“He that is everywhere is nowhere” is a quote often attributed to Thomas Fuller, the 17th century author and scholar. It’s widely used in career advising circles to highlight the importance of focusing on a single field.
I’m all for this general concept as a productivity mantra—if you’re trying to multi-task you’re failing to give your whole being to each task.
But at the macro, when the career focal point is off in the distance, is it worth forcing one solely for the sake of focus? Maybe. Equally worth endorsement, however, is dabbling.
Everywhere, I’d argue, is still somewhere.
Too often students feel ridiculed for holding multiple interests, for dipping into a variety of fields. Such students are typically looked down upon for lacking focus rather than praised for their curiosity.
Many of the best leaders I’ve met have spent a large part of their lives dabbling, and it’s precisely in their dabbling that they were eventually able to find focus.
Their experience allows them to pull insights from multiple fields and to think creatively, two attributes critical for building teams capable of continuous learning and innovation.