Spread Your Wings - Review of 'Range' David Epstein

Since lockdown, I have been reading A LOT, and i'm already a pretty big reader, so it's like i'm on reading steroids at the moment. It can be difficult to find a good business/productivity book that isn't just splurging out the same old motivational speeches telling you to grind down and never stop. But, I have come across an absolute belter and I thought it was necessary to share with you...

Range by David Epstein gives several different examples of how and why 'generalist triumph in a specialized world'. Since being small little humans, how many of us have been told that we need to start something at an early age in-order to be good at it. Those forced ballet classes, or piano lessons so that with some hope, you might become the next Mozart. It is generally suggested in our modern age that it is better to be really good at something, and to succeed in that area you have to be persistent for a long time. However, Epstein completely turns this theory on its head and for the first time the phrase 'Jack of all trades' doesn't have a negative connotation. 

Now i'm not just going to regurgitate the whole book for you in a blog post, instead i'd love you to give the book a try and see how it changes your perspective on your own life. Instead I want to discuss what i've taken from the book how it has affected my view on fitness and wellbeing. 

First of all, I must point out that I am the ultimate Jack of all trades, my interests change by the hour and it isn't surprising if i've changed my career path from one week to the next. I've often been told that this is a bad thing, that I need to focus on one thing and be really good at it, but that's never really sunk it. I'd take the argument that i've obviously not found the thing that I love doing yet. Finally i'm starting to come to the conclusion that maybe it isn't such a bad thing that I have multiple interests. 

As a self-employed worker in the fitness industry, it has come in handy that I have a degree in English, because I have had the opportunity to work on several fitness articles for different companies. I also have a creative side to a degree, which has helped me not only with writing my blog, but also opened me up to a world of different ways to market my business, from creating infographics to creating video content. These are all things that may not have been possible, had I not worked in other industries and opened up my interests away from sport. 

And this leads me onto my next point...fitness. Like work, I have a habit of dabbling in different sports and areas of fitness. I like running, sprinting, cycling, yoga and weight lifting. Is it possible that I could become really good at one of those sports and possibly compete? It is, but that doesn't mean I have to. Having a good base knowledge all a variety of sports has allowed me to work with different clients as a PT, and has kept my levels of fitness relatively high. It means I can go on a long cycle with friends and not get tired, but I can also take part in a yoga class and not snap in two. 

But how is any of this useful? I just want you to take a moment to think about times when you've been told to focus on one thing, be that fitness, work or anything else. Is that what you really want to do? And in-fact, how to being more general actually benefit you more? Because it sure as hell has helped me out so far!