Last week, I wrote about Emilie Wapnick’s recent TEDxBend talk about multipotentialites. From the number of emails I’ve received thanking me for that article and sharing the video, it seems that Emilie has given a name to what many people are experiencing, perhaps more now than ever before. And to my surprise, the more I listened to Emilie talk about the qualities and characteristics of multipotentialites, I realized that, in many ways, she was also describing me.

I started my professional life as a voice teacher on the faculty of a well-known conservatory of music. At the same time, I was also a church organist and choir director. After a few years, I moved on from both of those positions to be a professional singer in New York and a vocal technique teacher for opera and musical theater singers. Within a few years, I was teaching singers who were performing leading roles in opera houses all over the world and on Broadway. Singing and teaching was my primary source of income for more than 20 years.

Yet alongside that career, I was also very interested in how performance in any medium (acting, singing, playing an instrument, or dance) gave voice to the soul. I studied the human energy system and how it relates to life and performance in any chosen field. Studying the human energy system led to deeper study of intuition and ancient wisdom teachings. Soon, in addition to teaching vocal technique, I was also teaching classes in personal and spiritual development, particularly as they related to performance. My dual careers in performing / voice teaching and in spiritual development fed each other in beautiful ways.

In the late 1990s, just as I was sensing that something new in my professional path might be on the horizon, I heard about personal coaching. In 2000 and 2001, I took a deep dive into coach training. By the summer of 2003, I had shifted my primary income source from teaching singers to personal coaching.

As my coaching practice developed, I became curious about quantum physics. I was fascinated by the “science” behind the ancient wisdom teachings I had been studying. Learning about the fundamental principles of quantum physics took me to a new level of understanding about life as energy in motion. That led me to create the Transformational Presence work that I do now. As I look forward, I don’t know where my path will take me next, yet I trust that more unexpected and amazing opportunities are still to come.

All of this makes me wonder if the word “career” is actually losing its relevance in today’s world, and if “soul mission” or “life purpose” is perhaps becoming more relevant now than ever before.

Your soul mission is the energy and passion that fuels your life. It’s your reason for being, your purpose in life. Soul mission is also your life-long lesson – what you are here to learn and become a master of – as well as the greatest gift you bring to your world.

When you build your life on your soul mission, the roles you play or the career paths you follow become vehicles for living and expressing your soul mission. No one’s soul mission is to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, or a parent. Your soul mission is not limited to a specific career – it’s the foundation upon which your whole life can be built.

As an example, my soul mission is “I liberate and empower.” Throughout my whole life, whether as a singer, teacher, coach, or friend, my greatest passion has been helping people set themselves free and giving them tools and skills to live the life they feel called to live.

The soul mission of a multipotentialite might be “I learn and create,” or “I am a steward for greater possibilities,” or even simply “I invent.” Their soul mission is the thread that ties together all of the multipotentialite paths. Within Emilie Wapnick’s context, each of the career paths or creative pursuits we undertake becomes a vehicle for developing the many aspects of our greatest potential. Each path feeds our soul in a different way.

While it’s our curiosity about a subject or topic that initially draws us into a particular path or pursuit, what actually keeps us engaged is the feeling of aliveness and passion that we experience as we go deeper. It’s the passion and aliveness that hooks us. This is an important distinction in creating a fulfilling life. It’s not the specific career path or creative pursuit itself that sustains us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; it’s the process of developing our inner potential, our skills, and our talents to the fullest that excites and sustains us. It’s who we are becoming as we pursue that interest that brings a sense of reward and fulfillment.

The soul thrives on learning, growth, and adventure. It wants to experience itself at its absolute best. To that end, it may seek multiple paths of expression in order to make the most of this life. When you know your soul mission, it then becomes the thread that weaves together your many experiences and pursuits. Therefore, discovering your soul mission is one of the most important steps in building a fulfilling and rewarding life.

Philosopher, theologian, and civil rights leader Howard Thurman’s words sum it all up:

Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Making a difference in today’s rapidly changing world begins with getting clear about why you are here – your soul mission – and then letting your soul mission lead you down the career paths and creative pursuits that most bring you alive.


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