It’s often said that you’d never want to be the jack-of-all-trades. You know how the saying goes, “jack of all trades, and master of none.” Often times, we’re advised to always completely specialize on one skill, while neglecting other skills that aren’t so developed, or that might not serve any useful purpose in terms of long-term usability. However, a shocking new research conducted by some neuroscientists now claim that having a few useless skills, even if they aren’t beneficial, and even if you are simply mediocre on them, might actually prove good.
We first need to break this down, though. Most often, when we dabble, it’s so that we can pick up a new hobby, or something new that interests us. This is the type of skills that we’re talking about – playing the guitar, mediocre Japanese language skills, etc. – pursuing interests.
Neuroscientist Jeff Stibel explains that pursuing interests in quite a lot of different areas actually stretches the minds of people, and pushes and extends imagination. With this, so does our ability to be creative. Dabbling simply allows us to gather new information and experiment with new ways to do something. What really happens is that our brains are forced to think about things in a whole new perspective, having a take on many things in a different light. This is the kind of thinking that inspires incredible innovation.
The best way to discover something uniquely incredible is to take a preexisting concept and apply it to something in a way that no one else has thought of before.
Therefore, while you think that taking some time off from work to sit back and learn some Italian for your trip to Venice this year might be like giving your brain a break, what’s actually happening is that you’re now challenging your brain to become more efficient and productive, whatever the task it’s doing. You’re essentially increasing the range and the depth to which your brain functions efficiently and effectively.
This is why those little things that you do in your spare time, that although might serve no true purpose, or might even seem trivial, might just be necessary in keeping your brain sharp in each and every corner, benefiting you in so many different ways. Mediocrity isn’t too bad after all, is it?