We tend to specialize in all facets of our lives. When we focus in on one area, we tend to have to sacrifice in another.
In sports for instance, the best defenders typically don’t translate into the greatest goal scorers. And vice versa – you typically aren’t going to put your best guy on offense suddenly responsible for playing defense.
It’s not that they can’t do it. It’s more that they shouldn’t. It would be under-utilizing their skills. It would be putting them in a position that probably doesn’t translate to the best results.
Well – it’s no wonder we carry this specialization over to our personal lives. But is specialization what we are really striving for? Or is it to be more well-rounded?
I would argue that we tend to take this specialization to an extreme. An extreme that is at our detriment. Rather – we should strive to be more well-rounded. Not in our studies or our work specialty. But at home. And in our personal lives.
Who knows someone who is great at giving advice, but terrible at receiving it? I would say this is common among most. Not specifically the advice – but being good at one side of it and bad at the other.
Because of this tendency to specialize. We do more of the one we are good at, and less of the one that is difficult. And so we get much better at one, and never improve on the other.
But if being more well-rounded is what we are striving for, everyone benefits. We shore up our weaknesses. Rather than giving advice all the time, we start listening and improve our ability to receive it.
As a result, we stop getting defensive and arguing with our family members every time we get critiqued. We stop inflating our ego by pumping up our strengths and realize the specialization comes at a cost. And it’s a choice. We can become great at anything – but at what cost?
And when we specialize, who are we asking to sacrifice? Ourselves or others?
Let’s become more well-rounded. That way we all benefit. Not just one of us.