Breaking The Boundaries: Jack Of All Trades Or Master Of One?


As soon as we’re out of college, we are made to believe that a definitive career path is our singular goal. When asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’, you’d probably name a profession that you are interested in. But what if someone pitched you a curveball and told you that you were free to break the norm of choosing ‘one’ field of interest, and venture wherever your heart leads you? Before you choose, perhaps you should learn a bit more about learning.


One skill makes way for many

Studies say that the potential to master even one skill can work as a catalyst for learning many others, thereby opening up a world of possibilities! It’s just how learning works. For instance, a training and development specialist might employ theatre and improvisational techniques to conduct more effective sessions. An aspiring brand manager might pick up leadership techniques through weekend football sessions. So, en route to being master of one, it’s quite likely that you’ll pick up at least a handful of life-skills. But is that the best way to learn?



Learning also means unlearning

Think about it. While many are comfortable spending life’s first quarter honing one skill, a growing number of youth are burning out less than five years into their career. Round about the mid-twenties, faced with the monotony of employing one skill ad nauseum, you feel your growth plateauing – followed by a sudden urge to learn something entirely new.  How do you tide over this ‘quarter-life crisis? ’By realizing that an essential part of learning is unlearning.



Remember, you’re literally built for success

In technological terms, your brain is capable of holding 10 to 100 terabytes of information. For the uninitiated, 1 terabyte is a 1000 gigabytes. You’re far more powerful than any memory device mankind has ever created. Your potential is indeed mind-boggling! Which means, if you set your mind to it, you can learn to master anything! Success will then surely come your way.



All big thinkers start small

To give you an idea of how potentially talented you are, India’s PriyanshiSomani, started mental calculation at six years of age. Today, she is the only participant with a 100% accuracy, in Addition, Multiplication, Square Root in all five Mental Calculation World Cups!

Aelita Andre Australia began painting at nine months and her first solo exhibition opened in New York City when she was just four years old! These are simply two names amidst a sea of talent out there. The thing is we tend to view these people as “Other” or different from ourselves. But in reality, most of the extraordinary people have had fairly ordinary beginnings.



It’s not how you start, but how you keep going

Don’t be another wishful thinker or flash in the pan. Stay hungry. Feed your curiosities. Push your limits. Maximise your potential. You’ll try harder and fail harder too. Eventually, you’ll find yourself becoming proficient in at least one skill while growing your reserve of knowledge. The trick is to keep going, no matter what.



Be all that you can be

Surprisingly, the concept of a multi-potentialite has been around for centuries. A good example would be Leonardo da Vinci, who, apart from being credited for major inventions, is renowned for his impeccable artworks and well known in the fields of literature, history, mathematics, and music. Somewhere within, we all have a bit of da Vinci in us and while societal pressures may have clamped a ceiling on this thought, it’s time to break the mould and free our minds. Create a balance between deep knowledge and broad knowledge, explore and acquire. Because it’s not strength or intelligence, but continued efforts and the will to try that unlocks our potential, bringing out the best within!



Hang on! What if you’ve succeeded, but still wish to start over?

It’s not easy, but it’s possible. And if you think you can, you can! Take the story of Jeeveshu Ahluwalia for instance. Jeeveshu was successful at 35. He was the director of a company, owned 6 apartments and 2 villas, and he flew business class nearly every week. He’d crossed his teenage in work experience. But his version of success was entirely different. So he stopped, quit, and pressed ‘reset’. Three years since his decision, Jeeveshu has taken the Indian standup comedy world by storm, with his inimitable wit, flavor, and style. He’s done over 1500 shows across genres and in countries like Dubai, Doha, Philippines, Singapore and more. He still flies business class, of course!