Can one ever overspecialize? I don’t think so. Being proficient in what you do and if you are fortunate enough, loving your work as well, are indeed, important. However, enjoying the pursuit of new areas of interest, either while you are still involved in your present work or at a later stage of your life, can be  beneficial and can also, life-affirming.

However much of an expert you might have happened to be in what you once chose to do or presently do, “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?)

“Specialist: a man who knows more and more about less and less.”

-Dr. William J. Mayo, Co-founder of the Mayo Clinic

Integrating many areas of your pursuits can lead to unexpected and exciting new wholes. I paint and  write and often combine my writing with art into poetry. Listening to your creative instincts and following them to where they might lead, can be both enriching and energizing.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Part Four of my 4 part “You Can Be More Than One Thing” Series, you can continue reading any parts you missed in the series in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.