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lici92's avatar

Are you extremely talented in one thing or alright at many things?

Asked by lici92 (261 points ) February 18th, 2013

I know this may be an odd question, but let me explain.

I can’t say I am extremely talented at any one thing, but I am kind of ok at a lot of things. I guess it is because I love to try new things and get over the previous thing really fast. For example, I recently started learning to play the ukulele, but I got over it when I decided to try and get more advanced in my painting skills. This happens constantly. I never completely forget about anything and I will eventually pick up the ukulele again, but never long enough to play without a book in front of my face to read the notes.

Is this a good or bad thing? Do any of you do things like this?

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27 Answers

Unbroken's avatar

I am in your boat, I like to run from pool to pool try out the water get a little wet, have a few experiences and am off and running to the next one.

Jack of all trades, a dabbler, ADD, you get the idea. As I have aged a bit there are a few things I am consistent at. I think as with everything there are advantages and disadvantages, learn what the advantages are and use them.

You probably are looking for your niche. Pick up as many experiences as you can along the way.

Welcome to Fluther! Enjoy and share your flights of fancy!

rojo's avatar

No, I am more of a generalist. I do not excel at any one thing but am capable at many.

Many years ago I came to understand that I am a technician, not an artist. I can copy, and if assigned, can do many artistic endeavors quite well but I do not have the wherewithal to come up with the original idea.

Sunny2's avatar

I’m good at a lot of things, but not super at any. I think of myself as a kind of dilettante.
That sounds so shallow to me, but I do enjoy a lot of different things. I’m also ADD and easily distracted. I can’t do just one thing for hours and hours. I’m not sure I’d want to be an expert on just one thing.

rooeytoo's avatar

I always have said I am plagued by the curse of mediocrity. I am okay at lots of things and perhaps close to excelling at a couple, but no master of anything am I.

dabbler's avatar

Being a dabbler has worked well for me, just sayin’.
Over time some of my interests draw me back again and again and I get pretty good at those.
So I have very good skills at a few things, and know enough to make a start in lots of others.

janbb's avatar

Ok at a number of things. Interested in many things, passionate about few.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m really good at a few things like cooking, languages, and I’m an excellend speed-reader.

I’m interested in a lot of things and good at just about anything I set out to conquer, but my hand-eye coordination is terrible (due to a head injury.)

ucme's avatar

I’m a very good “all-rounder”, & can turn my hand to most things, but sport is where I’ve always excelled. Tennis/snooker/pool & football (soccer) being my faves, I can juggle a football with my feet, knees & head, over a thousand times without it hitting the ground..we call it keepy-uppy here.

marinelife's avatar

All right at many things.

ETpro's avatar

Sadly, no. I am not.

Coloma's avatar

Jill of many trades, master of a few, but nothing this world would consider important.
If only someone would pay me $25 an hour to raise geese and grow bamboos for them. lol
I have a quick, sharp mind, fast brain, excellent sense of humor and am able to learn and pick up many things easily and deftly but can have the attention span of a Mosquito if I am not extremely excited about something.
When I am motivated wild horses can’t drag me away from my passions in the moment, likewise if I am not, I simply can not get into something that holds no interest for me, even if you held a gun to my head.

I’ve always been an unconventional type, and gave up trying to fit my round peg into square holes a long time ago.
I am the happiest being a butterfly worker, flitting from one flower to another and need a really big garden of interests to keep my busy bee mind engaged and occupied.
I would freaking DIE if confined to a desk all day or an assembly line.
OMG…NOOOOOOO!

I gotta be free! :-)

SamandMax's avatar

Jack of all trades, master of none.

Kind of annoying. I’d rather be excellent at something that required skill and knowledge, than just a whole mess of knowledge about various things but never the complete picture about all of those things.

I hate that.

Also, I’m much like @Coloma in that I couldn’t bare to do one particular kind of job for prolonged periods of time. I have to be constantly challenged more mentally than physically, and I don’t think a desk job or being confined to an assembly line would fit the bill.

blueiiznh's avatar

Neither. In most circles I am called King Midas.~

zensky's avatar

MacGyver.

burntbonez's avatar

I have many extreme talents.
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I just don’t know what they are yet. ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

I do not compare myself to others any more. That is a recipe for disaster. I’ll kill myself if I compare myself to others because I’m not good at anything compared to the best in everything.

