The Know Yourself Sequels: Wrap-Up

How do multipotentialites manage to keep up with everything? The last two posts gave suggestions of how to manage various interests and activities and thrive.

From speaking to some multipotentialites, one thing is very apparent – you can’t do it without a schedule.

You can’t get very far without scheduling your different activities. We need to be intentional about how we spend our days and we need to have a plan in advance. You may not have every little detail worked out to the last T but have a rough sketch in the least. It is best to plan your whole week out at the beginning of the week and then make adjustments where necessary as the week proceeds. In line with keeping the end in mind, know what you want to achieve from all your activities in your long-term vision. This will help you have a clear focus and avoid you getting sidetracked.

A friend, who prefers not to be named, does business development at Deloitte full time and in addition, he is a writer. I asked him how he manages to find time to write.

He said, “It is a deliberate decision for which I create time. Writing matters to me…”.

He writes either early in the morning, or on his commute home from work. If you refer to the last post, you will notice that writing has been built in as a routine activity and slotted into a part of the day he sees best fit for this activity.

More to schedules, you need to rest, and put rest into the schedule too. Without rest, you’ll experience burnout. Our human bodies work like machines. At some point, they need to be repaired and refreshed.

In your planning, it is important to have SMART goals with grand and small milestones. Celebrate even the small milestones attained because they will give you energy to propel forward.

As a multipotentialite, you need to remember that your various interests and abilities are a unique asset to you. If you learn to harness all your “super powers” and thrive in every area, you become an even bigger asset to yourself, your community and the world at large.

According to Emilie Wapnick, a multipotentialite who gave a very popular TED talk on multipotentiality, here are a few benefits of being a multipotentialite: synthesis, rapid learning and adaptability.

Synthesis refers to the ability to merge different fields to come up with one new field. We can draw from our various interests and come up with new innovations at the intersection points of all our interests.

Rapid Learning refers to the ability to easily and quickly learn something new. She says multipotentialites are not afraid of beginning new things because they are often beginners when learning a new skill or venturing into a new area of interest. They are keen to soak up knowledge and learn.

Adaptability is a key ingredient for a multipotentialite because they need to morph easily and put on their various hats. Currently, my every week requires me to be a blogger, writer, architecture lecturer, fashion designer, business owner and director. I must morph from one to the next seamlessly. I have committed to these, in this season and must see them through on a consistent basis.  I regularly wear some of my other hats when the need arises however within my current season, the ones mentioned are my main focus.

To wind up, this has been a very engaging and fulfilling series for me. As I mentioned in my first post, watch or listen to Emilie Wapnick’s TED talk. It was a very big eye-opener for me when I first watched it. Here is the link

Thank you for reading.

Wishing you the very best in your eclectic and unique pursuits.


NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

The Know Yourself Sequels: The Fourth One – STRATEGY

Hello amazing multipotentialites 😀. Now that you know your top items on the list and have gained a sense of acknowledgement of different seasons, you can now refine your focus within seasons and plan strategically. If you have no clue what I am talking about I suggest you visit the first three posts in this series.

The Detail Tree

Incase you are wondering whether this is a certified term or method, it isn’t. It is simply a practical exercise I first learned how to do from a good friend of mine-Mrs. Nancy Lazaro Mwaisaka Nyambele. She’s an eclectic and multi-talented individual, a multipotentialite in every way.

While wondering a few years ago how to plan my activities, she taught me how to do what I have named a detail tree. This is a way of detailing your plans down to the very last detail sequentially. I have personalized this method and further tweaked and interpreted it in my own way to suit my activities and you can do the same. The bottom line principle is this tree is supposed to help you see every detail visually at a glance and thereafter, plan forward.

Prior to doing this tree, it helps to have a good general idea of your end goal. Write it down in one statement. That end goal should basically determine what you want to ultimately achieve in life. It can entail both social and work-related aspects. However, for purposes of this demonstration and this series, let’s use work-related activities. To guide your single statement, describe what you would want to achieve in your life.

Let’s assume Brianna, a hypothetical person, is an architect and a musician and her defining statement is “I want to be an accomplished and stellar musician and architect whose music stirs hearts and whose buildings become landmarks.”

These are the two things she’d like to be known for, professionally. It tells us what her end goal is. What does she need to do to achieve this? What steps does she need to follow and when? Assuming that she already finished her degree in Architecture and is a self-taught musician, she needs to define a path for success, beyond this point, in both.

A few themes to set the steps are education, practice and exposure. You can add your own categorizations. These three items are things that according to me are necessary to look at for professional development.

