At any given time I can be found reading at least four books, three magazine articles, and my Kindle, while researching about education policy, antipoverty advocacy campaigns, posting on my social media sites and saving future articles on my Pocket app. I journal, blog, and pin ideas. I have often been asked what I do (besides trying to be an average, everyday, ordinary superhero), I reply, “I do just about everything,” and I am looked at with bafflement because there is no official title beside my name.
But imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this blog post by Keith Sawyer: How to Be a Polymath. Because, although I’m not an entrepreneur, I do believe that learning doesn’t end the day you are handed your diploma, that learning is a constant state of being. That in order for me to be the most realized me I can ever be, or you to be the most realized you, one has to be willing to step outside certain comfort zones and step out on faith.
Historically, in order to be a Renaissance man (or woman, sadly there were too few of those) you had to have a certain amount of wealth and leisure time. But now, because we live in a time where we no longer need a passport to travel to the museums or libraries of the world because they exist on our laptops, virtually accessible at any hour of any given day, we have no excuse to not be a Renaissance anything, and we have every reason to be a polymath.
Because it isn’t as if a lack of time is really an excuse for not doing anything anymore. We are literally plugged in and connected to infinite possibility, all at our fingertips. And so many of us are already turning that time into opportunity. To connect with other learners, via online learning opportunities through Stanford for example, or to find like-minded individuals in the cities we live in and participate in collaborative opportunities in which we help each other create the next big thing.
So if you had an hour, would you:
• Learn a language
• Take a yoga class
• Read Dante’s Inferno
• Go salsa dancing
Within us all exists infinite possibility. We are not tied to a job title or a role within our family. We can create any future for ourselves that we want because we have the opportunity to do so. So what would you do if you “knew you could not fail”? Becoming a polymath is a great place to start, one hour at a time.