It is a pretty stupid thing to do to compare yourself, and I think it is something that we train young people to do, or that young people do naturally. It is only as we grow older that we begin to learn how self-destructive it is to do these kinds of comparisons. It is even later that we finally figure out how to stop this self-destructive behavior.

I just learned that, and I’m not letting you suck me back into it.

rooeytoo's avatar

@wundayatta – why must you compare yourself to others, why not simply strive to be the best you can be? I compare myself to who I was yesterday and I try to be a little better today. If I stopped doing that, I would be dead, stagnant. I don’t think it is bad to tell all people regardless of age to try to be a little bit better each day. The young should learn that or else they will be truly mediocre compared to themselves and the rest of the world, it is equally true for the old, because what is the use of just being if you aren’t striving for something.

AshLeigh's avatar

I am good at many things, and decent at even more things.

wundayatta's avatar

You can only say you have a talent in comparison to others. The OP asks about talent, therefore it is asking us to compare ourselves to others. You can certainly strive to be the best you can be, but that won’t mean much as far as this question is concerned.

Anyway, we are meaningless without comparing ourselves to others. The problem is when we make a judgement about better or worse. It is find to compare, but it is deadly for people like me to say we are better or worse. Inevitably, we are worse, and we feel bad, and that leads to depression, which leads to death. Far better to not go down that road. Believe me, this is a survival technique and it works.

I’m not even sure I want to compare myself to myself and say I am better or worse. I really prefer to think of all activities as a process. I should enjoy the doing of them. I do not question the worth or validity of what I do. I do not worry about being better or worse than I was before. I do it because I enjoy doing it, whatever it is.

Like I enjoy giving advice. I enjoy answering questions. I’m not much good at it, but that doesn’t matter. Not that people haven’t thanked me for advice. They have. So I am aware that some people appreciate my advice on occasion. But while that is nice and it means a lot to me, I can’t let it matter. Neither can it matter that I don’t get paid to give advice, or that I’m not famous for my advice. Clearly, if I were any good at doing it, I would be sought out and paid. I’m not, and I know what that means.

But I ignore that fact. It’s the process that matters. Maybe one day someone will want to pay me to do this, but that doens’t matter, either. I need to keep on pushing on and not thinking. Just doing. Just being. When I start thinking, I start taking myself down a road that is really, really bad for me.

Rarebear's avatar

I revel in mediocrity.

burntbonez's avatar

I revel in @Rarebear‘s mediocrity.

You go, bro!

El_Cadejo's avatar

Both. I know a lot about a little and a little about a lot.

rooeytoo's avatar

@wundayatta – I still don’t quite get you, dictionary.com’s definition of talent says nothing about comparisons, it merely says an aptitude. So I think you can have talent without measurement against another. But I agree that all of life is a process and I like that thought. I still try to get better every day though at most everything I do. And if I do something everyday, improvement is pretty much assured.

Are you fishing for compliments? If you are I will tell you that you are good at answering questions.

wundayatta's avatar

No. You can’t say something is a talent without comparing it to something else. Just think about it. What other basis is there? Otherwise everything is talent. Which would be fine with me, but renders the term meaningless.

And no. Fishing for compliments renders the compliment null and void. If you ask for something and receive it, it means the person is just giving it to you to please you, not because they really mean it. If they meant it, they would have given it before you asked. The only true compliment is money. If someone pays you to do something, you know they really value it, because no one parts with money easily.

Words are easy because they are free. Thus it is unclear if they have any real meaning as far as being a trustworthy assessment of the value of someone or something. People give white lies all the time. What that means is that words are social grease—important, but not an assessment. Or at least not a valid assessment.

Unbroken's avatar

There is a theory outlined in Outliers by Malcom Gladwell that talent has little to with the end proficiency of a skill set.

Talent is just a kick start. To be truly proficient at something takes 10000 hours of practice/training/doing.

mangeons's avatar

I’d say I’m very talented in the field of English, definitely more so than in other academic subjects. It’s what I’m planning on majoring in when I go to college this fall, which I’m really looking forward to!

I’m also really good at parking, which is weird because almost everyone else in my family is pretty bad at it! I just did parallel parking for the first time ever yesterday during one of my in-car instruction lessons, and my instructor said that in all the years she’s been doing it she’s never had a student parallel park as perfectly as I had! It made me feel pretty good about myself, haha.

zenzen's avatar

C. Extremely talented at many things.

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