Been there, doing that. It is a journey with many, many side roads. As in any life journey there are times of joy and times of challenge. Being smart, having lots of choices, driven with intensity and passion, creates its own unique dilemma. The expectation by us and those around us is that we are so smart and thus can manage anything. Yet, there is confusion. Not all is understood. There is a sense of being lost and not knowing where to turn. Knowing there is more to life and searching, searching.
A path to personnel development for multi-talented individuals involves understanding, overcoming, developing, expressing and connecting. Let’s traverse these areas and see what is to be seen.
Understanding - We need to understand that as multi-talented individuals (also referred to as gifted, high ability, creative, or genius) that we have certain characteristics that come with be smart that are not symptoms of a disorder or disease. We have insatiable curiosity, high standards, intensity (perceived as being too much), many ideas, extra perceptivity, powerful intuition, potential for deep insight, excitability, enthusiasm, energy galore, powerful sense of justice, strong autonomy, and preference for original thinking and creativity. We have an awareness of an inner force that pulls for meaning, fulfillment, and excellence.
We need to understand we are different and it is “normal” for who we are. We need to clearly identify these characteristics. We need to identify our specific intelligence strengths. We want to utilize the theories of Gardner on different kinds of intelligences – verbal, visual, melodic, kinesthetic, logic, social, intrapersonal, naturalist, and existential. Also we need to look at thinking styles (DeBono) – facts & figures, emotions & feelings, caution & careful, speculative-positive, creative, and control &monitoring. We need to integrate different points of view (which we have a knack for if used) to better understand who we are and how others see us.
Overcoming – We need to overcome the out of control and unmanageable feelings and dynamics we experience. We do not fit in, but mediocrity is not the answer for us. We are excitable, enthusiastic, bounce off the walls. We need to utilize coping strategies to be effective in creating and relating. We have expectations that are of our own making and ones others put on us. We need to assess the expectations and realize perfection is not necessary and take the necessary risk to move forward and create, try things, express ourselves. We need to recognize the expectations of others and ask do they fit us. Are other’s expectations meeting our needs? Do other’s expectations take in who we really are – yes the excitable, off the wall, and yet at times confused and requiring assistance person. We need to overcome my managing our intensity and honor our needs.
Expressing – Just like the saying goes, don’t hide your light under the bushel basket. It is important for you to express your multiple gifts for yourself as well as for others. The light needs to shine so you can see first. And yes, others can benefit from your expression also. The drive within is the push of energy that has to go somewhere. If ignored or buried it will implode – you will experience the internal expression of the drive – physical discomfort, depression, or…… It is not necessary to share your creation with the world. By expressing your gift for yourself, you will then be able to interact in the world knowing who you are.
Expression for the world allows you to meet your passion for problem-solving, ability to see multi-facets of a situation, and create solutions with significant leaps in integrating and discovering knowledge. Giving of your talents lets you leave a legacy and contribute on a small detail or large scale. It matters. There is joy in the expression and the fun of doing a happy dance.
Connecting – We need to connect with others like ourselves, with those around us and connect the dots of the patterns we see. To have the freedom to be ourselves – excited, fast pace thinking, jumping from one topic to another, laughing at the weirdest things, solving puzzles – we need to connect with others like us. This may take a little effort. We can connect through specialty groups, activities or organizations; such as, chess clubs, climbing clubs, Mensa, AAUW or…….. We can connect in person or online. Online – we can look at forums and boards covering a broad range of topics. We need to know there are others like us and we are not alone. And the crazy things that come so natural are “normal”.
We want to connect with others around us and be part of the community. This takes improving our skills of communication and self-management. We want to receive and give respect for differences and commonalities. We want to have the opportunity for collaboration in expressing our talents for solutions and the joy of doing so. We want to connect to make that difference.
We need to connect the world within and without. There are patterns like in a kaleidoscope – ever changing, intertwined and connected. We need to connect the dots of the patterns we experience. After all, it is through connecting the dots that major discoveries are forth coming on a personal and global basis.
We are well on the path of our journey of life as a multi-talented individual. With understanding, overcoming, developing, expressing and connecting we can grow, discover and enjoy our potential. Search and explore who you are as a multi-talented individual; how to develop your talents; how to express your passion with drive; and how to connect the dots. The world needs you!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Johnston has 35 years experience in assisting individuals in finding their passion and developing their potential. She specializes in working with multi-talented individuals that feel lost, not understood, know their is more to life that want to express their gifts and connect with others like. She has traveled this path herself and knows first hand the challenges of having high abilities and not fitting in. She is the owner/consultant with "How To" Life Consultants, LLC. She chronicles her experience and provides tools at www.howtoinlife.com