The best books for when you have too many passions and can't figure out what to do with your life

Who am I?

Emilie Wapnick is an award-winning author and community builder. She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Her popular TED talk, Why some of us don’t have one true calling, has been viewed 7 million times and she has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Vice.


I wrote...

How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

By Emilie Wapnick,

Book cover of How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

What is my book about?

What do you want to be when you grow up? It's a familiar question we're all asked as kids. While seemingly harmless, the question has unintended consequences. It can make you feel like you need to choose one job, one passion, one thing to be about. Guess what? You don't. Having a lot of different interests, projects and curiosities doesn't make you a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none." Your endless curiosity doesn't mean you are broken or flaky. What you are is a multipotentialite: someone with many interests and creative pursuits. And that is actually your biggest strength.

How to Be Everything will help you channel your diverse passions and skills to work for you. It offers a practical framework—used by real multipotentialites—to build a sustainable life and career around ALL of your passions.

The books I picked & why

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Refuse to Choose! Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams

By Barbara Sher,

Book cover of Refuse to Choose! Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams

Why this book?

Refuse to Choose is the original book for people who are curious about many unrelated subjects. It is a comforting and fun read, with lots of real-world examples. Highlights include her breakdown of the different “types” of scanners and her project organization method, the Scanner Daybook.

Refuse to Choose! Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams

By Barbara Sher,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Refuse to Choose! Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't know what to do with your life? Drawn to so many things that you can't choose just one? New York Times best-selling author Barbara Sher has the answer-do EVERYTHING!

"Designed to help you enjoy your many interests without feeling overwhelmed and unfocused"
- Metro New York

Author of Wishcraft and I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was..., Barbara Sher has become famous for her extraordinary ability to help people define and achieve their goals. What Sher has discovered is that some individuals simply cannot, and should not, decide on a single path; they are genetically…


Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life

By Roadtrip Nation,

Book cover of Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life

Why this book?

Written by a team of documentarians, Roadmap is a great read for folks who are just starting their career—or starting over! It offers inspiring examples of people with weird, creative careers, including tons of interviews where you can learn about people’s specific paths. The exercises in the book emphasize seeking variety and blending your interests, rather than narrowing down your multi-passionate soul.

Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life

By Roadtrip Nation,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roadmap as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller is back! The career workbook Roadmap is better than ever.

Roadmap has been updated and expanded with tons of brand new content-including chapters on changing directions mid-career and not letting your past define your future.

Through inspirational stories and interviews, journal-like prompts, and practical career development information, this helpful resource will steer students, recent graduates, and career-changers toward an authentic, fulfilling life.

* Features fresh perspectives from people like singer-songwriter John Legend, surfing world champion Layne Beachley, and MacArthur fellow and radio host Jad Abumrad
* Full of advice for people seeking a fulfilling work…


The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life--A Creative and Practical Guide

By Margaret Lobenstine,

Book cover of The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life--A Creative and Practical Guide

Why this book?

Another important antecedent to How to Be Everything, this book offers a serious focus on career, work, and revenue streams. Lobesnstine, a career and life coach, makes the argument that a need for variety and love for finding new challenges are not liabilities, but assets. If you’re ready to get down to business, this might be the read for you.

The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life--A Creative and Practical Guide

By Margaret Lobenstine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Renaissance Soul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The guide to leading a creative, passionate, and multifaceted life―big enough to embrace all your dreams

Are you unwilling to settle on doing just one thing “for the rest of your life”? Do you jump at the chance to learn something new―or, after achieving success in one field, find yourself yearning for new challenges and looking around for something different to do? If so, you may be a Renaissance Soul. The Renaissance Soul is the first book devoted to this personality type, and in this updated edition―in paperback for the first time― author Margaret Lobenstine offers a life-planning strategy perfectly…


The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

By Amanda Palmer,

Book cover of The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

Why this book?

What if asking for help is not a burden, but a gift? This unique blend of memoir, self-help, and cultural commentary will make you reevaluate how you interact with people in all spheres of your life. Amanda Palmer shares the story of her evolution as an artist, wife, friend, and person who has tons of passions. Examining the life she has built is both inspiring and instructive.

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

By Amanda Palmer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Asking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"When we really see each other, we want to help each other." -Amanda Palmer Imagine standing on a box in the middle of a busy city, dressed as a white-faced bride, and silently using your eyes to ask people for money. Or touring Europe in a punk cabaret band, and finding a place to sleep each night by reaching out to strangers on Twitter. For Amanda Palmer, actions like these have gone beyond satisfying her basic needs for food and shelter--they've taught her how to turn strangers into friends, build communities, and discover her own giving impulses. And because she…


Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together

By Pamela Slim,

Book cover of Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together

Why this book?

Pamela Slim offers a wonderful way to reimagine your life and career, build your personal brand, and share your story. Multipotentialites often struggle to describe where they’ve been and where they’re headed in an impactful way. This book argues that your career is not a linear thing—it’s a collection of different types of work that you’re proud of. Body of Work will help you see your life story from a totally new vantage point.

Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together

By Pamela Slim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Body of Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These days it's increasingly rare to have a stable career in any field. More and more of us are blending big company jobs, startup gigs, freelance work, and volunteer side projects. We take chances to expand our knowledge, capabilities, and experience. But how do we make sense of that kind of career - and explain it? Pamela Slim, the acclaimed author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, gives us the tools to have meaningful careers in this new world of work. She shows how to find the connections among diverse accomplishments, sell your story, and continually reinvent and relaunch your brand.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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