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We live in a one-track world, but anyone can become a polymath

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We live in a one-track world, but anyone can become a polymath
I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food designed for a few go further.

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The real master has no tools

He/She has a endless power to improvise with what is to hand.

The more fields of knowledge he/she covers, the greater his/her resources for improvisation.

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Alexis de Tocqueville

"Nothing tends to materialise man, and to deprive his work of the faintest trace of mind, more than extreme division of labour."

Alexis de Tocqueville

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Invention fights specialization

To come up with new ideas, you need to know things outside your field.

The further afield your knowledge extends, the greater potential you have for innovation.

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Over-specialization

Over-specialisation in more about defending what one has learnt rather than making new connections.

The initial spurt of learning gives out, and the expert is left to defe...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The polymath

  • Wide interests make him truly rounded, perhaps even multi-specialised. 
  • He can add value to any conversation, either through his familiarity with a particul...

The Renaissance Mind

Cultivating a broad range of pursuits was once seen as the richest way to live, and the surest path to Great discoveries. 

Even today, in a time where the model of efficiency via hyper-specialisation has shifted our focus from ideas to output, the envelope-shifters we most look up to are polymaths. (Steve Jobs and Elon Musk spring to mind.)

Curiosity for cultivating your inner polymath

  • Start by reading magazines and blogs to get to grips with new fields;
  • Sign up to a course in something new. It will help add extra dimensions to your life experience.
  • Pick a new sport – a true polymath cultivates his physique. 
  • Give up the myth of the One True Calling and establish a polymath life working around your many interests. 

Polymaths and mastery

Polymaths manage to achieve mastery across multiple industries, arts, or fields of study. What sets them apart? The willingness and drive to learn new.

Aristotle (382 BC–322 BC)

A polymath that made fundamental contributions to diverse fields of study, including logic, rhetoric, ethics, physics, story, poetry, government, metaphysics, geology and zoology.

Aristotle believed that we should strive to live a life of moderation, nurturing the virtues within ourselves and avoiding the vices on either extreme end.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

H was the father of the High Renaissance style. Da Vinci made contributions to many other fields: urban planning, mathematics, botany, astronomy, invention, history, sculpting and cartography.

  • He introduced the idea of painting with aerial perspective (painting faraway objects less distinctly and with less vibrant colors).
  • He was also interested in anatomy. He used his skills as an artist to create the Vitruvian Man, a study on body proportion and an exemplar of the intersection of math and art common in the Renaissance era. 

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Polymaths

A Polymath is defined as one who is specialized in at least two unrelated fields or domains while having a passive interest in other domains too. They are individualists that hold a holistic view o...

Qualities Of A Polymath

When polymaths become interested in something, they don't care which domain or sphere it leads them. Some qualities of a Polymath person:

  • Above-average intelligence
  • Open-mindedness
  • Curiosity
  • Self-reliance
  • Individualism
  • A desire for personal fulfillment
  • Desire to find connections.

Waqas Ahmed

Waqas Ahmed

“The polymath not only moves between different spheres or different fields and disciplines, but seeks fundamental connections between those fields, so as to give them a unique insight into each of them.”

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