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Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
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SegaSaturn1994 Offline
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Post: #1
Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
In an effort to be the most interesting man I could be, I've ventured into quite a few hobbies; many of them short time to the extent where I had some certificate or recognition to show for it and could at least hold a conversation about that subject; be it a particular form of dance, foreign cuisine, obscure language etc.

Money limits me more than time and I'm not sure what to do next spring; I could look into some new hobbies, thus probably scratching them off my bucket list forever only to never look back or solidify my foundation in things I've already built a good background in. A compromise between the two is the third solution.

My hobbies and spare time aspirations have limited carry-over to my career plans to the extent where I do consider the possibility of them advancing my career but do not obsess about it because the value transfer is not direct.

This must be an age old question in itself but I could not locate any threads addressing this directly. Would be good to hear how you've worked these things out in your mind.
10-30-2016 03:00 PM
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the Thing Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
Double down on whatever you're good at. I'd personally be the alpha dog of 1 thing vs. be mediocre at a thousand things.

“We are gods in the chrysalis.” — Elbert Hubbard
10-30-2016 05:14 PM
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SegaSaturn1994 Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
(10-30-2016 05:14 PM)the Thing Wrote:  Double down on whatever you're good at. I'd personally be the alpha dog of 1 thing vs. be mediocre at a thousand things.
Did you use to dabble a lot or have some personal anecdote to relate?
10-30-2016 06:50 PM
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sonoran_ Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
Recently discovered that this quote was cut short.

A jack of all trades is a master of none, ((but oftentimes better than a master of one )) is apparently the full version

Personally I havnt found my strengths and I am mediocre in a lot of stuff BUT once I find my strength I will devote a majority of my time/ free time on that while engaging in other activities so as to become more well rounded.
10-30-2016 07:29 PM
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Seth_Rose Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
Jack of all trades > master of 1 imo. I recently wrote an article on it (http://masculinebooks.com/2016/10/14/jac...aster-one/)

I like the idea of having a diverse array of interests. It opens more doors and does more to develop you as a person in many ways. Unless you plan to go pro, Mastery is probably not going to be worth it. Read Mastery by Robert Greene for more info. Great book too!

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10-30-2016 08:32 PM
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Fortis Away
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Post: #6
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
Depends. I think having some keystone skills is important, but a lot of the guys I know who are really successful seem to be able to combine their many hobbies and interests into something that no one else can match. In my own life, I wanted to be a writer for a long time, but I also need to eat and make a living. I developed a passing interest in sales, which then morphed into copywriting (sales + writing). Now, I'm learning a lot more about languages, so I'm looking to do copywriting for language products. I wouldn't have ever found this niche if I decided to just double down on writing by itself. Don't get me wrong. You can make a lot of money just doing sales or writing, but the barrier to entry is higher when it's just one skill. There are way better fiction writers out there and way better salesmen out there but if you can be a copywriter in a specific niche you can pay yourself relatively well.

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10-30-2016 08:36 PM
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Easy_C Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
You need to be able to weigh the impact of each.

If you have a severe weakness in one area that limits your effectiveness in other areas (e.g. you're a great programmer but so terrible at selling yourself that you won't get a good starter job) then fix that first. After that go ahead and build on your best strengths and continue to focus.

For example....I'm not ever going to become fluent in French simply because the marginal benefit for me is very low.
10-30-2016 09:04 PM
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sonoran_ Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
^ Thinking of it in terms of languages is a good way to do it. I am learning Spanish and becoming fluent in it to the same level as I know English at is pointless ( in most cases). The other 2 languages I know I am conversationally fluent at for I have no reason to become completely fluent in them. If I spent time on them to increase fluency, I would not be able to learn Spanish.
10-30-2016 10:35 PM
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Paeter Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
I think definitely master one thing, but there's time to learn to be OK at other things. 80% of your time on your central purpose. 20% of your time on the others.

Learning to be OK at stuff is pretty easy. Mastering a language is hard. Conversational level is easy. And conversational level still has a lot of value. Mastering an instrument is hard and long journey. Learning to play some songs and have some fun with it is not, and there is still value in that.

