Should You Become a Jack of All Trades?
Here is what it takes to become a jack of all trades. However, is it worth it? Find out by reading this article on the different types of intelligence.
We have all heard of “Jack of All Trades” and have all wanted to be one at some point. After all, it would be amazing to be a master of all things.
I remember my younger self watching James Bond and being mesmerised at how good he was at everything. He could publicly speak, fight, gamble, and not to mention had dress sense and could get every girl.
James Bond was the picture of someone who seemed to be a master at everything. He was intelligent and appeared to know a way out of everything. However, although that is attractive, should we aspire to become one?
Well, many of us still do not know what it truly takes to become a jack of all trades. Howard Gardner proposes a theory that suggests that there are multiple types of intelligence. Each one bringing with it extreme benefits to an individual’s life.
Although I agree with the criticism of his theory that his definition may be too broad, I do think it adds value. By breaking it up in this way, you can understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Mastering all of these bits of intelligence is desirable. But the question of whether someone should or should not is an interesting one to think about. For James Bond, it seems to have worked out, but life is not a movie.
So, here are the 8 bits of intelligence Gardner proposes and what I think we should do with them.
If you are a writer or reader, you would probably be high in this type of intelligence. It is the ability to memorise written information and explain things well.
We all know that those who can communicate well through language tend to be influential. Everyone enjoys listening to them and will more than likely see them as someone to trust.
Logic and Mathematics
We all remember that kid in school who could complete long maths problems quickly. This is vital for engineers and scientists who spend much of their day analysing.
If you struggled with the maths and science stuff in school, you probably do not have this intelligence. The few that do tend to enter the fields which require a lot of application of maths or physics.
Those who are good at spotting patterns in maths and science may be good at music. Albert Einstein played the violin, and Leonardo Da Vinci played a wide range of instruments.
The ability to spot musical structure and rhythm is another type of intelligence.
These individuals seem to be able to read every situation and know what people are thinking. Through reading emotions and listening, they can bring people together and encourage others.
Leaders and people who operate in large teams tend to have this intelligence. It is the ability to understand and relate to others.
These individuals are the complete opposite of interpersonal smarties. They are always aware of themselves and their emotions. I have found that highly sensitive individuals tend to be high in this intelligence.
They are quick at identifying their motivations and are self-aware.
We all know one person who loves the outdoors. They are constantly thinking of the next hike or camp with their family. These individuals can sense small changes in their environment and love being outdoors.
Their ability to understand nature and respond to it is high. People who enjoy gardening or biology are high in this type of intelligence.
People who enjoy creating images such as interactive charts or diagrams tend to be high in this intelligence. It is the ability to judge space and fill it with information.
People who are good at art and create fun and easy content to consume have good spatial awareness.
Finally, these are the people who have athletic abilities. I will never forget the kid in my school who is now a professional football player. He was just miles above the rest when it came to playing the sport.
Those who are gifted in this area tend to either become sports stars or personal trainers.
Master All or One?
Throughout a lifetime, it is probably possible to master all of these. With correct planning of one’s day, they could probably practice each one weekly. However, the question is, is it worth it?
My answer to this is no. Many of us can become good at most things we put our minds to it. But we tend to lean towards a few of these bits of intelligence.
The key here is not to master all, but to learn from those who are a master of one. The same goes for personality types. We can not become all the personalities that exist. However, we can learn from each one and add the benefits of certain personality traits to our own.
In a connected world, the goal is to build a network of these individuals. That way, you benefit from each intelligence whilst being a master of your own.
You will find that those who go far in life are not necessarily skilled at everything. They start with a good and diverse skill set and then learn from those where they have gaps.
Someone who has intelligence in interpersonal, logic-mathematics and language would be a great leader. These are the likes of Elon Musk and Bill Gates. However, learning from those who are high in intrapersonal intelligence will give them the ability to find fulfilment in their work.
We do not have to master all, and we do not have to limit ourselves to one. Instead, we should evaluate ourselves against this list and understand how our intelligence can combine to add value to others.
Once you have done this, let the gaps be filled by communicating with others who have a different build of intelligence to you.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.