Monday, April 20, 2015

Reminder: Try Something New, And Then Stay

Often people say, if you don't like what you are doing, try something new. The contrasting principle is, if you keep switching, you will not likely attain mastery in any particular skill. Neither perspective is wrong on its own; each has its trade-offs. Typically we lean towards one of the two extremes.

Frequently changing what you practice does not make you a polymath. If you switch skills each time you lose interest in that particular skill, you will never realize your full potential. 10% proficiency in 10 separate skills does not make you 100% competent in any task.

Sticking with a particular skill can be as costly as frequently changing skills. If you maintain only a limited skillset to a high level of proficiency, then you have limited your capability to a specific field. If that skillset loses its necessity or value, then you are in an unfavourable position.

For those of us in the former group, the important thing is to learn to stick with a skill. Be it patience, motivation, discipline, or whatever other feasible method that works, stay with a particular skill, and don't switch until you have become competent enough for it to be useful.

The rest of us should learn to be more flexible, and be prepared to adapt to new ways of completing tasks. If you don't adapt, it will be difficult for you and/or those around you when change is necessary.