As I was going over my “bucket list,” or better known as Things-I-Want-To-Accomplish, I noted that I have a wide array of fields in which I want to make an impact (business, academia, personal, global). But the nature of our advanced society is that people are highly specialized – they spend a long time training or doing work that is one very small piece of the whole effort of humanity. I am sort of sad that there are no/few true “generalists” around these days.
As hard as it is to do one thing really well, I long to be really really good at a lot of things. In my brain, I understand that we specialize because (a) it is more efficient for society, and thus incentivized, and (b) because people who do everything themselves (as in, growing/catching their own food, and making their own clothes, etc.) don’t have any free time, and people place a premium on free time. I also understand that beyond these fundamental “required to live” tasks that have been specialized away, more skilled tasks have become so complex that to master two or more of them (like being a doctor and being a lawyer) takes so much time that most people don’t really want to devote the energy to them.
But! I think I am enamored with being a “secret master” in a bunch of disciplines. I think I place too much personal happiness in surprising people with how much I know and/or can do. I may also be too ambitious.