I have sometimes described myself as a “jack of all trades, expert at none.” It sounds negative, but it’s quite true for me for many years. I have a degree in architecture but I’ve done everything from being a pharmacy technician, to doing graphic design, and even became a soldier working as a medic. I pride myself in having a wide array of skills, but unless you’re Michaelangelo incarnate, many of us need to focus on a few things that we can be excellent at doing instead of trying to do it all.
The key is focus. The more you focus on something, the more energy you put into it, and the better you become at executing it. Trying to be good at everything leaves you with little time to be an expert in even just a few. There’s only 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. How much of that time are you investing in becoming a master when it’s divided up into a million directions?
Now, I don’t mean you should give up on things that you love or want to do. But perhaps, dedicating more time and effort on the top of your “to-do” will be more efficient use of time. If you want to be the best salesperson at your job, perhaps you can invest your leisure time reading up on sales books rather than starting another garage project (that you know you may never finish). If you want to take classes at the local college to expand your skill set, perhaps starting another online course can wait until the end of semester. If you want to be excellent in something, some significantly less important activities would have to take a back seat. You get the point.
This also applies in other areas of life. How are your time management skills? Think about those athletes who make it to the Olympics. How many hours a day and how many days a week do you think they invested on making it to the big leagues? They got there by investing hours a day almost everyday of the week to perfect their craft. Chances are, they didn’t do things like watch 4 hours a day of television (national American average). It’s a safe bet that they wisely invested their time to practice and get better everyday.
The best people in their particular field didn’t get there by jumping from one direction. Like a magnifying glass that focuses all the sunlight that enters on one side into a singular point hot enough to start a spark, harnessed focused direction is one of the keys to greatness that will make you on fire.