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

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

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

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Key Ideas

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.

Alexis de Tocqueville

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."

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.

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 defend his territory.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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Polymath

 ..is a kind of well-rounded person who knows a lot of things from several areas life. Academics, politics, health, pop culture, art… everything. 

In addition to knowledge, t...

Helpful tips to become a polymath
  • Learn Multiple Languages. Learn the basics and common vocabulary roots of the biggest language groups. This will enable you to learn any language.
  • Learn How to Write. It all starts with keeping a diary or a dream journal.
  • Be Artistic. Know the great works of art and music. Listen to some good music. Learn common techniques of drawing, painting, and sculpture.
  • Get Interested in Philosophy. Know something about every major philosopher and theory.
  • Learn Some Physics.
  • Explore History. History helps you understand the present. It gives you insights into human nature.
  • Read as Much as Possible. Know the classics and the most powerful literature works from modern authors.