>  Blog   >  Why you should never stick with one speciality

I used to believe that if you spend most of your time and energy doing one thing, you’d become really good at it within a year, above average in 5 years, a master after 10.

So, I decided to pull in all my efforts into cooking.

*Freshmen year in college*

Hey ma, MA. How do you cook rice? I just bought a rice cooker and a bag of jasmine rice.

I was 18 at the time. Even though I was an overachiever at school and at heart, I had ZERO experience in cooking. Well unless instant noodles in a cup count…but that was it!

And it just dwelled on me for the longest time how my parents didn’t trust me in the kitchen. In fear that I’d accidentally burn down the house.

Plus, if food was provided, why bother to cook?

But since college granted me 600 miles of freedom, I decided to take this opportunity to cook as many dishes as I could. Within these 4 years. To prove to my family and to myself, what I’m capable of doing.

So every night, I prepared a new dish.

From left to right: Beef kababs over avocado salad, cioppino seafood stew, steak bruschetta on naan bread

What was once a plate of rice with steamed eggs soon expanded to braised lamb shanks, beef kebabs, homemade pizzas, and open-faced toast of every kind imaginable.

It wasn’t easy at first dealing with burnt or over-salted foods. But I told myself, “if you quit now, you’ll probably quit in the future.” So I kept reading instructional cookbooks, and I kept pushing myself to cook new dishes despite my failed attempts.

It was at a point when I stopped accepting people’s invitations and pursuing other interests. Because deep down inside, I wanted to be a world-class chef. If I diluted my attention to anything else, I’d be behind. Instantly.

The moment of truth

By the time I reunited with friends after living in China and Paso Robles (a small town of 30,000 people located in the middle of nowhere), I realized how lost I was in conversation.

While everyone exchanged their thoughts on The Game of Thrones and the next presidential election, I sat there smiling in awkward silence.

All I knew was food and cooking. Anything outside of that scope, I had nothing to say. It was a reality I felt ashamed of.

I was lacking in so many areas that I couldn’t keep a normal conversation going. And it wasn’t just that, but I didn’t have a strong suit for anything else.

Negotiating. Sports. Writing. None of that.

And this made me realize that you’re better off pursuing other interests and turning them into a passion. Your talent. Because when you put your eggs in more than one basket, you open up more opportunities to connect with like-minded people and to build who you could be.

Don’t settle for one speciality. Aim for as many as you could take…and stick with it.

I’m rebuilding my life by discovering who I am, learning what I’m capable of after a 9 year heartbreak that left me stranded in China.


  • Arthur

    October 6, 2017

    I have the same feeling with you about lacking basics in many areas and can’t have normal conversations with the others. I’ve try to extend my interests to other fields , for example the American TV series, but finally found that I was really not interested in the fields that I was not interested. It’s sort of one of my natures , I wonder if it is necessary to change my hobby to fit somebody else. At last , I stay basicly the same as before , although changed a little.

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