How Striving to be the Jack of all Trades can Lead to Mediocrity

We've all heard the title phrase, "Jack of all Trades; Master of None", but what does that really mean and how does it effect you?


As mentioned in my last blog post, I've been diving into the Clifton Strengths books in attempt to not only discover my own strengths, but capitalize on them. The first chapter of Clifton's "Strength Based Leadership" book is an effective attention grabber, stating, "If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything."


Damn. Point taken.


I've always been a "Jack" (errr.. Jane?) of many trades. I learned basic automotive mechanics as a teen. I learned how to dismantle a firearm as a young adult. I went to school in the field of Computer Science, then later Mathematics. I've always enjoyed health and fitness and science-based nutrition. I've been a cocktail server, a bartender and even a retail associate. I can change my own tire, and even drain and replace my oil. At one point, I had my own lingerie company where I sewed each intricate piece by hand. I used to compete as a sponsored snowboarder, I've danced, I've painted my kitchen, started a podcast, written a few articles, and most recently upgraded some outlets and rocker switches in my house. You name it, and I've probably attempted it, or at least been exposed to it. I'm quick to learn, but also quick to "move on"; primarily due to my "need" or craving of new information, skills or projects. I was also diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but have refused to take medication for it, so there's that.


I've always placed high on proficiency exams; especially those that are hands-on. I don't do well with reading long instructions or listening to monotone lectures; that's also most likely the ADHD kicking in. For some reason, I've been able to hold interest in writing about certain topics or events, and that's probably the only consistent trait I've carried throughout most of my life.


After doing some self-exploration and reading more of the Clifton series books, I've realized that it's great to have hobbies, or skills when living an independent life is the goal, but when it comes to actually fulfilling personal growth needs and succeeding in the business world, mastering one (or five) of these traits is the objective.


So, with my not-so-vegan "killing two birds with one stone" idiom, I've decided to not only practice writing, but also publish a few blogs with the goal of learning to grow and utilize these talents.


People have always told me I was good at writing. I've always aced English classes that involved journalism-type assignments. I've never had the patience or attention span for heavy, dull reading, unless it was on the topic of science-based research. But, writing non-fictional stories or 20-page college papers on the symbiosis of parasitism, YES PLEASE!


So, after taking 25 years of people's opinions and suggestions, combined with my own love for writing into consideration, the biggest question was still left unanswered; What do I write about?


I could go on and on about how a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet was arguably the Ideal Human Diet, but since I don't have any fancy letters after my name, who would listen? I guess I could site the handfuls of doctors I've had on my podcast, but I'd have to go back and find statements they've made on their own research, then quote them. Plus, most of them have already published their own books, so why would I just restate what they have to say?


I could talk about myself and my life experiences, but I've already tried that and later took the entries down after I was confronted by someone who was offended by the content. I guess I could try this route again, because really, who cares if someone is offended, if that's not the goal? People will always be offended; no matter how cautious you or, or what topic you speak on.


I could submit a few articles to a local newspaper in hopes of getting something published, but if it wasn't on a topic I ethically agreed with, I wouldn't feel comfortable writing it. And, chances are, if it's something I'm interested in (like ending animal abuse, discussing alternatives to punishing victimless crimes, or an anarcho-capitalist society), the general public probably wouldn't agree.


I could talk about current vegan events, but Veg News does a pretty good job at that. Maybe I could independently work for Veg News? That's not a bad idea. (Pssssst! Veg News. I'm here if you need me!)


It seems there's a lot of "buts" in my statements. So, now what? What do I write about? What do people care about?


Controversy.


People have always been drawn to controversy. I have no problem being controversial; in fact, I really enjoy going against the grain, thinking outside the box, and potentially, but not intentionally offending people just to get them to think about common world issues (with the goal of persuading them, of course).


We live in a world where people trust the opinions of the Kardashians over those of Nikola Tesla or Jean-Paul Sartre. Instagram and FOX News have a higher influence on people than alternative media, and we still believe the words of politicians in office, regardless of how often (or not) they follow through with their promises.


But still, what is there FOR ME to talk about? Who cares what MY opinion is?


I've been inclined to stay away from topics around politics, religion and those that can fall into the category of "conspiracy theories", because I was in fear that my beliefs may deter people from listening to my podcast. I've always tried to keep my personal views separate from my guests' views when I didn't agree, because I didn't want people to associate "all vegans" with some of my personal thoughts.


For example. A lot of vegans identify as Democrat. I don't (but, I'm not a Republican either). A lot of vegans hate guns. I don't. If I start talking about how I grew up shooting guns at inanimate objects to learn self-defense, a lot of vegans (and people in general) see that as a precursor to violence; especially in a group of people who believe Non-Violent Communication should always be the first attempt at combating others' violence. (I happen to agree with this as well).


So, if I were to continue my podcast with topics that people didn't tend to agree on, combined with the aspect of veganism (which already has few supporters overall), I may potentially reduce my audience dramatically... and once it's out there, it's out!


But, then there's the ethical side of truly speaking how you feel, vs saying what you think people want you to say... this is where I get conflicted; most of how I feel isn't what people want to hear.


All things taken into consideration, I've decided to start writing based on a combination of how I feel, what's important to me, and what's going on in our world today. I'm sure, like most things in life, that will change. My main goal here is to really just get thoughts on "paper" and see what it turns into, since sitting down, wondering what I could possibly write about, doesn't do much good.


Hopefully this will be a fun, thought-provoking, or at least entertaining space for both you and I; thanks for checking in, and I'll see you at the next entry. :-)

© Vegan_Danielle 2018

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