When I speak of education, I do not mean formal education exclusively. Learning never stops, at least it shouldn’t, and the same goes for growth. So when I speak of education, I mean ensuring growth by exposing yourself to new information and skills. Sometimes, formal education may be necessary to achieve this and other times, you can learn all you need through other avenues such as watching shows, reading magazines, apprenticing etc.

Practice is self-explanatory.

And finally, all her hard work would be meaningless without any exposure to a target audience or clientele.

With the above in mind, our person Brianna can do a rough detail tree as I have done below. It isn’t the most visually organized or neat tree and it doesn’t have to be. It simply needs to communicate every detail.

The Detail Tree
Detail Tree for Brianna

You will notice that the tree grows wider at the bottom as you add more activity to it. This tree is as organic as your life is and should be re-done as often as you deem fit to accommodate the various changes and growth patterns of your life. It may seem basic and primary, but do not minimize it for it enables you visualize every aspect of your undertaking.

Certain items on the list will be lifetime and routine occurrences, others will be seasonal and the rest one-time events or activities. A music course at X academy, for example, is a one-time activity that will no longer exist on the tree once the course is done, while other activities such as reading the Archdaily magazine for thirty minutes a day could be a lifetime routine Brianna builds into her schedule.

After doing the tree, Brianna needs to move forward to scheduling these different items on her calendar. Items that are daily routines can be slotted in at the same time everyday. She could slot her hour of guitar practice every day at 6:00 pm, for instance. It would all depend on the other activities and what times are suitable for each and every activity.

The seasonal or one-time events and activities need to have a timeline attached to them. An example is pitching to potential clients. This should have a clear deadline by which she should have accomplished this. Without a deadline, this could become something that hangs in the waiting lounge indefinitely.

To reiterate what we talked about the last time, all this planning has to be with a clear acknowledgement of the season you are in and your priorities within that season. It will predetermine how much time you give each activity.

We’ll wind up this series in the next two weekends as we look at the experiences of different multipotentialites and the benefits of being a multipotentialite.

Have a blessed week. Do share this to help someone. Read the previous posts to get a better idea of the genesis of all this and follow by email to get notifications of the next post. Keep being all you were created to be.

With the warmest of regards, Keziah.

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

The Know Yourself Sequels: The Second One

It’s beautiful to be a multipotentialite and it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out yet. Life is a journey and the pieces of the puzzle come together step by step.

The next step in this series is how to know which of your passions and abilities you need to focus on, the most. You may ask why this is important if you can achieve everything. Well, time is the most priceless resource that anyone alive has, so it is crucial to be cognizant of time. Living without an acknowledgement of the importance and significance of time is to live without any direction and lack of a proper use of your best resource. Your time has to have a value. That value is determined by you. If your time has no value to you, it will not have value to other people and they will either waste it or steal it. It is therefore paramount that you appreciate your time and choose which items will take up most of your time.

Stephen Covey in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, mentions “begin with the end in mind” as habit number two. Before embarking on any task or venture, know why you are doing it and what you intend to gain from it, or what the outcome will be if you focus on that task. When you have a clear understanding of it and are happy about the desired outcome, it will give your venture more meaning.

So, with the knowledge that we need to be cognizant of time, begin with the end in mind and prioritize, I would like to propose a few practical ways in which to zero in on your main passions that you need to focus on as a priority.

Pompi, a Zambian musician says “purpose is found at the point of intersection between passion, talent and service.” I agree.

We’ll talk about service in a later post. However, with respect to passion and talent, there are things you are passionate about and not gifted in and others that you are gifted in and not passionate about. Prioritize the things which fall in the intersection of passion and talent. The things that you both love, and are good at, are your goldmines because you already naturally have the drive and passion to see them through. I will say though, that any amount of talent can be improved through practice. On the other side of the coin, when you have extravagant talent in a field and yet you take that for granted, and do not practice and perfect your talent, you are at a disadvantage. This is to say that having talent does not discount or disregard the need for practice and hard, smart work. Passion on the other hand is a non-negotiable element because it will help you keep the faith even when things do not seem to be going your way. For example, passion kept Tyler Perry doing his plays for many years without making any real money before he had his big break. Passion, and the drive it provides are simply non-negotiable.

So, your first exercise (yes, exercise) will be to take a deep look into your life and ask yourself which things you have both the passion for, and talent in. List them. Your list of things can be as long as you want it to be. Simply list them all. Be honest.

After doing this, you need to find out which of them should take absolute top-most priority. Here are a few questions to help you discover which ones you consider the top-most in terms of priority.

