Have you heard the saying ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’? We have a finite amount of time on this beautiful rock we call earth, so we have to make choices. There’s nothing wrong with trying as many new things as we can, and there’s also nothing wrong with finding a couple of things that light a fire so bright we practice as often as we can in an attempt to master them. A mistake I’ve made is putting massive amounts of time into something I thought was bringing joy, but was actually bringing more stress into my life than anything else.
If we do want to get really good at a particular thing we have to learn to focus. And unless we can use our time effectively one hundred percent of the time, we’ll also have to choose a small set of things to master at a time.
Two years ago I started following a band called the Small Town Titans. If you haven’t checked them out before, here’s a video. And if you’re looking for something a bit light hearted, check out their cover of “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch”. They’r e great band, with an awesome fan community.
They’re a three-piece with a lead vocalist who also plays bass, and a guitarist and drummer who both sing backing vocals. On some of their videos the frontman plays guitar too, but its his voice that sets him apart. He has an impressive vocal range, and it’s more like he plays the bass and guitar on the side. He is a good bass and guitar player, even while singing, but his voice is definitely his specialty. Just as the drummer and guitarist both have good singing voices, but their most displayed skills within the band are playing their instruments.
Writing novels, playing the guitar, singing, writing music, recording and mastering songs, encouraging others: these things require time to get better at. These are all things I want to take the time to get better at. Until a few years ago I’d drifted, unsure where I wanted to spend my time. With consistent prayer and thought I slowly cleared unnecessary clutter from my mind. I realised I love stories and finding ways to share them. So I knuckled down, and put time into creating stories; the written word, songs, friendships—whenever I put time into these things I become a better storyteller and get better at listening to others tell their stories. This is something I have chosen to specialise in. There are a lot of different skills involved, and I’m definitely better at some than others, but they all help. Writing stories, poems, and song lyrics comes more easily than editing them, playing guitar, and music production for instance, or putting myself out there; but all are time well spent.
Have you found one thing that gets you up in the morning gets you going? Awesome! Do you spend a lot of time creating wonderful things to share with the world? Awesome! Are your creations just for you, spent as time to recharge your batteries for socialising? Awesome!
Are you searching for things to knuckle down and get really good at? Awesome! Your soul will spark when you find them. Are you someone who loves trying heaps of new things, meeting new friends, and encouraging people while doing it? Awesome!
Specialising doesn’t mean shying away from trying new things. It means recognising what we love, and doing and valuing those skills within ourselves. Each of the three members of the Small Town Titans have their own specialty, but they add little flourishes, and keep trying new things too.
Do you have an inkling of what type of person you are at the moment? A specialist or dabbler? You might not be what you think, and will already be doing awesome things!
Keep on keeping on being awesome. Peace.