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Polymaths, geniuses with diverse skillsets and varied interests, are the source of some of history's greatest contributions.
Giants like Aristotle, Galileo, and Leonardo da Vinci were...
A polymath sees the world with a unique perspective, making connections that are not apparent to others.
Early polymaths had the advantage of a wide-open field, and went deep in their disciplines, yielding branches and sub-branches of specializations. Deep down, these different branches lead to the same trunk and roots.
Polymaths differ from specialists, as they are on to a highway that is getting wider, and specialists are parked in a spot that is getting deeper.
Polymaths have the advantage of learning new fields of study, and forming new connections, while specialists start having a narrow vision by going deep, learning less. The learning ability of the polymath is the required skill-set of the future.
... is someone who becomes competent in at least 3 diverse domains and integrates them into a top 1-percent skill set.
In another words, they bring the best of what humanity has discov...
Even if you're merely competent in these skills, combining them can lead to a world-class skill set.
Example: Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, one of the most popular comic strips of all time, was not the funniest person, not the best cartoonist, and not the most experienced employee. But by combining his humor and illustration skills while focusing on business culture, he became the best in the world in his niche.
Most creative breakthroughs come via making atypical combinations of skills.
Researcher Brian Uzzi, a professor at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, analyzed more than 26 million scientific papers going back hundreds of years and found that the most impactful papers often have teams with atypical combinations of backgrounds.
The new reality of success: embracing a diverse range of skills and experiences to thrive in the increasingly complex world.
Great men like Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs and Leonar...
In this age, make yourself indispensable by being ‘pretty good’ in two or more skillsets, making yourself among the top 25 percent with some amount of effort. That’s easier than putting in 10,000 hours in one skill to attain mastery.
Taking the example of Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of many books. He is not the best cartoonist, and not the funniest person. However, he can draw better than many of us, and is funny enough. These two skill sets (1 and 1) create a talent stack and become 11, instead of 2.
It’s never been easier to learn new skills than in the present age. One can become a polymath by simply identifying the key skill sets that are doable and interesting (depending on one’s background and inclination) and learning them by taking up online courses. It’s not about the degree or certification, but the actual learning.
Example: If you are a programmer, you could become a polymath by learning about User Experience and Design of applications.
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