My dad always said that to be a jack of all and master of none would be the saddest thing. He said to achieve excellence, focus and polish one thing. He said do at which you’re best.
It’s true what he said. It always worked for me. I have a passion in life which I value above all. When people ask me what I want to be and what I hope to achieve, the answer shines clear and bright in my mind. When they ask me what I do, I am proudly able to say this is what I do, and it’s the only thing I know. To be good at it is something I want desperately in life.
But there’s also something I think he missed.
It’s what I believe is called the spirit of the game.
I focused so much on one thing that I left behind all others, that all others left me behind. Save one, I had no zeal in mind. I knew one thing, but that is all I knew. It was a one-sided growth, and that always makes you stumble.
To have intense interests across a range of things not only adds beauty and knowledge to your life in multiple ways, it also sharpens and creates value in the aim you consider primary. To know another language, to play a sport, to attempt to learn an instrument, to have a soft spot for certain kinds of music, to want to cook and create, to do things above and beyond your primary occupation in life is the best thing you can do for yourself. And it is a sin not to do the best that you can for your life.
You don’t have to be the best at other things. The whole point is that things can be pursued simply for their own sake, without a larger aim to make something out of them. It creates the spirit of the game, creates a spirit inside you which is buoyant and healthy, which wants to be wholesome and real. It makes you want to be the best at everything even though you know you can’t and creates good competition in your mind, so that you always make sure to aim for the stars.
And so to be a jack of all is not so bad, for you realize that there are joys in life that come from unexpected places. To achieve excellence is great, but to achieve wholesomeness and happiness is healthier. Do at which you’re best, sure- but also be best at whatever you do.