“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
– Ernest Hemingway –
Are you a jack of all trades and master of none? Moving from one hobby/profession to the next, in a never-ending whirlwind of wonder and glee, until you become bored, then switching to something new, as if you were changing a piece of out-of-date fashion.
I know people like this and I also know professionals who are still employed at the same job that they got into since they were in high school. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with either way. Consistency and dedication have its merits, as does variety and trying new exciting things.
I personally have been the kind of person who doesn’t like to focus on just one area or realm of study. I’ve studied and practiced extensively in the following fields: cooking, baking, chocolate-making, dieting, exercise and fitness, Martial Arts, Yoga, the sexual arts, business, entrepreneurship, language studies (mostly French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch and English with a couple of Japanese and Chinese phrases mixed in), furniture-making, jewelry-making, construction, meditation, hiking, wilderness survival, traveling, abstract painting, wood-carving/sculpting, writing, geography, history, social studies, psychology, various religions (primarily Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Rastafarianism, and Shamanism), and psychedelic research/experimentation. This covers the bulk of my personal studies, although I may have left out certain disciplines…
For instance, take my experience with the Martial Arts, which is one of my first true passions. I was introduced to it when I was very young by those old karate movies; The Karate Kid and Bloodsport starring Jean Claude Van Damme. I used to love those films, I still do! I trained in karate, kung-fu, and muay thai, on my own and in various institutions. How far did I go with this passion? Far enough to feel confident with myself if I ever were to get into a fight in a survival situation, but definitely not enough to compete against the world’s greatest fighters. I am not a pro. I don’t feel like getting pounded in my face every day. At any rate, I feel okay knowing that I’ll never become a grandmaster, but I have much more knowledge and experience than the average person. So, that’s enough for me at the present time. Anyways, the main purpose of the Martial Arts are to maintain health and fitness, not necessarily to continuously fight, day-in and day-out. For a violent man – will suffer a violent death.
I’m only using the Martial Arts as one example here, to express my point…
I think we should ask ourselves before going into anything, how far do we want to take it? Do we want to become a professional or just be a hobbyist? Certain disciplines take much more of a commitment of time, money, ability and intellect than others. I have also tried my hand at the drums, guitar and keyboards. I love music, but my musical talents are very poor. So that’s an area that I will probably not pursue again. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time to master everything…
It’s important to focus on what we’re passionate about, see if we have talent in this area, then take it as far as we want to go.
Also, as a side note on education and attaining degrees. Do you want to study at a university for four to six years? You should think about this first, before taking the plunge. Don’t just rush in there because all your other pals are doing it. A lot of things can be self-taught or learned through apprenticeship. College is a huge commitment and in a way, it limits our field of knowledge to one particular area, as opposed to learning a wider range of disciplines.
For me, working at random jobs, in various locations, traveling, and experiencing life has taught me much more than any college. We never stop learning, whether in school or out of it. So I wanted to shed some light on this topic and ask you; are you a Jack of all Trades, a Master, or a Jack-Master?