I have always considered myself quite good at learning new stuff. Add in my never-ending curiosity and passion towards everything, you get someone who is quite good at a lot of things. I’m pretty good at the piano, my mathematics and science grades are quite good, and I can even play sports. But I have been only that, quite good at a lot of stuff. Not excellent, not bad. Just quite good. It’s quite useful, honestly, especially in school where you learn a wide variety of things.
But I always wonder, is that considered as a good or bad thing? I have been asked many times what I should take at university, and most times I don’t know how the answer that. I have taken countless aptitude tests, each time showing different results since I have a wide range of abilities and interests. I sometimes find myself envying people with something that they excel at. It’s quite impressive how they focus on just one thing and develop their abilities to a great extent, something I can’t really do. A lot of times, I have felt a lot of negative things towards my abilities because I can’t just seem to take one thing and master it.
Thinking about it though, you can’t really be the best at anything, because as you get better, a lot of people are getting better as well. The bar is always increasing. The only thing you can do is setting a new standard, as people have been doing for years. Humans are made to evolve, and that’s what we should aim to help happen. For example, someone first made the computer. That computer is developed into a laptop, tablet, and so on.
How to raise the standard then? Of course, you need to be good at a variety of things, creating more innovations by combining your knowledge in those areas of knowledge you have. Now that I’m good at. My curiosity has made me more knowledgeable in a lot of stuff, I have a wider perspective, and I am more experienced than most people.
“But what about universities? They demand us to focus on just one subject!” Curiosity is never useless. It helps you during presentations, essays, assignments, etc, where those random bits of knowledge can come in handy. Every subject is related to each other after all. You can’t just separate a subject from all others. Like how music is always connected to physics and math, the medical world with chemistry and psychology, etc.
Eventually, you’ll go to a bigger place where there are always people better than you at something, no matter how smart you are. But, they might not have as many abilities and as much knowledge as you do.
These days, businesses and industries demand more all-rounders. As researchers, they are useful because they know more aspects connected to the research subject. They also become better leaders because they can see from different perspectives, therefore they make fairer, better decisions.
And so I came to realize, curiosity and passion itself is a special talent.