Archive for September, 2012

Jack and Master of all Trades

There’s a prominent verb that goes “Jack of all trades and master of none”. The author of this famous verb meant to emphasize the fact that a person achieves expertise provided he focuses his time, effort and attention on a particular area of skill. However, the limiting boundaries can well be diminished based on certain facts. These facts will bring in cheer for people who are striving to acquire diverse skills & excel. To solve this mystery lets focus on human mind. It is known that human mind is made up of conscience (conscious) part and sub-conscious part. Their proportion of strength in mind is disproportionately different. Sub conscious mind is 90-95% of human brain while the conscious mind is about 5%. The best utilization of human brain historically was done by a few genius, one of them being Albert Einstein who used about 4-5% of his brain while an average human brain utilization never goes above 1-2%. It is the sub conscious mind that evokes the natural response from a person through what is called as an Attitude. An attitude is formed out of recurring habits. It is also known that a human mind can store up to 125 Trillion facts. With this vast potential is it really True that a person can only master one skill? Doesnt seem to be. It is very much possible for a person to master multiple skills, do well in all of them, get recognized for his contribution in all the areas equally, more or less and yet be at peace. The question is How? Lets go back to history once again to establish the facts.

Many of us do not know that there have been people who mastered multiple skills and reached top of the ladder. They are called Polymath. Lets look at some of them:

1. Benjamin Franklin. Credited for being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Franklin was also an author, printer, politician, inventor and scientist whose scientific contributions have influenced physics and electricity. Inventions by Franklin include bifocals, the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, the glass harmonica, the odometer, and the first public lending library in the United States.

2. Leonardo Da Vinci. Not only considered to be one of the best artists of all time, Da Vinci is also one of the most talented men who ever walked the Earth. He came up with the ideas for the helicopter, tank, solar power, calculator, and a theory of plate tectonics, in addition to painting famous works like The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa.

3. Issac Asimov. Asimov, the author or editor of over 500 books and 9000 letters and postcards, is published in nine of the 10 major categories in the Dewey Decimal System. He was a writer who was actually a prolific polymath, with great knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Although he was multi-talented and could be classified as one of the most intelligent men of his time, he once noted that everyone should think highly of themselves: “And above all things, never think that you’re not good enough yourself.

4. Farhan Akhtar. Writer, director, actor, singer….

5. Akshay Kumar. Expert cook, leading Actor, martial arts specialist…

Do you want to be one? Here’s some tips that one can work on to be a successful Polymath (may be with small things to begin with):

  • Learn to focus on current things.
  • List down the skills you wish to master.
  • Set priorities to acquire those skills. Work on one skill at a time, master it and then go to the next one in the list.
  • Be good at managing your time. This will give you the space to multi task yet not lose focus.
  • Do what you like first.
  • Share with people your achievements, goals, passion. Their feedback will help you grow.
  • Dont bother too much about dream stealers. They are there to keep you in the same race as they themselves are in.
  • Be happy and don’t forget to celebrate every small success.

I wish the readers Good Luck to acquire & implement their desired multiple skills and try to be in the list of the Polymaths listed above.


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