My absolute number one question is “If money wasn’t an issue and you had all the money in the world, which things would you still do simply because you love them?”

The second question is “If your life ended today, in which item on your list would you wish you had accomplished more?”

The third question is more flexible because you may not answer it accurately the first time and may realize the truth of the matter later with time. However, it still helps to answer it with honesty the first time. It is “Which of the things on your list do you envision a profession or business in, the most?”

Now that you know which of the items are your absolute top-most ones, you can further rank them in order of importance starting from the first to the last. Have an understanding of what each of them entails and a proper knowledge of why each of them is important to you.

When I first did this exercise about four years back, I realized that poetry, architecture, fashion and music are my absolute four main items. At that time, I further prioritized them and my order of priority was: Architecture, Fashion, Poetry and Music. This order of priority shaped the proceedings of my next years four years. Over time, my priorities have changed with the changing seasons. However, each time I have been intentional in making the changes happen. One needs to acknowledge the different seasons of life. I will elaborate further, in our next post.

Now that you’ve discovered your absolute main interests and which ones you want to spend the bulk of your time on, you can now delve further into how to accomplish the feat of succeeding in each of these things. It takes a lot of strategic planning but most importantly-practice and execution. We’ll explore this aspect in our next post too.

As a side-note though, once you’ve figured out your main passions and abilities, it does not mean that you throw the rest out of the window. It simply means that your priorities will help you decide what to spend the biggest bulk of your time on. The rest of the items on the list do not seize to have meaning. They will actually greatly help you improve the main passions. As an example: I love theatrical performances and fine art drawing but these were not in my major four. However, the fine art helps me greatly with Architecture and Fashion Design while the art of theatrical performances helps me greatly with my poetry performances. This should point out to you that some passions and talents are main while others are auxiliary depending on the person and context. We are all unique.

Until next time, keep believing in the validity of your dreams. YOU WERE BORN TO BE ALL GOD CREATED YOU TO BE.

Share this, it will help someone. Send me feedback either by commenting here or sending me an email at I would love to chat further with you if you are confused and have a few more questions about your passion, abilities and priorities. Also, follow the blog via email to get an instant notification for the next post.

With love,

Keziah Elaine Ayikoru

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.



The Know Yourself Sequels: The First One

“What if you are passionate about more than one thing?”

Months ago I posted an article titled “Know Yourself”. I talked about how it is important to know who you are in order to know where you are going. I also highlighted the importance of doing meaningful exploration if you do not yet know who you are and what you like. Try out different things you are drawn to and you will discover yourself along the way.

After that post, my dear friend Fabiola wrote to me and asked a number of questions and we proceeded to have a lengthy conversation. Allow me to paraphrase the first question she asked: what if you are passionate about more than one thing?

So, what if you like more than one thing? What if you are genuinely interested in a vast assortment of fields that may not even be directly interrelated at all? What if you feel passionate about all these things? Then what? Is there something wrong with you?

I bring extremely good news to you: you are perfectly normal.

While growing up, I wondered a great deal what I would be when I grew up. At the age of about 8, I wanted to be a professional singer. I composed my first poem cum song at that age and I still remember the tune to it, to this day.

I also wanted to be a TV show presenter. I still remember standing in front of the mirror pretending I was presenting a show. I admired TV show presenters and practiced things they’d say and do. In the girls’ room, alone, I’d tie a headscarf and either let it fall or put it in a bun (TV show presenters did not have short hair) and then I’d wear something really nice and pose in front of the mirror. In my little head I’d hear 1,2,3 action! and the words would come out of my lips…

“Goodmorning dear viewers, we are happy to have you here with us today. We have a packed show ahead for you filled with …”

I’d rumble on and on, and even take commercial breaks in between show sections. (😆😆😆😆😆).

I was generally a very artsy kid and loved to draw, read, build legos, dance, sing and so on. I still remember trying to form a kids music band with my family friends. I’d carry a radio to their home and make them listen to different songs. We recorded ourselves on empty tapes too using those black radios with tape recorders. I wonder where those tapes went….

It is very surprising therefore how in the world, at one point, I wanted to be a doctor and I carried that thought with me all the way to form three when I discovered that frog-dissecting happened in A-level Biology. I quickly decided I wasn’t down for that. Plus I really struggled with Sciences in O’level, albeit passing them well eventually.

It was in form three though when I remembered I had once drawn the house we lived in, in my primary years. One day, with no supervision and no obligation, I had taken my sketchbook and a ruler and sat in front of my home and sketched a front elevation! One of my brothers found the sketch and was pleasantly shocked and surprised. He mentioned a word I would remember in form three – architect!

