As it turns out, I am not only multi-national, multi-lingual, but also multi-passionate (passional – if I could take poetic license). Passionate about communication, raising aware children, practicing yoga, peace-building, cultural awareness, gender equality, the environment, open-ness, sharing…the list goes on. This may be a “if, then” conclusion, I don’t know. If you grow up speaking many languages, traveling many countries, then you will also have many passions. Yes, no? Or “if you are a women, then you will have many passions.” As I find this phenomenon more readily a feminine trait than a masculine. I happened across this Marie Forleo video which I felt was directed AT me. I couldn’t believe that the one thing she said she would do differently – was exactly the one thing that has been tormenting me the past couple of months, perhaps years:
I don’t have an elevator speech.
Just as I was envious of people who had ONE hometown, I am envious of people who have ONE occupation. And can therefore have ONE easy elevator speech. The conventional way. You grow up somewhere, you go study something, and then you become a professional in that one thing. But how many people today can still fit in that box? And furthermore, how many people IN THE FUTURE will fit in that box? Our children’s generation is going to be full of the “multi” people – and they may even be in the majority. I have two nationalities – our children have three. In the family I was raised, we were all born in the same country, one country. And in the family I am raising, we were born in four countries. If I thought the speech was difficult for me, imagine the struggle for our children.
Below is curated advice based upon what I have read and have been thinking:
Depending on the time and place, the speech will change. So as opposed to those who have ONE “in the can,” we “multi’s” need to think on our feet and develop MULTI-speeches. And our past and present experiences should help us to be able to do that pretty easily. So, if I am asked, “what do you do?” and it’s a more casual, social setting, I will answer
There are a lot of things I do, and this is what I’ve been working on lately…
and I will genuinely pick whatever is hot on my plate.
And if it’s a professional setting, I will try to assess what of my many passions could be relevant for the person asking and answer the same way, but pick whatever is hot on his/her plate.
So, I guess I am following Marie’s recommendation and ending the self-torture of the one speech. I still believe I need one and fully appreciate the reasons why. But it’s gonna come out of the “hat” rather than the “can.” And there is a lot of space in that hat of mine.