Are You a Jack of all Trades but Master of None?

I have a challenge for everyone.  I want you to make a list of all the topics of which you are an unequivocal expert.  No ifs ands or buts…expert as in, could testify in court as an expert witness.

For me it would only be golf.  I could testify in court as an expert witness about the game of golf.  I know the rules and have served as a tournament rules official having been trained by the USGA to do so.  I am a certified, card carrying member of the PGA.  I have given over 5,000 golf lessons in my career and conducted over 500 corporate and private golf outings and clinics.

I have taught women, men, seniors, children, politicians, celebrities, etc.  I played professionally (although not very well. lol) for many years and competed in over 300 professional tournaments over a 20 year career.

quote-to-know-is-to-know-that-you-know-nothing-that-is-the-meaning-of-true-knowledge-socrates-174070I have also managed public, private and resort golf course properties, handling a staff numbering in the hundreds, formulating and executing budgets and managing crisis situations.

This is the only topic on the planet that I could testify in court as an expert.

I try to remain quiet around people that have specialized knowledge in other fields so that I can learn.  I don’t jabber on about politics because I am at best an amateur.  I don’t talk about healthcare because at best I am an amateur.  I don’t pretend to understand the U.S. economy because I am an amateur.


The sooner you realize you don’t know as much as you think you know the sooner your life will turn for the better.  

p.s. by the way, if your list I mentioned above has more than 1 (in rare instances, 2) item, you are delusional.  When you speak you are repeating what you already know.  When you are silent you may learn something new.  D. Lama


27 thoughts on “Are You a Jack of all Trades but Master of None?

  1. I know nothing!

    Learned that line while working on a contract for the Department of Homeland Defense. Still use it today. Think they actually stole the quote from the T.V. show “Hogan’s Heroes”.

  2. Food and cookery – Tai chi and other marshal arts – chi gong- music instruments: (harmonicas, melodica, panflute) – drawing, painting and illustration – history of religions – children’s classic literature – creativity (how it works) – lifestyle philosophies (Socrates among them) – cosmology – sleeping. Apart from sleeping I’ve studied and taught others these subject for donkey years; then a few years ago I stopped teaching in order to expand them more by teaching myself (heuristic learning). This said I agree that I know little as knowledge is infinite. Moreover my tiny knowledge is totally exposed because when I mention to some people that I’m an expert in these fields they start lecturing me about them with a lot of nonsense in order to show off their superior knowledge. When that happens I always listen quietly to them with inner amusement. – The fact is that we live in a world of experts whose knowledge is based solely on what they read, hear or see in books or the media (self opinionated, superficial untried knowledge) – Socrates and the like of him had a similar problem… Let’s put it like this: one cannot learn swimming from books and manuals, in order to learn one must jump in the water and learn it there.

      1. I’m seventy two. A very young 72 though… 🙂 thanks to my curiosity in wanting to learn, improve and understand more. I think that it’s what keeps me young. I also lived most of my life in London that is a city that offers every opportunity for learning. I couldn’t have done so much in another city and not even in London nowadays because up to a few decades ago education here for all was free. Nowadays is expensive here too.

      2. Nice city. But it has become terribly expensive also because super-rich Arabs, Russians and Chines keep buying properties thus increasing the values of properties. They have calculated that it’s less expensive to live in Madrid and commute everyday to London by plane to work than renting a flat or house in London. It’s absurd and it’s very difficult for ordinary people to live here. Besides, it’s also very difficult to make friends nowadays in London. People here tend to be isolated, very distant from one another always in a hurry and obsessed with money. In my next book I call it: the city of the White Rabbits, with reference to the White Rabbit of Wonderland who was always too much in a hurry to talk to anybody 🙂

  3. ::runs back:: Forgot this: Great post! It’d be a much quieter (contemplative!) world if everyone who didn’t have expertise on a subject would say less about it. I like this line, esp.: “The sooner you realize you don’t know as much as you think you know the sooner your life will turn for the better. “

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