Last week, I texted a friend “my website is a glorious mess!”
In the past few days, the mess has ranged from glorious to F*##?!!!
A few of my business buddies have gently cleared their throats, murmuring things like designer and programmer.
I get it—we can’t all be good at everything and, on the whole, it makes good business sense to spend your time on the things you’re really spectacular at and hire out the rest.
The saying Jack of all trades, Master of none is said now as a slight, a gentle rebuff to the person who can’t focus enough to master a skill.
But sometimes we take this philosophy to extremes. Our doctors specialize so much that the gastroenterologist ignores all the neurotransmitters made in the gut, because that’s the domain of the neurologist. And the patients? Many of them (that would be us!) don’t think about our bodies at all—we leave that to the doctors.
The same thing happens with websites and spirituality and nutrition and exercise and changing the oil in our cars. We hand it over to the “experts” until we are left with a very narrow skill set and an even narrower world view.
This limited scope breeds perfectionism, both in ourselves and in our expectations of others. It becomes harder and harder to embrace wabi sabi (the Japanese concept of the beauty of imperfection) when we are all supposed to be experts in our own little domains. It becomes more and more difficult to do simple things like tend to our own cough or stomach ache because everyone, from the little voice in our head to our mother to our best friend, is quick to point out you’re not an expert.
On the other hand, remembering that our “experts” are human also becomes increasingly hard. We expect so much from the people we hire to get a job done, oftentimes having no idea of the scope or parameters of their field because we’ve never explored it ourselves.
So I’ve been exploring the field.
The snapshot above? I LOVE it, so pretty, right? I did that. 🙂
Unfortunately it doesn’t quite get the job done—you hang out here and know me, but new folks will wonder what I look like or even what my name is, so I had to get all that in there. It’s coming. It’s a lesson in wabi sabi.
Do I think that I’m the best person to do all my web work moving forward? Probably not.
But I’ve learned a ton in the past few weeks. And in the future I’ll be able to have more intelligent conversations with my designers and programmers.
How does this apply to your life? What do you need to know a little bit more about so you can have intelligent conversations with the experts you encounter?
And where can you expand out of your comfort zone a little? Because when you learn a new skill (even if you never master it) you expand your world and open yourself to wonder.
Oh, and the Jack of all trades saying? The original has a second part:
Jack of all trades, Master of none. But oft-times better than Master of one!