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On Becoming a Man: Short Notes to the Multi-Talented – Part 1

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“Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.” – Michael LeBoef

Are you one of us – the multi-talented, multi-gifted, able-to-do-many-things? Anyway, I think you know where we are headed today. Let’s enjoy this short trip.

It all started when you were just a little child. Like most children, you were very inquisitive and would hardly allow any moment pass without learning something. You could observe your environment and take in so many details in such a little time. Then you were enrolled in elementary school and almost everything you read and were taught in class stuck around in your memory – your little head, pretty well. It was such a delight when the music teacher taught the class how to play the recorder, then the flute, and then the piano. Art work was splendid and you still remember the dozens of papier-mâché you created with your own hands. You always picked up skills really fast and you never found it difficult to spend long hours perfecting your new skill.

Then, you found yourself in high school and everybody wanted you to be involved in every activity – debates, inter-class and inter-school quiz competitions, football, chess, scrabble, volley ball, and the list is endless! You did all you could and still excelled in academics. University was the ultimate – politics in your department and faculty, leadership in your religious affiliations, and much more. You always had that midas touch and everybody wanted you on their next ‘crack team’ because of your brilliant ideas…

You wake up one day and realize that honestly, you are no more that little child; you’re grown up now and you cannot be everywhere, doing everything, all the time! You need to answer the most crucial question on earth – “Why!?” After this, you decide what, when, where, who, and how to go about the specifics. You finally acknowledge that for you to be effective and efficient in leading the kind of life you should, and would, love to lead there is the need to chisel out the minor elements as you focus on the major.

I can do several things and in fact many of these things aid one another – they usually blend together to form a beautiful picture. Nevertheless, it has struck me differently and in an urgent manner that for one to be successful in the core area in which one has been called to make maximum positive impact and be truly successful, there is the need to prioritize. Like that expression goes, one must be careful not to ‘major on the minor and minor on the major’. Of course, life is about discovery and we are all free to dream, but there should be limits to certain things.

In the last episode, I mentioned the idea of conducting a personal mid-year assessment. I think this is needful; in case you have not done this, please endeavour to do so. A surgery of sorts might just be what you need to deal with your priority challenges. Maybe you are just involved in too many things. One thing I am working on this month is my rate of response to mails and requests vis-à-vis deciding as fast as possible what engagements to do without. I tell you, life gets better when we admit we cannot fill our plates with everything in the world and we become more focused on the really important and relevant things.

Like Michael LeBoef, I charge you to commit a great deal of yourself to something and desist from devoting a little of yourself to everything on earth that you can find.

Are you multi-talented? How are you doing and what has been your experience with prioritizing several commitments; have you had to painfully cut off some activities and engagements in your life simply because they were not adding up or contributing meaningfully to what and who you really want to be? I’d love to hear from you.

We’ll meet again in a fortnight!

Photo Credit: aaciblog.wordpress.com

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Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu

Digital Content Strategist | Creative Writer. Copy Editor. Storyteller. Vocalist. Amateur Pianist. Spoken Word Poetry recording artiste. Lover of Words & Images. #ArsenalFC. Twitter: @gbengaawomodu

11 Comments

  1. Princess of Zion

    July 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    That’s very true! Being a jane or Jack of all trades is a huge talent, nonetheless. But after sometime, one needs to hone in on a particular area and see that through to perfection! A lot of successful business people today have companies in all different industries, but they usually started with one and then broadened out. When you perfect your acumen and skills in one thing, you can go out to others.

    May God give us all the knowledge, wisdom and confidence to step out, be great and be what we are purposed to be- Champions!!

    How to stay faithful while waiting on Him. My personal testimony- http://www.princessofzion.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/my-testimonies-waiting-on-god-she-found-her-husband/
    God bless you.

  2. Bii

    July 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    This is so me!.. I’ve only just started streamlining my commitments and I must say it’s worked wonders for my focus… I am female mind…

  3. cathy

    July 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    good one

  4. Sir Farouk

    July 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I have the same problem, although in my case I did pick one thing now I m thinking how I can get back on the other things. Was even going to write about it. I think being multitalented is a gift, its much like hedging your investments, eventually one or more of your talents will lead you to the success you desire you just have to keep going hard in as many as you can. God made you multitalented for a reason.

  5. kaycee

    July 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I had the same problem, and then it got worse when i started studying philosophy, a discipline that champions on being jack of all trade and master of none.
    So i ended up a writer, the only thing you can do by knowing a little of everything.

  6. iamfascinating

    July 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    its absolutely important to focus on something. When you’ve built it to an entity, then you can get someone to manage it so you can chase other passions, but it has to be one at a time. I agree 100%!

    http://www.thestunninglady.blogspot.com

  7. Akinnifesi olufemi

    July 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

    From childhood till date i learnt,learn and learn,not only things that caught my fancy but any knowledge i cud breed and bear more sibling lik my neigbours dog; nancy. From fine art to pure science, fiction and poetry, authoring to mentoring..media and many more. I neva stopped getting tis accolades the sizes of smokes and kitchen fume, not near the big sky that many prayed for me as my stepping stone.Just as i wondered and was abt working on the few like u said..my father was very angry wt me few days back that i told him to take to the repairer the very kind of lamp i cud fix when i was 12.. Thanx 4dis one

  8. click

    July 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    its great been a multi-talented individual, as its advantage is to land you into any sphepre of life where things are happening. It makes you to easily fit it!

  9. Tavia Baby

    July 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    This applies to me in a different way in that im still trying to figure out what im meant to be doing. Im yet to stick my ass to smthn in particular.

  10. Misi

    July 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    this is definitely for my geminine self. Always restless and easily bored doing one tin for too long and with a highly inquisitive mind….. I do like 10 different tins, that in the end i get so overwhelmed by it all and do none…. Now im focusing on asking God to lead me to that one fulfilling direction

  11. Shes Retro

    July 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Being multi-talented is really tricky because most of the time, you might actually have an interest and some level of passion for the diverse number of things you find yourself engaged in. What worked for me was narrowing things down to that one thing I cant give up and gradually narrowing my focus to that. Great write up!

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