Also, I don't like personal development for the sake of personal development. I think of it as "what do I want" and so "what skills would be useful for getting those things?"

Knowledge is power, so reading on a wide variety of subjects is not so much about 'being a better person' as it is 'gaining power'. Understanding the world is powerful psychologically and in practice. When you know more you see things others don't, you connect dots that others do not. Etc. If you're a curious person, reading can be enjoyable in itself too. But it's worth it even if it's not.

In the labour market place, you want to be a specialist. The whole point of money is for you to do what they are best at and to let other people do the things you aren't that good at then you trade. But you don't want to be an idiot savant. You need some basic skills and understanding as well. No one wants to have to wipe your mouth and tie your shoes, so to speak, but you don't need to be the world's best shoe tier either.

I'd also question why you want to be so interesting. You know most women are not that interesting. If you have a few things, you're going to be pretty interesting, and how interesting you are isn't the ultimate attraction switch, so spending so much time on 'being as interesting as you can be' seems misguided if it's for pussy. Be interesting, yes, but there's a point of diminishing returns.

"Learn cold approach pickup, or you're fucked." - TylerRSD
(This post was last modified: 01-14-2017 08:10 AM by Paeter.)
01-14-2017 08:01 AM
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Mentavious Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
Focus on what you're good at early in life

You can always diversify your strengths later

A man is only as faithful as his options-Chris Rock
01-14-2017 08:33 AM
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JackinMelbourne Away
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Post: #11
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
(10-30-2016 08:36 PM)Fortis Wrote:  a lot of the guys I know who are really successful seem to be able to combine their many hobbies and interests into something that no one else can match.

It's called stacking.

Stacking a number of skills and areas of expertise into one deadly combo.

Think of boxing: one punch versus a combo.

A combo is better than one punch even if they don't all connect, you have a higher chance of landing hits.
01-14-2017 05:39 PM
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YMD Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
What a nice thread.
I used to think that I'd need another hobby too, because my social circles is so small (I'm an expat) and my job/career development plan makes me so introverted that I thought I'd need to expand interest by trying a new thing or taking a new hobby, so that I can meet more women.

(01-14-2017 08:01 AM)Paeter Wrote:  Also, I don't like personal development for the sake of personal development. I think of it as "what do I want" and so "what skills would be useful for getting those things?"
This is so spot on.

(01-14-2017 08:01 AM)Paeter Wrote:  In the labour market place, you want to be a specialist. The whole point of money is for you to do what they are best at and to let other people do the things you aren't that good at then you trade.
....
But you don't want to be an idiot savant. You need some basic skills and understanding as well. No one wants to have to wipe your mouth and tie your shoes, so to speak, but you don't need to be the world's best shoe tier either.
I'd like to see a more specific example of "an idiot savant".

(01-14-2017 08:01 AM)Paeter Wrote:  I'd also question why you want to be so interesting. You know most women are not that interesting.

lol
Men need to be interesting. Women need to be young and beautiful!
01-15-2017 07:52 AM
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Valentine Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
^ On men having to be interesting: Having a varied lifestyle and experience is good, but you can also get laid by just having Game. It's more important to be interested in her, be able to tease about the right things and get into her head.

As far as the OP:
Specialise for business/work but also know beginner knowledge about related fields. If you're a business owner especially I've found it useful to know the basics of what your employees do to be able to better converse with them and do more efficient delegation.

For lifestyle learn lots of things - follow your curiosity, it takes you in weird and often wonderful directions that you never expected.
(This post was last modified: 01-15-2017 09:50 AM by Valentine.)
01-15-2017 09:45 AM
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Hypno Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
James Altucher is a blogger/podcaster and has two interesting takes on this.

first, find what you are good at or knowledgeable and focus on where they intersect. For example, Roosh - game + travel + writing. The result is often something that you are uniquely good at, is authentic and valuable to others.

