TED Conversations

Satish Kumar Tiwari

This conversation is closed.

Is it better to be a master at just one thing than being good at several things?

I am at a point in my life where I see many of my childhood friends who used to be just good at sports or studying or in any art and I used to be, infact still am good at sports and studies. But after so many years of doing the same one thing that they were good at, they have mastered that one thing so well that they have made a very nice career out of it and are infact happy. Observing all this I now feel is it better to be good or above average at doing several things(so called an allrounder) than being a master of a single art?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 18 2013: I consider myself to be a jack of all trades - expert of none. The world has so many "experts" http://www.ted.com/talks/noreena_hertz_how_to_use_experts_and_when_not_to.html and that's all good. But what the world is really lacking I think are people who understand more of the whole picture. And You can get 90% of the way to knowing something quite fast, it's that last 10% that takes the rest of your life. So if you wish to be useful I think that your on the right path. However there's a problem with jobs when it comes to this as most companies can't see the value that such people may bring, and would rather hire people who have "specific skills".

    Steve jobs for example said that taking a calligraphy course was one of the best things that he had done for computers.

    It's better to be broad, but to get a job you should also specialize in something, at least to a point.
    • Dec 19 2013: That's right Jimmy. Nobody can just give up the things that they love doing just for the sake of what most companies want you to be. Excelling in job is as important as being natural and being content with what one does. Thanks for the ted talk suggestion.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.