“A Jack Of All Trades Is A Master Of None, But…”

Did you know there was a second part to that common saying?

… but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

I only learned about this recently, and I’m so glad that I did.

It immediately shifts the whole meaning of the sentence from a derogatory one, criticizing a person’s inability or unwillingness to adhere to one niche, to that of valuing that same person’s range of knowledge and experiences they have likely accumulated in diversifying their skills and interests.

In short, maybe just doing one thing well isn’t the only way to measure success in life. Maybe exploring different paths with curiosity and creativity is just as valuable, if not more so, depending on the person.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life on the path to becoming a counseling psychologist, probably like 8 years if I’m honest. I got really good at understanding the human mind and why we think and act the way we do. But then I only started seeing the world through a clinical lens, and that made for a very bleak outlook on humanity. The work was mentally taxing, emotionally triggering, and uncomfortably numbing.

They say as a psychologist that you have to 1) recognize your competence in the situations you’re presented with, and 2) practice both proactive and reactive self-care. So I took their advice and left the field for the sake of my mental health. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s one thing to study psychology, but it’s a whole other can of worms to practice it. I can help people in other ways.

Currently, I’m exploring various options of making a living. I’m finding it hard to settle on just one. I want to be a writer, an animator, an artist and more. Technically, I already am all of those, but I’m not yet at the point where I can do them for a living. Even settling on one type of audience or one kind of niche to write for seems challenging. I don’t want to restrict myself. I want to have room to grow, to learn new things and to experiment with that which I don’t quite understand yet while improving that which I do.

So for now, I’m dabbling in a little bit of everything. All of the time. And I’m much happier than before.

Maybe I will never master just one thing, but in a way I will have the ability and determination to master anything and everything I try if I’m consistent at it. Maybe I will master the art of mastering. Maybe mastering failure is the true path here as long as you never quit trying.

In any case, my outlook on the world has dramatically changed. Looking inward and doing something about it directly impacts how you’re met by the external world, since the latter is filtered through the lens of the former. I hope in sharing pieces of my story authentically via the written word can help and reach more people than I ever thought possible. It’s never too late to rewrite your story, to reinvent yourself and to rediscover the kind of life you want to have as the type of person you want to be.

There’s no standard right or wrong way for everyone. There’s only what’s best for yourself. Minimize any comparisons with others and you’ll do quite alright. No one’s counting what or how much you master.

Master your mind.

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