Fast forward to university, I studied Architecture with a passion and I loved the journey but something else begun to happen in me. I realized, I couldn’t ignore my other interests. They were like spirits that followed me. I still loved poetry and found immense fulfillment when I wrote. Plus I loved to sing with everything in me! Unable to ignore them, I told myself that I could treat them as hobbies. The plan was that once I was done with uni, I would “sober up”, become serious and be the exclusive architect.

So, you can imagine my confusion when in my fourth year of Architecture school I discovered another deep interest and passion – fashion! The poetry and music were not wearing off and now I had a new baby on board! In addition to this, I sold jewelry and clothes in school right from my second year all through to the end of university and guess what? I realized I actually enjoyed trading! So it turned out that in addition to all the above, I developed a passion and curiosity towards business! And that’s not all, I had an interest in a number of other things too such as blogging and photography, playing guitar and so on.

In consolation, I told myself that these could be side-things. After all, I was an architect! Period! The plan was to find a way to keep these things as my “side guys”.

The anxiety I felt over having multiple interests was magnified even more when I dated a man who was very confused by my eclectic nature and did not understand how my “side-things” featured in the whole grand and prestigious Architecture plan. To cut him some slack, neither did I. All I knew was that I couldn’t avoid my side-things. I subconsciously expected that I would stop at some point though and that I’d wake up and be “cured” from some of my interests, and put them up on a shelf like trophies to be looked at in the future as the things of my youth.

This anxiety was further intensified when while at a business conference organized for students, I put up my hand to ask a very genuine question.

I asked, “What if you have more than one passion and you are truly gifted and good at more than one thing? Is it possible to do multiple businesses and multiple activities and still be successful?” The answer I got was simple and straightforward – no! I was told I should just abandon all my others ideas and choose one and focus on it. Period!

Over the next few years I tried to suppress the different things I love and focus mainly on one thing – Architecture, but I often found myself unfulfilled and seeking solace in the other things I loved. During that time, I remember feeling like I was a different person at open mic nights and wondered if the lady I was in the office was the same as the one who performed poetry on stage.

On one beautiful day while hanging out with my poetry buddies, I remember telling my friend Nancy how it is unfortunate that everything I do outside the office, such as poetry would never get on to my CV and how it was basically pointless. I felt hopeless. She grilled me and told me to put all of my eclectic nature on my CV – “by all means” she said. I thank God for such friends.

See, the problem was not that I disliked Architecture. I loved and still love Architecture. The problem was that I was trying to be only one thing and I thought it was a crime to be more and yet, I was not innately wired to be only one thing.

Over time I have learnt that there are many other people like me and we can be successful in a myriad of things. Fast-forward to today, I love all of my “things”. I love that I am passionate about so many things and I have learnt that there is actually nothing wrong with me. I am what they call a multi-potentialite. I learnt this from a TED talk by Emilie Wapnick. Feel free to watch it after this. She talks about the dilemma of being a multi-potentialite in a society where “one true calling” is romanticized. She says it is okay to have diverse interests and there are actually benefits to being deeply interested in many things.

God did not give you all those talents and interests by mistake or frivolously.

In short, there is nothing wrong with you if you have many interests, even if the interests are unrelated. For example Fabiola is a passionate lawyer who loves to draw, paint and write poetry, and yes, she is good at all these things. And you know what? That is unique and beautiful!

We are all created with unique abilities set in different backgrounds and characterized by different stories. It is our different stories that set a backdrop for our unique journeys in life.

Some people genuinely want to be only one thing and are content with that. They are specialists by nature and that is perfectly okay. However, those of us who love to do more than one thing are normal too and we can make it in this world too, in all our shades of colour.

After getting comfortable with your eclectic nature and knowing you are perfectly normal, the next thing is to answer the following questions: which of your passions are you most serious about? Which ones do you want to make a living out of? Which are most important to you and why? Which ones have the biggest intersection between passion and ability? How do you succeed in all of your passions?

In the next parts of this series, I will be exploring each one of these questions in-depth. So watch out for a new post each week on Sunday evenings. Join me on this journey. Like and share this post. It could help someone who is in a state of quagmire.

I dedicate this series to Fabiola and all the other multi-potentialites out there. You are special and unique and your story will be as dynamic and beautiful as your journey. Seek not to be understood by other people. Only seek to be happy and be ALL GOD CREATED YOU TO BE! Commit to yourself and your unique nature.

With love, Keziah Elaine Ayikoru.

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.