My mother used to say about my father that he was a ” jack of all trades and master of none. ” By this she meant that he could do anything, absolutely anything, but not with the level of skill that tailored him to be considered a professional. Last night at dinner I realized that this dichotomy played out when you glanced around the table. Seated next to me were people who had mastered some skill that set them apart from the rest of us. We had a painter/artist and a musician that are truly superior to the huddled masses of the rest of us. I’m not saying that their proficiency applied in all areas of their life, it clearly doesn’t, as their talents seem to be finely focused and honed to a singular goal.
There were two who straddled the fence a bit (to varying degrees )who aspired to the level of master but who also proffered a broad spectrum of skills that enabled them to be chameleon like in their approach to their work and passions. I think that these two were the happiest of the people at table last night. Oddly enough their level of happiness was geared toward which end of the spectrum they tilted towards.
Then there’s me who’s a firm 80% ‘er; that person who can do practically anything with a level of accuracy approaching 80%, that’s not to say that I’m not dead on accurate much of the time, but it’s hit and miss. I like to think that I dare bravely, and sometimes fail, which in my mind is better than not daring at all.
So here’s the rub. If you wanted to, how do you transition from jack to master? Of if you’re a master how do you gain practical living skills and still retain that level of uniqueness that sets you apart?
Or maybe you’re happy being like me a 80%’er who can adapt to almost any situation although not always smoothly.
I awoke this morning wondering whether I was a jack, or a master, or in that between space, and the answer varies given the subject matter. On a professional level I’m poor jack, on a more personal intimate level in small gatherings I’m a tweener, as for those things that require mastery I’m not so sure but I’m working on it.
What about you? and do you care? does it matter? maybe not.