Recently I’ve internalized something extremely empowering: I feel like I know how to learn skills, get good at things and do them well. I have learned that it takes a lot of practice, it takes a lot of work, and it takes a ton of time and patience but if I put in the effort, eventually I’ll be good at it.
That’s made me want to try and do everything, because I feel like I can get good at anything I want to do as long as I put in the time. However I quickly realized I don’t know if I have the time to do all the things I want to do. So now I’m stuck with the question: How do I do everything I want to do? Is it even possible to do everything I want to do?
This has been a really great outlet for my adventures, thoughts, personal growth and experiences, and it’s made me really enjoy writing. I don’t need it to get big but I definitely don’t want it to fade away.
Back when I was in high school and early college, I used to create gaming commentaries and had over 50,000 subscribers and upwards of 8,000,000 views on YouTube across my content. I stopped because it was taking up too much of my time and I couldn’t balance my life and keep up my gaming channel, so I chose to get involved in college, make friends and have a social life instead. Looking back I made the right choice but I really enjoyed broadcasting, not necessary on gaming, but producing content for an audience. I have a couple podcast ideas that I want to work on and consistently produce.
This is my moneymaker. This is my professional trade, and it’s a damn good one. I’m lucky to have had strong industry experience having worked at Blizzard and I am confident in my web software engineering skills. It’s something I want to maintain and continue to develop because it gives me a ton of career and creative opportunities. It also enables all my other business and creative ideas because I can spin up sleek, modern and beautiful websites easily.
This is a recent interest because I realized that a lot of the business ideas I have need logos, designs, and art to really bring them to life. I’ve also had development clients request my design portfolio, which I don’t have, outside of basic logos and graphics. I have always wanted to learn how to draw and I feel like I can if I put time into learning it, and it would enable me to create merchandise for my businesses, custom graphics for my websites, and generally level up all other areas of my life.
This past summer I took a swing dance/Lindy Hop class because I had always wanted to learn how to dance and finally had enough courage and confidence to try and was instantly hooked. Since then most of my free nights on the weekdays have been consumed by Lindy hop classes and social dances. I really enjoy dancing because it’s such a great social activity, it’s a great workout, and I love the little niche community around the dance. Also since spinning off to work for myself I’ve had to be careful of getting secluded because I don’t have coworkers. I spend more time alone now than I have at any other period of my life, which can’t be healthy, but dancing really helps counteract that.
I also love teaching, and I want to introduce more people to this amazing dance/activity. Teaching beginner Lindy Hop classes is the perfect union of those two interests and I feel like I’m getting to a point where I can comfortably teach beginner Lindy Hop classes now.
Learning how to surf was the first thing I ever did that broke the ‘I can’t see myself doing this’ barrier. It was the catalyst to me realizing that I could do anything as long as I put the effort and time in, and I love surfing. The peacefulness of floating out back waiting for the waves, the thrill of catching and riding a wave. There’s a high skill ceiling that stokes my competitive side, and being in the ocean, feeling the wind, the sun, seeing dolphins and other sea life every once in a while fulfills my nature loving side. What’s not to love?
I learned to play piano as a kid and have kept it up ever since. It’s an old skill and hobby that I often put on the back burners when I get busy with other things. However it’s something I am extremely proud of because I’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting to where I am with it. I can figure out songs by ear, comfortably learn most songs quickly via sheet music, and improvise and play music based on my mood. I would be devastated if I lost my skill to comfortably play songs on the piano.
All 7 of them have extremely high skill ceilings and I only have one lifetime to spend and one brain to hold all of these skills I want to learn. I already know what people would say if I told them I wanted to do all of the above and actually be really good at all of them. They would say: “You can’t”, “You’re spreading yourself way too thin”, “You clearly need to focus on one or two things”, “You’re naive”. I’m worried and largely convinced that if I try to do everything, I’ll stretch myself too thin, end up half assing it all or burn out, and ultimately waste my time.
I’ve always loved doing too much and stretching myself thin, because that’s when I feel productive and feel like I’m making the most of my time. I did that in college when I got involved in more jobs and organizations than I could count, on top my my classes. When I look back, I often wish that I had just focused on one or two things instead of ten because I think I would’ve gotten a lot more out of going deep rather than wide.
I clearly did not learn my lesson because now I find myself headed towards that same fate where I am setting myself up to juggle ten things that I want to do. Part of me knows that it’s not going to work, that I just need to focus on 2-3 things max and do those things well. Common sense advice is that I’ll ultimately get more out of going deep on a few things rather than trying to be a jack of all trades.
Yet there is a part of me that wants to prove common sense wrong and to change the common sense, because it can’t let go of wanting to do everything, and be an expert at everything. That stubborn part of me does not care if it’s naive, it just wants to try find out for itself. It’s so optimistic and believes so deeply that I can do it that I don’t want to shut it off, because it’s the same part of me that gets me through tough times. It’s the same piece of me that helped me take the leap of faith I needed to leave my job, travel, start my own business and pursue my own goals because it’s so confident and unwavering regardless of any kind of doubt or external influence.
I can’t shut it off because I don’t want to risk losing that piece of me.
But there’s no way I can possibly do everything, and master everything… is there?
The banner image is a photo I took of an arcade claw machine in Tokyo… being able to get anything out of those is a feat, but luckily one that I have no interest in getting good at because my plate is already beyond overflowing.