Today we meet Stefano Pecci, psychologist and author of the book “Know yourself”.
I’ve read Stefano’s book with a lot of interest and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to all of you who are stuck in your career, are unable to decide what to do with your life or what direction to take.
Actually I like this book so much that I added it to the Passions Pilot’s favourite books list.
Let’s go straight to the interview and ask Stefano everything we want to know about him and his book.
Psychologist, multi-potentialite and explorer
Hi Stefano, thank you for this interview. Can you tell us about yourself? What’s your origin story?
Hi Nickita, mine is the story of someone who’s left his country, Italy, 10 years ago to explore what was out there, and who still enjoys exploring. I’ve stayed abroad ever since: living, working and studying in the UK for a few years (got a degree in Psychology) and travelling extensively all over the world in the remaining years.
Also, mine is the story of doing several jobs in several industries, trying to follow many paths, getting stuck often. Until the day I decided to understand why I wanted to pursue all the passions I had, especially because I couldn’t find books or resources that could provide the insights I was looking for.
It took me almost ten years to realise I actually like writing, a lot. Also, wherever I am and whatever I am doing, I enjoy to look for the hidden aspects of life, what happens behind the scenes of society or behind the closed shutters of our brains.
I work with a fantastic team as a speakers-recruiter for conferences/talks and I am currently living in Spain.
That sounds like a real multi-potentialite. When and how did you discover the term ‘multi-potentiality’?
I had always struggled to find my one thing to do in life when, while researching on alternative paths or just a way to do (or to be) more things, Google told me to look for multi-potentialites, scanners and so on.
Given that almost everybody on this planet has more than one passion, I was surprised to learn there were many individuals with the same strive to follow all of theirs.
Oh yes, there are millions, spread all over the planet. Let’s talk about your book ‘Know yourself’. How did you get the idea for writing this book?
At first I was relieved to learn about multi-potentialites, but I must be honest, after a few weeks I felt that I didn’t fit in completely. The reassurance of being a multi-potentialite faded away and I found myself back to the start.
Besides, whether or not I was a multi-potentialite, what I really wanted to understand was why some people can stick to one path whereas others are pulled by many passions.
I started researching…and eventually I had a lot of material (and discoveries) that could be helpful to others, so I decided to make it into a book.
That is most interesting! What is the main problem or issue that is handled in your book? Who is this book written for or what is your target audience?
While thinking about what to do in their life, some people struggle to commit to just one thing, feeling a fear of missing out on all the other passions/interests they have. My book goes to the roots of the inability to commit. It’s rooted in psychology and it requires a lot of self-honesty: since I am not happy myself with superficial conclusions, I’ve gone as deep and introspective as possible.
In fact, I’ve read many self-help books, but always felt they were missing something: they always proposed ‘patch’ solutions that tackled the symptoms rather than the root of an issue.
Although I understand that discovering the roots for some of our behaviours can be difficult to ‘digest’, making a bullet-list, tidying up your room or not giving a f**k doesn’t help in the long term.
My book is for anyone who’s not afraid to discover why they’re stuck with thousands of routes they’d like to follow and what to do to achieve peace of mind (I am not a fan of the word ‘success’).
From the symptoms to the root cause
Awesome, let’s dive into more details: What is the main theory explained in your book? How did you come to this theory?
I’ve begun researching the symptoms (i.e. fear of missing out and career indecision) and then I went backwards to the roots of the problem.
After studying several academic papers, interviewing psychologists and experts, talking to many people with career path indecision, I’ve found two patterns: a general framework in which society raises us up telling us that we’re special, and a more specific family context we grow up in.
By interacting with each of them, we create mental representations based on the feedback we receive that sometimes leads us astray (eg. “teachers praise me a lot, so I must be a genius”) or comes back haunting us when we’re adults (eg. “I need to look cool otherwise I’m a nobody”).
All those mental representations stay in our subconscious and, as Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Run a virus scan on yourself
I remember that from my own psychology lessons. What is the solution you provide for this fear of missing out and career indecisiveness?
The solution is that looking for an easy way out is part of the problem 😉
We need a great amount of self-honesty and a non-judgemental approach to understand why we are doing what we are doing; in this case feeling the need to pursue many passions.
The solution is therefore to Know Ourselves, put our barriers down, “run a virus scan on ourselves” (this is something author Neil Strauss put in his autograph when I went to one of his books’ launch).
After we’ve done it, we will know how to make things better. I can only say that there are relationships with our friends and family members involved. You might think “What? Aren’t we talking about multi-passions, career and what to do in life? Why relationships?”
Things sometimes are deeper than what they appear…
If you could give us just one piece of advice, what is this one and best advice you can give multi-potentialites?
For people struggling with indecision and fear of missing out, I’d make the habit of questioning yourself: why do you want to follow x, y or z passion, interest or project?
What are you looking to get out of it? Is it money? Social recognition? Where does the passion for that thing stem from? Be as honest as you can with yourself and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
We’re used to live with masks on our faces, but real life begins when we drop them. In one sentence: Know yourself.
Well, this is so powerful! If people want to buy your book, and I would really recommend it, where can they find it?
My book is on sale on Amazon where you can find a paper book and a Kindle version. And soon it will be available on many others online retailers…
Great! And it’s almost Christmas time, so for all multi-potentialites who are reading this, it seems like a good idea to me to ask Santa to put this book under the Christmas tree for you… Anyway I will also put a link to your book in the ‘Passions Pilot’s favourite books’ section of this website, which you can find in the Passions Pilot Toolkit.
If people want to get in contact with you, where can they find you?
They can find me on my website stefanopecci.com and on Twitter: twitter.com/stefanoNC
Thank you so much for the interview.
Thank you and all the Passions Pilot readers!