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A jack of all trades

May 27, 2011

A Great Idea …

“Not being everything is smart; not working on everything but rather emphasizing selected strengths is the route to excellence. For many people, this understanding requires a redirection of the doing all and being all to being more by focusing on less and doing a lot of what you do well.” (Donald Clifton and Paula Nelson, experts in finding and developing personal strengths, in their book, Soar With Your Strengths. p. 41)

In Other Words …

Often each of us tries to be a “Jack of all trades,” while forgetting the other half of the phrase: “Master of none.” When we try to be good at everything, we usually end up being excellent at nothing. When we focus on just a few things that align with our natural strengths, we are likely to be both happier and more successful.

How This Applies to You …

What are your greatest strengths? If you’re not sure, go to and take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. Once you know your strengths, you can redesign your life to spend less time and energy on tasks outside your strengths and more time on tasks that use your strengths.

To Find Out More …

For an excellent (and free!) program on improving your personal well being, check out The Personal Journey or Managing Stress at

For more information on improving your strengths, we recommend Soar with Your Strengths by Donald O. Clifton and Paula Nelson, or Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman.

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