June 10, 2016
Jack of All Trades
There’s a famous saying that I first heard at one of my Tae Kwon Do classes. It went something like: “Jack of all trades, master of none”. It described a person that was mediocre in a lot of different things, but didn’t specialize in any specific area. In Tae Kwon Do, however, we are encouraged to be jacks of all trades and masters of one, and therefore be good in many different areas, while still being great at one particular thing.
I’ve always associated myself with the original version of the saying. There are lots of different things that I am good at. I can play the piano, I know Tae Kwon Do, and I can play the snare drum (with varying degrees of success). However, I wouldn’t really describe myself as a “master” of anything.
A lot of people in my family seem to have found their thing. My mom has her photography, my younger sister her nail art and hair designs, and my older sister found her place in acting and performing. But I seem to skip around a lot. And not really in the sense that I’m interested in a lot of different sports, or like different kinds of art. I just try a lot of new things.
A Rabbit Hopped Up On Caffeine
I played soccer when I was little. I moved on to softball for a few years. I’ve done piano, Tae Kwon Do, learned some limited card tricks, and was on the swim team for a couple of summers. And I love to read and write. Sometimes I look back at what hobbies I’ve tried and I just have to wonder why I criss-crossed all over the board like a rabbit hopped up on caffeine. Part of the reason, I guess, is that I saw all these cool things, like people breaking boards with their hands, and magicians doing these amazing tricks, and I really wanted to be like them. Everything I saw was cool, and nothing was undoable for me.
But still, I haven’t really found my niche. It’s always seemed to me that I fit in a little bit in a lot of different places, but not completely in any given area. I love playing the snare drum in marching band, but I don’t think I share the confidence and passion that a lot of other band members do. Playing the piano is fun, but I don’t have the raw talent or ambition to practice maybe as much as I should. In my heart, I am a true jack of all trades.
Jack Of All Trades is Handy
While I sometimes find myself wishing that I had found something that I really enjoyed doing early on, like some of my friends who are really into music or art, being a jack of all trades has really come in handy. For example, when I babysit and play sports with the kids that I’m watching, I always silently thank my parents for enrolling me in sports as a kid. Because even though it wasn’t my thing forever, having some experience was super helpful later on.
Even so, being a jack of all trades doesn’t mean that I can’t be a master of one. It just means that it might take me a little while longer to find where I fit in. And when I do find that one thing that I love, it might mean that I can’t do everything else that I’m doing right now. But at least until I do find that one, I can occupy myself with all the other trades that I’m trying out in the time being. See you next week!
“Reprinted from Hagel Publications, Inc. dba as Courier Newspapers”