Jill of All Trades - that's me alright.

I just finished listening to another fantastic podcast from Tim Ferris about the Top 5 Reason's to be a Jack of All Trades. Or in my case, Jill of All Trades. 

I was sat in a classroom at 16 years old and told to pick my four A Level subjects. 

As a young student I was totally flummoxed (great word) at having to select my subjects, which I was lead to believe would define my future.

Two years later it was all about searching university prospectuses, scanning endless lists of potential degrees available and I felt the same confusion over what subject to choose. Where to specialize... 

I settled on what I thought was the most exciting option... to leave home and go work in Mexico, work as a kayak guide, learn Spanish and travel around Central America at 18.

My life has continued on a similar path. Amazing adventures with interesting people, a host of different jobs and exciting experiences including producing the Do Lectures in wine country California, Sales Director for one of the best surf resort in the jungles of Costa Rica, Office Manager at the home of Outdoor Adventure sport Coasteering, Escaping from Alcatraz, Ironman Cozumel, and working on the world's first accelerator dedicated to girls in poverty.... and that's all in the last 3 years. 

The Jill of All Trades maximizes her number of peak experiences in life. She has an insatiable pursuit of excellence, unrelated to material gain.
— Tim Ferris

I was listening intently, snuggled up on the sofa feeling quietly happy about the roller-coaster my life is and how those incredible and random experiences have all been important in me becoming more of a generalist, much less a specialist. 

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
— Robert A Heinlein

Tim was saying "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" is a load of rubbish... and actually we, the generalists, survive and thrive. Good news! There are so many gems in this podcast it could become a weekly listen for me. Click the image to listen to the podcast. 

If you could become world class at half a dozen skills, each in 6 months of less, which would you choose?
— Tim Ferris