The cult of mastery

There is a saying “anything worth doing is worth doing well”.  OK. That’s nice. But is it really true? I’d say “only sometimes”.  Sometimes it’s false.

Of course, if you are, say, doing surgery or flying a plane or something then you had darn well better know what you are doing. (Especially if I am the patient or passenger!)  Most careers demand skills beyond mere competence for success.  But life is not all about career. We have other interests. Maybe anything worth doing is worth doing badly?

Suppose you like to sing. But you don’t do it very well. Well, why not sing anyway? Maybe not in public, but in your shower or when you’re alone? Or even walking down the street if you  don’t do it too loudly?

Do you  have to be a great basketball player to like playing?

Do you have to be a great writer to like writing?


It’s not “jack of all trades OR master of one” – it’s “jack of many trades, pretty good at one”.