I sometimes the type of people who can dedicate themselves to JUST ONE THING. To give oneself to a single passion, and spend all effort in pursuit of it.
I’m just not that guy. (At least not where I’m at in life right now.)
And thus I’ve chosen a multi-disciplined life. I don’t want to be just good at one thing, I want to be great at a handful of things. (still finite, still countable, just less… singular.)
Depending on who you’re talking to, I often get the response, ‘Ah! I see. A Jack of All Trades. Very cool.’
Ah jack. My old nemesis. A master of none. How I loath you.
I’ll typically nod and try to lead them into more of a Renaissance Mindset, they are after all, usually saying it with a complementitive tone (definitely a made-up word).
No, I don’t want to be a jack of all trades, good sir. I’m probably overreacting, but there’s subtly in the language. I want to be a master of few, not a master of none. A Jack / Jill of All trades is someone who jumps from one interest to the next, bouncing around towards too many things — shiny objects — which ultimately highlights and leads to an indecisive life.
How about we compare a one thing life, with a multi-thing life.
Let’s start with the baseline: Going 1 to 0%. Let’s face it, a lot of us are just goofing off and just playing. As much as I’d like to help others go all in on what they love, there’s a lot of people out there who are living life going through the motions, giving only 0% on what they actually care about. There’s many reasons for this. There’s a lot of people hurting out there, without the empowerment and believe to overcome their pain. My heart goes out to them. Going just 1% puts you above the fold.
Going 100% doesn’t inevitably lead to your success. It can, but without the effort, consistency, dedication and luck involved, it might not. Go 100% AND put in the effort, and with a little luck you might be in the top 1% of your discipline. But do we really need to be in the top 1% to be a master of something?
Going 20% into 5 areas gets you further than the majority and leads to a level of mastery in your skills that can rival the top 1% er’s. I’d rather be in the top 5% in multiple areas, than in the top 1% of just one.
The added value of 20% & 5 is the interesting ways you can connect and combine the 5 areas your great at.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s value in each. Going after ONE pursuit gives you focus and clarity. You have a better idea what to yes and no to. You’re less likely to feel disorganized (compared to multi-lites like me).
The big idea I want to impart is that you can choose.
A life of one, or a life of many
If you want to pursue multiple things — do it! Don’t let others tell you that you can’t. We can’t do everything all at once, but we can do a few things well.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh W.