(5) Quick Write: Best at One or Adequate at Many

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Success(19)jack_of_all_trades_Isaac_Newton1

Best at One or Adequate at Many (Final Draft)

Link: Best At One or Adequate At Many (Final Draft)

While some people are extremely gifted and exhibit expertise in only one area, many others tend to be more all-rounded and competent with various skills, but are not exceptionally outstanding in any particular one. These people fall under the Shakespearean saying and category of the “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Although their broad range of knowledge covers a number of areas, they are fairly average in each of those areas and are by no means classified as specialists of their trade. However, I strongly believe that the Shakespearean saying is an artificial pairing because it is possible for a person to be a jack of all trades, and yet a master of many. If I was offered the choice between being the best at one or adequate at many, I would choose to be the latter without a moment’s hesitation.

While the individuals who dominate their respective fields imprison themselves in self-inflicted one-dimensionality and spend their entire lives focused on pursuing excellence in one discipline, the jacks of all trade are the ones who maximize their number of peak experiences in life and actually enjoy the process of pursing excellence. They are the ones who learn to explore and discover new things, which in turn increase their likelihood to find the areas that they enjoy and are passionate for. When children are in their early stages of development, parents should allow them to experiment and try out a vast variety of activities as they are still feeling their way and finding their feet, and have yet to decide on which interests to pursue in life. Instead of pushing them to commit to a particular area or subject, parents should take a step back and allow their kids to get as much hands-on experience with as many different things as they can. This way, children will have a better understanding of what is out there, and will have a firm foundation in numerous areas when they eventually go out into the world.

In just about every field in the world, the people in the top bracket of their field are all doing more or less the same things with very little variation. Variety is an innate human need that needs to be satisfied. Overspecialization leads to boredom and depression because of the lack of intellectual stimulation. Experimenting and learning new skills is vital because it stimulates the mind and is an exciting and fun way to spend time. By learning a variety of trades, people are constantly learning and finding meaning in their lives. Some may argue that being a specialist is a more viable option because when you apply for a job, they only focus on your competency and strength in that one area. They don’t care about how all-rounded you are, because the only contribution you can make to your employer is in your area of expertise. However, the achievements and findings that specialists make are narrowly limited to their area of expertise. On the other hand, a person who is all-rounded can incorporate different elements from the different areas they are familiar with so that they can potentially make larger and more significant discoveries. A classic example of such a person is none other than the famous Sir Isaac Newton. Deemed as one of the greatest and most influential scientists of all time, Newton’s vast knowledge and ventures into a variety of subjects was the secret behind his success. He was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, as well as a theologian. Newton was able to effectively merge and make use of his diverse skillsets to make a huge contribution to the advancement of science.

In a world of dogmatic experts and specialists, it is the generalist who often ends up running the show. They are the ones who emerge as the CEOs and take charge, using their comprehensive general knowledge and experience in multiple disciplines to coordinate the activity of many specialists who work under them. A person who is extremely talented but largely one-dimensional lacks the capacity to effectively run a company or lead any form of establishment. The generalist who is able to see the big picture and predict and innovate is the one who rises to power the quickest. Although the generalist may not be the best accountant, statistician, or marketer, they possess the ability and creativity to bring together unrelated ideas in interesting ways, and this is a valuable skill that only comes if you have a strong foundation in a range of disciplines.

Many people frequently disregard individuals who are all-rounded as nothing more than ordinary people, but in reality, their adequacy in a variety of tasks and disciplines gives them a platform to success. Not only are they able to enjoy the process of pursuing excellence and exploring multiple areas, but they are also often the ones who lead the most exciting lives. They have the unique gift to integrate everyone’s strengths and combine it into one powerful driving force. They are the leaders in today’s society, the jacks of all trades, and the masters of many.

 

Best at One or Adequate at Many (Reflection on Writing Process)

Link: Best at One or Adequate at Many (Reflection on Writing Process)

1. What feedback was useful? Explain. 

I found Wesley’s example to be very useful because he told me how I could improve on my essay. He told me to include a real example (example of a well-known person) to my points in order to strengthen my argument that a jack-of-all-trades can be more successful than a specialist. He also told me which areas he thought were fine, so I could divert and focus my attention on other areas of my essay.

2. What feedback is confusing and/or not useful? Explain.

All of Wesley’s feedback was direct and straight to the point. I didn’t find any of his feedback to be confusing in any way. All of his feedback was very useful and contributed to the development of my paper.

3. What primary changes or adjustments will you make for your final copy? Why? Explain what you’re hoping to accomplish for the final.