Another idea is to take what you were passionate about when you were 10 years old. if its a couple of things, even better. Altucher really liked computers and board games. He went on to built a computer website about strategizing financial investments. I'm kind of stretching what he did as an adult to fit it into his 10-year old interests, but you get the idea.
01-15-2017 09:52 AM
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
(10-30-2016 05:14 PM)the Thing Wrote:  Double down on whatever you're good at. I'd personally be the alpha dog of 1 thing vs. be mediocre at a thousand things.

But that doesn't mean you have to be mediocre at them.
01-20-2017 04:44 AM
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Post: #16
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
(01-14-2017 05:39 PM)JackinMelbourne Wrote:  
(10-30-2016 08:36 PM)Fortis Wrote:  a lot of the guys I know who are really successful seem to be able to combine their many hobbies and interests into something that no one else can match.

It's called stacking.

Stacking a number of skills and areas of expertise into one deadly combo.

Think of boxing: one punch versus a combo.

A combo is better than one punch even if they don't all connect, you have a higher chance of landing hits.

Scott Adams has a few good posts about this: Talent Stack vs. Goals

Not on here much anymore. I'm either out on 2 wheels or trying to kill something.
01-20-2017 08:43 AM
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Ensam Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
3M once did a study on which scientist and engineers had generated the most profitable patents. It found that the most productive people have 'T-shapped' expertise. They develop very deep knowledge in one domain but maintain a familiarity with a wide number of topics. People who just have deep knowledge of one subject tend to just go deeper and only make incremental contributions. People who have broad knowledge but no area of expertise don't know what they don't know and often time solve problems which have already been solved. The T-shapped people were able leverage their mastery of one domain to solve problems in other domains in creative ways that produced game changing results. So the answer is do both. Pick one area and become an expert at but continue to gain a basic understanding of as many different subjects as you can.
(This post was last modified: 01-20-2017 12:17 PM by Ensam.)
01-20-2017 12:16 PM
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Truth Tiger Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
^ This. Thanks for sharing the concept the 'T-shaped' expertise, that makes so much sense vs. deep knowledge of a single area or surface knowledge of many areas.

What you are naturally talented at will be quite apparent especially if you (as someone else said) go back to your childhood interests and fascinations.

That which you do with great energy and enthusiasm, you will do with excellence (as the quote goes).

OP, it's not an all-or-nothing situation. I've pursued artistic endeavors like dance, piano, painting, poetry, singing and found they infused my more hard-science-based business with a breadth it would otherwise lack. You may go back and forth but remember 'all work and no play (curiosity) makes Jack a dull boy.'

Let yourself play as hard as you work. Play lets us see the magic all around, and that magic is what science makes tangible.

Quote:"This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play." - Alan Watts

Quote:'Follow your bliss.' - Joseph Campbell

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01-20-2017 01:06 PM
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Leads Offline
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RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
In your 20s or even early 30s, many hats can be worn. You'll enjoy each one and relish in your diversity. At some point though, you'll loose interest in certain hats. Whittle it down to the ones that pop. This may take 8 years, but go ahead and whittle. One or 2 will surely emerge as your forte. The secret is finding the MASTERS in each discipline and learning from the best. This will fast track your decision making process on whether to pursue for life or walk away.

I'm 42 and fortunate to have taken on many professions like hats. I move fast though, and was able to transition from one to the next. Keep in mind that all of this happened pre-smartphone/facebook and other silly distractions.

Put on the blinders and zero in.
(This post was last modified: 01-20-2017 04:48 PM by Leads.)
01-20-2017 04:38 PM
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Stoolio Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Self-development: diversity vs. capitalizing on strengths
I've ventured down a similar path with a variety of interests and hobbies, and what I've found is I've got to stick with what I enjoy, not what I THINK i should enjoy.

I've gotten pretty far into learning a language, computer programming, cooking fancy meals, only to realize that it just really isn't fun for me.

You can still find me some weekends at the skatepark, even though I'm the oldest one there and M-F working a corporate gig. I enjoyed the hell out of it when I was young, and it never faded, even when I try to get into way more eccentric stuff.


Also, I think action speak louder than words. If you can demonstrate your interest/hobby confidently, what good is it?

Interesting topic for sure.
01-21-2017 12:37 AM
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