The idea I want to present to you today is the ability to take a deep dive into a subject by eliminating many outside possibilities.
Let’s take a look at playing the guitar, for example. A long while ago, I made the decision to become a specialist in playing the music that I love, which is Heavy Metal. In truth, it was not much of a “choice” really since Metal really grabs the most of my interest. But as a musician, as you grow, you do hear other things and become interested in other styles of music. For me, I always liked the way classical guitar sounded (Thank you, Randy Rhoads), but I realized that if I devoted the necessary time it took to become very proficient at classical guitar, my main goal of playing Heavy Metal would suffer. I decided to expand my ability as a Metal guitarist by eliminating choices that did not lead to the ultimate goal. Yes, even if it was hard to do.
I see this play out a lot in musicians. Many musicians I know want to get good at everything. They want to play a lot of styles and be genuine in each one. Even these days, through teaching many young players, I see a person play as many as several instruments. I mean, sure, it’s wonderful. You learn new things, you develop, etc. But, it’s crowded out there. I believe in order to become a specialist at something you have to 1) devote most, if not all, of your time to become proficient at that one thing and be known for it. 2) you have to understand that it is “ok” not to excel at everything. Believe me, you are still a very valuable person. 3) you have to understand that it is better to do one thing at 99%, than 9 at 40%.
In some way, people feel that they are missing something, or that they do not add up to something, unless they do and know about everything. If you are one of those people torturing yourself, it is “ok” not to be that way and just follow where your true heart leads.
One last point. I am not asking anyone to completely disregard, hate on or never look outside their chosen deep dive. Just know that you’ll have to forgo many B choices and ideas in order to excel at your chosen path.