On doing lots of things and doing them well

The chief problem with thinking of work in terms of a career is that one gets in the habit of thinking that one can only do one thing well. But then at some point one gets stuck because that sort of thing is no longer desirable or because one can no longer stomach the idea of doing that thing every day for another 10 years. Whereas a creative, reflective, talented person, someone who’s thrown off the idea of a career, quickly realizes that he can do lots of things and do them well.

It wouldn’t take this kind of person long to recognize how much easier it is to get by in this freelancers’ world by doing lots of things and doing them well than it is to try to shoehorn oneself into doing one thing really well and doing that thing over and over again. Easier and interesting versus harder and boring…

What is more, apart from the interesting variety to be discovered in doing lots of things and doing them well, apart also from the daily learning involved, and apart finally from the recognition of one’s increasing capacities and greater self-worth, it may turn out that there is unity underlying doing lots of things and doing them well. Finding this underlying unity, which is a philosophical adventure, would help the inquirer to make sense of his work life so that he would no longer feel scattered about or pulled in multiple directions but would see himself coming together and made lighter by self-understanding.

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