Spreading Yourself Too Thin

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Would you rather be a jack of all trades or wield true mastery over just one? The trap that a lot of talented people fall into is that they spread themselves too thin. They’re good at most things they try so they enjoy doing a lot of things. And that’s great up to a point, diverse interests keep us from tunnel vision and from becoming too obsessive, but at some point we all have to make the choice on how we’re going to allocate our time because time is finite. The only way to achieve mastery at anything is to fully dedicate to it, and this necessarily means leaving some other interests by the wayside, at least for a while.

Being pretty good but not great at everything does have its siren song, which is that you get to float in a comfortable, warm bath where you never have to exert yourself too hard and you never really have to experience the pain of frustration and failure because you don’t go far enough to seriously test your abilities.

That single minded determination where you fully commit to an aspiration requires discipline, patience, courage, faith, and a lot of hard work. This is why so many people never reach mastery in anything, not because they lack the innate ability but because the road is long and difficult and they choose not to take it.

But it’s a road that humans are meant to take, a necessary road for self-actualization. What you do, what you fully commit yourself to and live, makes you become who you are. What starts out as an interest comes to define you, but this can only happen when you choose to devote yourself to it.