If you could choose to be a master (or mistress) of any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?
I tend to think of myself as a jack of all trades and master of none, as the saying goes; often calling myself a “generalist” in my work life. I know a little bit about a lot of things, making me an ideal candidate for Jeopardy, but I haven’t taken the test yet (although I often know more than the players I watch on the show every night).
Being an expert in any one skill is not appealing to me. The focus and dedication it takes to become THE go-to person in the world is remarkable, but can you imagine living with that kind of pressure? I’m not interested. I enjoy the fact that I know how to do a variety of things: to cook and sew and write and use a particular computer program and speak in public without peeing myself. Somewhere very early in my career I recall someone telling me, “The more you know how to do, the more opportunity you’ll find.” I’ve taken that to heart.
I also enjoy knowing the bunch of fun facts and tidbits that make for a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit. I imagine though, being the master of a skill could come with extreme expectations and rewards. So, for the masters of skill in science and technology and education and culinary arts and the myriad others in the world, thank you. Without you our lives would be, and have been, dramatically different.