There was a time when being a specialist was the ideal. We were told that specialised training and university degrees were the ticket to lifelong prosperity. At least we would be comfortable and have a good pension plan. If you had a problem then a specialist would be called in to solve it. This was good. Everyone knew the rules.
But things have changed. Suddenly it seems that the specialist looks out of place. The man in the shiny suit and tie looking dazed at the interest rates on the mortgage bond account. I have read that one must be able to select something, anything, and be really good at it. An expert. But is that enough? I suspect not. These days you need to be more than an expert in one thing. You need to be an expert is something and very good in many others and still competent in even more areas. This will mean being able to do your primary claim to fame, market yourself, master technology, fix the leak in the roof, mend the door and cook a healthy meal. If you cannot do these things you may need an artist.
No really. What is an artist? He or she need not be a painter or singer (although they could be). A true artist is an enthusiastic problem solver. Take painting for example. Every painting is a series of problems and corrections until finally the artist is satisfied with the solution. Once the painting is completed the solution is not forgotten. Then the painting must get to market and be sold so that the artist can buy paints and pay the electricity bill. Problem to be solved - how to market and sell in a hostile economy. How to thrive in times when uncertainty prevails? How to update your website gallery? These are complex problems and require multiple skills to arrive at a solution.
How does this apply to the world today? simply this - every person today needs to up their skills. The general practitioner in life will prevail while the specialist will become vulnerable. What happens when your employer demands that you relocate to another city. Can you refuse and keep your job? If not you are vulnerable unless you can find a solution within your skills and other abilities.
There is an an artist within everyone. This is a fact that can be seen in people a century or two ago. Before production lines and timer clocks made us helpless. We have to face a new time where self sufficiency is needed to survive. We need to become artists once again.