Master of All

Follow the shiny objects.

Focus, I was always told to focus.  Focus on ONE thing and you’ll get really good at it.  They (you know,  the ubiquitous “they”) always told me if you put as much energy into (insert current activity here) as you do (insert other current activity here) then you’ll be really good at (the first one). Uh huh.  Guess what… IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!

Phew, I said it.  But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t concentrate on things that bring you joy, bring you bliss, get you excited to get up in the morning and start your day.  Here’s where you find your flow, your mojo, your buzz.

OK, I’m going a bit fast here (I’m excited about this idea) so let me back up and explain.  I’ve always been a swiss army knife kinda person – good at lots of things.  And for a long time I thought that was bad.  I would be so sad that that I wasn’t great at just one thing.  I’m a musician, artist, have studied economics, love literature and Russian language studies.  I love to cook, entertain and garden.  So many things and so little time!  I was always excited about whatever had my attention at the moment.  There were a few constants – cooking, music and art – they have been around for a long time.  But otherwise, any time a shiny object showed up in my life, I grabbed it and followed it to wherever it took me.  In fact, that’s how I found myself in my current career, just followed each step as it presented itself and ended up becoming pretty good at what I do.  But never THE EXPERT in my field, or even AN EXPERT.  And for years I thought I was a loser because of that.

So I tried to “get serious” about one thing.  Really dig in and focus on one thing.  Oh the pain.  It sucked all of the joy out of my life.  I forced myself to stay focused and became miserable.  And at the same time, I wasn’t accomplishing anything!  I wasn’t really learning anything new and I wasn’t becoming any better at anything!  Blech.

But why was that?  I was putting the time in, reading the books and doing the work of learning.  Work harder and get smarter, right?  Nope.  What was missing was the key ingredient that had made it all so effortless before – the joy.  My energy was so shut down that nothing in my life was working.  Grey begets grey.  Tightness begets tightness.  You get the idea.

And so I learned, the hard way, to do what had fed me all my life, follow my bliss and the shiny objects. And of course, things got a lot better and I was back in sync with my life energy, my bliss.  Back in the flow.  Nice.

Not everyone is built the same, some find that one thing is their joy.  But for those of us who love so many different things we should never feel as though we are jack of all trades, master of none.  Embrace your ability to be flexible, to adjust and follow a new path as a master of all.  Enjoy your multi-facetedness,  because in the end, what will feed you and everyone you interact with is the happiness you find in all that you do, whether it’s a million things or one.  Keep collecting the shiny objects and love the necklace it becomes, it looks fabulous on you!


  1. Nancy Nuce

    Boy does this hit home! I enjoy so many things that sometimes I think I’m just scatterbrained. The problem comes because I don’t stick with anything long enough to get good enough to make money at it.

    • D.B. Treske

      OK… I sort of get that. But isn’t it more that you’ve just lost interest? Maybe it’s more about you haven’t stumbled upon the thing that jazzes you enough for long enough to make a living from it? Or is there a need to spark your passion from a new direction? So many questions, we always need to give ourselves credit so that we can be supported to reach higher levels. Thanks for weighing in!

  2. Brilliant timing! Your post is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thanks for reminding me to follow whatever inspiration brings me joy. “Shoulds” are creativity killers. Thanks!

    • D.B. Treske

      Thanks Linda – synchronicity at work! Must have something to do with the transit of Venus. All that matters is that we help each other and support our journeys along the way. Appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts. Keep going!

  3. Liz Racioppi

    Just beautiful. It resonates because I’m a a jill of all trades too, sort of. But one day i realized that I had “arrived” at something I had put a fair amount of effort into. Not all neatly synchronous, but here and there, building on it over time. That’s when I realized that if you pause and recognize a milestone, and see the direction and that you’ve spent some time there, you can be an expert in many things. Undisputed. Testifying. Don’t sell it short.

    • D.B. Treske

      Speaking of synchronicity – so great to hear from you! You’re so right – the pause is critical. Looking over your accomplishments to gain perspective can make all the difference. I’ll be sure to look at the jewels more often.

Leave a Reply