Specialist: a man who knows more and more about less and less.
-Dr. William J. Mayo, Co-founder of the Mayo Clinic
We are more than the one career that we happen to have chosen at a particular point in our lives. We are more than the one creative path on which we have embarked. If we suddenly feel drawn to another creative path, it is a good idea to explore it too. Flexibility of thought is a virtue and veering off in new directions can be exciting and energizing.
What we pursued in the past is seldom a waste; the accumulated knowledge and experience might well have prepared us for the new areas that we now wish to explore. Having the capacity to be attracted to new ideas is an essential element of creativity. So even though it is important to specialize and become proficient in a particular area, exploring new interests can lead to the discovery of unexpected and novel combinations of the old and the new. Past and present areas of work, often connect and form a greater whole.
So enjoy entering new areas of interest however expert you might be in what you presently do because “overspecialization … can have a deleterious effect on a person’s thinking. If areas of work are isolated and pigeonholed, they will lack connectivity. This can make an individual narrow and dull. It can also be a disservice to society because diverse subjects and professions, nourish each other and naturally overlap. When people allow themselves only one designation, they cease to try other things… Ideas that do not pertain to their specialization are banished rather than integrated.” (HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HUNCH? The Importance of Creative Thinking)