A thing


Everyone needs a thing, some expertise. Everyone needs a personal brand.

Look on Twitter and especially LinkedIn. Most people have a thing. Some people don’t, but then they call themselves Futurist, or whatever.

I don’t know what my thing is. I’m not an expert in anything (the smarter and more loyal among you probably inferred this from my shout out to generalists). I’m not sure what I can talk with authority about. My range of passions is broad, my attention span narrow. I shuffle from this to that. Photography is awesome! No, sorry, I meant cooking. Screw cooking, the football’s on. Oh, errmmm, I actually meant I want to do some writing. Prose? No, poetry! Actually prose. Forget writing, let’s read that book on Physics because I love it. Ok. I’m bored. Let’s do photography again. No consistency, only curiosity. I love everything, fleetingly. I know a little about a plethora of subjects.

I don’t like being put in a box. I don’t want to be known for my profession, my photography, my writing.

I worry when I’m considered the expert in something as all I think about is how little I really know. Is this just imposter syndrome? Or is it fundamentally driven by how much I dislike it when self-declared experts actually know fuck all about their purported subject of expertise?

I am the ultimate jack of all trades. OK at most things, excel at few none.

When I play football, it is the same. I have no pace to speak of, but I’m not slow. I have no skill or strength but I have a useful range of passing. Add to all of this a horribly inconsistent shot and a less inconsistent first touch. I’m OK going forwards and OK going backwards. Jack of all trades.

I’m not sure what this all means. Being OK is not so bad. I think I could make a good go of almost anything. But not excelling and not specialising is probably an issue. I’m bottom of David Ricardo’s pile. Do I need to focus?

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1 Comment

  1. Resonates massively. I look around and people are extreme experts on everything. Perhaps its also brought more sharply into focus due to the passage of time and getting a little older. Its ok to be good at lots of stuff when younger but traditionally one should hone their skills and discover a mastery.

    The thing I have conflated in the past (and maybe you have too) is what you are good at vs. what you are passionate about. The two are strongly correlated but I think it is easier to switch interest vs. aptitude.

    Do we follow only the stuff we can do well i.e develop a mastery? Or do we follow our flippant curiosities and explore? I’m all for the second as I think the future will require generalists more than ever. And even if it doesnt, change is the only constant for me!

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