas when you are stuck, shirk responsibilities at the first sign of difficulty, or refuse to press on to the end of a project, even though it may be just around the corner.

Sometimes ideas are the enemy.

Sometimes discipline is needed more.

Much love as always,

— Todd B

Share this if it resonated with you ❤

Written by

An optimist who writes. www.toddbrison.com/infinite-ideas

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