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April 21, 2015

Jack of all Trades, Master of None?

stressed work rush

The day after I miscarried, I signed up for a 5K.

I needed new focus and purpose. Four months later, I ran that 5K without stopping to walk even once.

To keep the momentum going, I signed up for a 10K that was also a fundraiser for a brain tumor research foundation (I lost my mom to brain cancer two years ago), and fundraised $500 for the race. I ran 6.2 miles without stopping.

And then I never ran again. Like Forrest Gump, I was just done.

While I am proud of my achievement, I recognize that I have a habit of putting a lot of time and energy into something and then tend to lose interest rather quickly. This trait is often perceived as negative in our culture.

The only thing I’ve stayed consistent with for almost a decade is practicing yoga. I think yoga has been the perfect focus for me because there are so many components to the practice. If I get bored with asana (which rarely happens since there are so many poses), I can focus on meditation, chanting, service or studying philosophy and Sanskrit.

The learning is endless and there will always be new, phenomenal teachers to learn from. I appreciate the fact that I will forever be a student and through that commitment I will become a better teacher.

I don’t feel this way about running. In fact, I’m not sure I feel this way about anything other than yoga.

It makes me think of the philosophical debate around the importance of excelling at one thing versus being average at multiple things. What’s better? In order to excel at that one thing, isn’t it necessary to have a bit of knowledge about other things as well?

For example, my little experience with running helps me relate to students that come to my yoga class to enhance their running experience. My little experience with computers helps me promote my yoga business. My experience in theater has helped me with my presence as a teacher.

Every single little experience in my life has led me to the yoga practitioner and teacher that I am today, which is the best I’ve ever been.

In the past, it was quite common for people to learn one trade and then work full-time in that trade for 30+ years until they retired or dropped dead. Today, more people are changing careers several times throughout their life. I imagine it would be very hard to do that if we were only good at one thing.

So maybe jumping around to different interests doesn’t have to be perceived as negative, but rather looked at as a means for receiving as diverse an education as possible. And if we’re lucky enough to have lasting discipline in one subject, all other endeavors can eventually be applied to that specialty.

If anything, it keeps life interesting.

 

Relephant:

Millennials aren’t Lazy, they’re Living. 

~

Author: Megan Ridge Morris

Editor: Travis May

Image: Flickr

 

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