Jack of All Trades, Master of Some

By May 22, 2015Inside My Head

Mediocrity over mastery

I’m not necessarily a fan of Isaac Mizrahi, but I do like something I heard him say recently on an interview on “Design Matters” with Debbie Millman. He said, “I’ve never been interested in mastery.” I can relate to this idea because I constantly find myself want jumping from one thing to the next to see what else I can discover. A Jack of all trades, master of some is the way I like to describe it. For me, being masterful at one or a few things just isn’t as interesting as continuing to branch out and explore many directions. I’m ok with failing and learning. I’m ok working with others in areas where I’m deficient. And I’m ok  with the notion that I may never be recognized for mastering any particular discipline.

“I’ve never been interested in mastery.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I strive for greatness in all I do. I put everything I have into most things I put time towards. I am just good at noticing when I’ve filled my curiosity meter and how to recognize it’s time to move on. I’m not a flaky person who will drop and run as soon as I see the next shiny object. I’d never leave someone high and dry or go against my word or an agreement. This philosophy is more geared towards my own hobby projects and explorations.
I do some things really well, but I don’t want to be stuck doing only those things for the rest of my life. Nothing but respect for those who do take the time and effort to truly hone in on the perfection and dedication it takes to truly master something. Me though? I like variety, discovery, pressure and something new to look forward to. That makes it hard to brand yourself and find your way sometimes. Hard to put your whole heart into something and look back to see your efforts. It’s harder to explain what you do and prove your worth sometimes. And truthfully though, I struggle with the concept of rejecting the need for mastering any one thing. It seems that’s what people expect you to do. What they want to see.
But maybe these days, that’s changing. More and more, I hear of people with more talents/titles than they have room to list on a resume. Some of which I’m not even sure if I was aware existed. I never want to be fenced in and writing that down helps me feel better about my struggle in accepting the idea of not being the best at any one thing.