In my final paper, I will aim to follow Wesley’s advice and feedback by including a real world example of a person who is a jack-of-all-trades and yet is successful. A person I have in mind is Isaac Newton. By including an example in my paper, I will be able to get my points across to the readers more easily. Also, I need to work on my conclusion to make sure that sums up all my points and that it doesn’t just cut off abruptly.

4. Mr Nollan’s Feedback: You’ve got lots of information and some academic examples, like Isaac Newton, but he comes with a list rather than an anecdote. What can you do to make your readers care about the topic? Because as it now stands, this paper has some good information but not much soul.

Ideas/Content: 4/5
Organization: 5/5
Word Choice: 4/5
Sentence Fluency: 5/5
Voice: 4/5
Mechanics: 4/5

I think that I could have included more voice in my paper by including a personal anecdote that would allow the readers to better connect with me. Also, I could write with a more personal voice so that the readers will be drawn in and will actually care about the topic. Writing with voice is one of my biggest weaknesses in writing and it is an area that I hope to develop and improve.

 

Best at One or Adequate at Many (Peer Edit)

Link: Best at One or Adequate at Many (Peer Edit)

Wesley: I think you should include an example of a well-known person who is a jack-of-all-trades and yet is successful. Your points and information is good but it lacks the connection to a real example. I don’t think there are any problems with the mechanics or the sentence fluency. Not that I can see… Your conclusion seems to be a bit abrupt, and it could use some work.

 

Best at One or Adequate at Many (Rough Draft)

Link: Best at One or Adequate at Many (Rough Draft)

While some people are extremely gifted and exhibit expertise in one area, many others tend to be more all-rounded and competent with various skills, but are not exceptionally outstanding in any particular one. These people fall under the Shakespearian saying and category of the “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Although their broad range of knowledge covers a number of areas, they are fairly average in each of those areas and are by no means classified as specialists of their trade. However, I strongly believe that the Shakespearian saying is an artificial pairing because it is entirely possible for a person to be a jack of all trades, and yet a master of many. If I was offered the choice between being the best at one or adequate at many, I would choose to be the latter without a moment’s hesitation.

While the people who dominate their respective fields and imprison themselves in self-inflicted one-dimensionality spend their entire lives focused on pursuing excellence in one discipline, it are the jacks of all trade who maximize their number of peak experiences in life and enjoy the process of pursing excellence. They are the ones who learn to explore and discover new things, and perhaps even find the areas that they truly enjoy and are uniquely suited to. Specialists spend years working towards one goal, achieving painstakingly slow progress and making imperceptible incremental improvements pursing perfection that is unattainable. If you look at all the fields out there, the people in the top bracket of every field are all doing more or less the same things with very little variation. Variety is an innate human need that needs to be satisfied. Overspecialization leads to boredom and depression because of the lack of intellectual stimulation. Experimenting and learning new skills is vital because it stimulates the mind and is an exciting and fun way to spend time.

The findings and achievements that they make are limited to their area of expertise, while a person who is all-rounded can incorporate different elements from the different areas they are familiar with so that they can potentially make larger discoveries. Some may argue that when you apply for a job, they only focus on your competency and strength in that area. They don’t care how all-rounded you are, because the only contribution you can make to your employer your area of expertise.

In a world of dogmatic experts and specialists, it is the generalist often ends up running the show. They are the ones who emerge as CEOs and take charge, using their comprehensive general knowledge and experience in several disciplines to coordinate the activity of many specialists who work under them. A person who is extremely talented but largely one-dimensional lacks the capacity to effectively run a company or any form of establishment. The generalist who is able to see the big picture and predict and innovate is the one who rises to power the quickest. Although the generalist may not be the best accountants, statisticians, or marketers, they possess the ability and creativity to bring together unrelated ideas in interesting ways, which is a valuable skill that only comes if you have a firm foundation in a variety of disciplines.

If I was offered the choice between being the best at one or adequate at many, I would choose to be the latter without a moment’s hesitation. I strongly believe that the Shakespearian saying is an artificial pairing because it is entirely possible for a person to be a jack of all trades, and yet a master of many. Jacks of all trade are the ones who maximize their number of peak experiences in life and enjoy the process of pursing excellence.

One thought on “(5) Quick Write: Best at One or Adequate at Many

  1. This essay was very well written compared to the many pieces I have read and your fantastic word choice made the essay sound extremely professional. Each of your points were very well rounded and it added up to make the essay extremely powerful. I loved the way you transitioned between each of your points and the essay seemed very fluid as a whole. I was easily able to follow your train of thought and it came to a cohesive conclusion that “it is better to be all rounded than to be extremely good at one thing.” One major aspect you could improve on is adding more voice to your essays as they sound very rigid and academic. Other than this, your essay was very well written and intriguing! Good job!

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