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Jack of all trades, but master of none

I know the meaning of this quote. I feel that the quote applies to me.

I've tried to analyse my knowledge and I found that I know a bit of everything but I have not mastered any one subject or technology. When I start learning new things, I can easily get into the subject but when it becomes more complex, I stop learning it. What techniques help you focus on improving a skill until you have mastered it?

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closed as too broad by AsheeshR, Raystafarian, Rory Alsop Mar 15 at 12:48

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Welcome to Personal Productivity! Could you make your question specific and more targeted towards a specific problem that you are having? Start by thinking of what you feel when the subject gets complex. Do you lack the skill or the motivation? Does the subject that you wish to master provide any practical gain? "How to achieve mastery" is something that has had books written about it. –  AsheeshR Mar 12 at 13:40
    
@AsheeshR: OK I took little time to do self analysis. I got few points which runs in my mind while learning complex subject. 1) Who cares how that worked, just make it work that's it. 2) "I will not need such complex things to do in my life" and 3) I am not able to do this. –  Naresh Ravlani Mar 13 at 6:35

4 Answers 4

The best way to gain focus when you have a set of talents at your disposal, is to apply them to a particular purpose. Do you really need to master every detail of every subject in order to accomplish your purpose or is knowing a little bit of a few things enough to get the job done well.

Learning is a lifelong process. You don't know what you really need to learn though, unless you actually try to accomplish something with your learning. You may fall short and fail at first.But the ability to focus on a purpose gives you a framework to analyze what went wrong and give you insight on where you should apply your education next.

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I am exactly the same. I think it's a question of focus. Your focus is your reality. I've had a long career as a software developer but never felt really good at it. Until one day, quite recently, I sort of woke up and made a promise to myself to start focusing on development more seriously.

So I did. I am now tackling complex problems every day and it works great, I'm solving them.

So for me, it was a decision to do it.

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I was sort of the same way. One thing to keep in mind there is no "mastery" in many skills out there. There is a level of expertise that you can get casually an increasing level of expertise based on the effort and time invested.

The way I focused was rather simple in hind sight. I basically made a list of things I wanted to "master". Over a long weekend I decided which one skill I wanted to focus on. For me this way a career motivated decision so my benchmark I had to achieve was being skilled enough in that trade to qualify as a "professional" (IE I could get a job in that field and feel confident I could perform my duties to at least an acceptable level)

As I got closer to that goal I found myself shifting the goal further down the pipe. I'd have to qualify as an intermediate, later a senior in the field, etc. My new problem is... okay... While their is plenty more to learn, I haven't been able to come up with a new goal other than "learn more" (it's a very satisfying problem)

TLDR Choose a skill, set a goal, don't quit until you get there.

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First, the meaning of the quote started out as positive.

Second, I had the same problem with programming. So I went to school, and now I can program. Now I apply the idea of getting help when stuck more pro-actively, though not as rigorous as getting a full education.

Third, find inspiring people to support your development and create a mastermind group.

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OK I got your point of positivity but here I scale myself different then Jack as I am not master of integration too. I am in programming like you. I know bit of web development, bit of Database, bit of QA related subjects and so on. But I am not master in any of them. I am software developer and my job is to develop programs so I should be master in web development at least. but I cannot learn a programming when it gets to complex level and for my career progress, I want to get rid of this behavior. –  Naresh Ravlani Mar 13 at 6:26
    
When a problem gets too complex, ask someone to help you with it. His or her way of thinking will probably teach you many insights. It works for me. You can't solve everything by yourself, no one can, nor should you strive to do so. A human can outdo himself by receiving (effective) help from others. If you fail to see this, then that's the problem, because it is true. This doesn't mean that you should get help immediately on everything, but it does mean that if you are banging your head against a problem for a long time, then looking for help is a viable option. –  Melvin Roest Mar 13 at 9:10
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Thanks Melvin. I like your suggestion. I will keep this in mind mate..:) –  Naresh Ravlani Mar 13 at 9:22

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