The Generalist and The Specialist
Having a wide range of skills vs focusing in and having a specialty. Each has it’s own merits, so let’s delve a bit deeper into the merits and non merits of each.
Firstly the individual whom can be known as a jack of all trades and knowledgeable in a little of everything imaginable. Such individuals never cease to impress those around them more often then not with a new trick being pulled out of their hat to constantly impress. Some call such an individual a renaissance man.
Their knowledge is wide ranging and far reaching, the problem comes in that this knowledge is shallow at best. Now on the surface people that don’t know anything (or very little) about the respective field may assume that such an individual is an expert, but anyone with a substantial understanding of the skill would be able to tell that this is anything from the case.
While such a jack of all trades can impress when the rubber meets the road, such individuals will be hard pressed in holding their ground against individuals that are far more capable.
Getting to the Top of Your Field
Put another way, the people who are famous for what they do are world class in what their skill set is. They have achieved excellence. By contrast very few individuals that have a jack of all trades range of knowledge are well known for that. Because the cold hard truth is that the path to excellence, where people know your name, is reserved only for those that are truly top of their field, the one that are truly great, are scarce few, only a handful of individuals achieve that level of success. In terms of wealth, I believe it has been said that the top 1% collect 50% of the wealth, so too for any skill or profession, rewards are not evenly distributed among the percentile.
It is good to lave a wide range of knowledge, as it will put you in a positive light among many individuals across many demographics, making it easier to make friends. But to really make an impact and make your presence felt, you need to not only chase excellence, but chase perfection.
Kingston S. Lim
April 14, 2021
About Kingston’s Journey Series: Kingston’s Journey is one “inspiration video/motivational video” of a lifelong series. This is the travel journal I take with me. Whether you have questions such as how to change my life or how to travel the world, I think you’ll find value in the life lessons I’ve experienced and documented in this travel notebook. They may serve as travel inspiration for you. In Chinese, there is a saying, “讀萬卷書,不如行千里路.”
This means, instead of reading ten thousand books, why don’t you walk a thousand miles. This is my inspiration to travel every nation (or as many as possible) in my pursuit of my global MBA by learning as much as possible and recording these life lessons learned only by travel. In the end, I think the achievement of dreams, personal growth & aspirations out there through travel and adventure will lead to a more fulfilling life. Living and experiencing the “now” is how I’ll make my life a great memory in the future.