A Jack of All Trades

A Great Idea …

“Not being everything is smart; not working on everything but rather emphasizing selected strengths is the route to excellence. For many people, this understanding requires a redirection of the doing all and being all to being more by focusing on less and doing a lot of what you do well.” (Donald Clifton and Paula Nelson, experts in finding and developing personal strengths, in their book, Soar With Your Strengths. p. 41)

In Other Words …

Often each of us tries to be a “Jack of all trades,” while forgetting the other half of the phrase: “Master of none.” When we try to be good at everything, we usually end up being excellent at nothing. When we focus on just a few things that align with our natural strengths, we are likely to be both happier and more successful.

How this Applies to You …

What are your greatest strengths? If you’re not sure, go to and take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. Once you know your strengths, you can redesign your life to spend less time and energy on tasks outside your strengths and more time on tasks that use your strengths.

To Find Out More …

For excellent (and free!) programs on improving your personal well being, check out The Personal Journey and Managing Stress at

For more information on improving your strengths, we recommend Soar with Your Strengths by Donald O. Clifton and Paula Nelson, or Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman.

5 replies on “A Jack of All Trades”

Well well, my number one strength is:
“Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.”

So I take that to mean that I am meant to be a Jack-of-all-Trades. Those strengths that follow seem to confirm that I have no great need to focus any further than I have. I appears that my broad interests and activities are right up the alley of an unfocused person of broad interests.

I can’t imagine life any other way!

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