My wife Karen and I were returning from a retreat and having a deep spiritual conversation. "What am I good at?," she asked me. "Everyone has a specialty, but not me!"
"You're a 'jack of all trades honey," I said trying to be reassuring. Who cares if you're a 'master of none?"
I'm not sure she found that helpful. At least not initially.
Still, isn't it true?
Over the years, I've been told repeatedly, as has my wife, that we should find a specialty. We've heard countless messages about the value of focus. And perhaps you too have struggled to find that one thing--the unique gift God may have given you that allows you to find a niche and stick with it to the exclusion of all else.
But what if...just what IF, you're gift is being a generalist?
Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "C'mon Joel--that's a cop out!" And, you may be right. Still, haven't you wondered whether God puts certain people on the planet to maintain just enough knowledge about a ton of things so they can connect to, relate, and help just about anyone they meet? And aren't there certain careers where these kinds of people really thrive?
Yes! And, Yes!
For example. Who would you rather be stuck on an elevator with, a person who only knows how to play the violin or a person who knows a little about a lot of things and can keep a conversation going for hours? An added bonus might be that he/she knew a little about elevators too! Right?
Also, for the hospitality industry, isn't it better to have waiters, bellhops, limo drivers, etc., who can relate to everyone who they meet? Aren't salespeople better at their craft if they know enough trivia to converse with any prospect they might encounter and create a bond with them? What about pastors, teachers, and others. Isn't being a generalist of value in many trades beyond just the occasional game of Trivial Pursuit?
So the next time you feel down about not having a specialty, just remember, your specialty may be NOT having a specialty. Focus on connecting with others using the variety of talents, experiences, and interests you possess. Who knows what doors that may open!