The Benefits of a Multidisciplinary Life

The concept has many names:

Polymath, multi-hyphenate, multi-faceted, multidisciplinary, renaissance human, wunderkind

It essentially means being skilled and knowledgable in many things. Not a genius, per se, but someone who pursues a life of learning. And behind that learned skill is an insatiable curiosity that only grows the more you know and question.

The first person that likely comes to mind is Leonardo da Vinci. His curiosity knew no bounds. On top of being a master painter, he was also interested in architecture, geometry, engineering, mathematics, music, anatomy, botany, cartography, playwright stage design and more.

Being multidisciplinary isn’t for everyone. It isn’t an easy goal to take on. You have to spend time and them some to become competent—let alone exceptional—in one skill. More than one and you’re crazy. Luckily, you are in good company. The journey may be long and hard, but that makes it all the more special.

There are many benefits to seeking a multidisciplinary life:

Greater sense of wonder and curiosity. Instead of just following the path everyone else follows, or memorizing the answers and following the rules, a multidisciplinary life gives
you a mind that desires to understand the reason behind the rules. Questions awake curiosity and the desire to figure things out for ourselves. Instead of following the path most taken you to create your own path, leading to true wisdom and a fundamental understanding of how things work.

Ability to learn new things quickly. One skill relates to others. Your previous knowledge interweaves into new things you are learning. Wisdom combined with curiosity keeps you humble and in a beginner’s mind—never too arrogant enough to think you know all the answers. And with that comes the ability to easily apply what you know to other interests, soaking up knowledge like a sponge.

More unique ideas. Because you are interested in many subjects and crafts, your ideas tend to cross-pollenate. Skills influence one another. Lessons you picked up from learning photography might go on and influence how you learn to program, or what you use programming to build (a photography app for example). Each idea leads to another which leads to —

More connections and more opportunities. By learning multiple disciplines, you start to combine, mix and match interests with each other. Your love of film combining with your love of dance and your curiosity about sunsets. Each connection creates a new opportunity for a new project or a person you might meet.

All of these leads to better and more chances to create. And it also gives you more self-awareness of who you are and what you want in life.

curiosity > ideas > insights > skills > opportunities > connections > impact > more curiosity

But…

There are downsides too —

More on that tomorrow.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #905

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RenaissanceLife.com

After going under the name Renaissance Man Life for the last year and a half,
I am officially the proud owner of RenaissanceLife.com

I’ve been agonizing over not having it for a long time now. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on hover.com, name.com — and every other domain registrar on the planet — looking for a domain close to it. (TheRenaissance.co? RenaissanceLife.blog? RenaissanceJosh.com? Close but no cigar-scented candle) 

I hoped I would get RenaissanceLife.com, but the seller wanted $10,000 for it. (That’s a lot of donuts.) After a year of negotiating it down from who owned it (sitting on it like a troll under a bridge), I couldn’t be happier.

For me, Renaissance Life is an investment in myself. A commit to keep pursuing and pushing my abilities. It’s a promise and affirmation saying I can and will build the RL into a media company focused on helping us reach mastery and create an extraordinary life.

Names are important.

Any idea I have that I think has potential, I immediately come up with a name for it. Names give your ideas a grasp of reality. With a name, you are own step closer. You have edges you can grab hold of, climb up and plant your flag on.

Consider my flag planted.

What are you planting your flag on?

Why Renaissance Life? What does it mean?

Renaissance means rebirth.

From the combination of the French verb /renaître — ‘to revive’ and the noun
/naissance/ — meaning birth comes a word that lives near and dear to me.

The historic Renaissance was a time of innovation and human potential from the revitalization of Roman and Greek classics. To put simply: It was an age of discovery, creativity and pursuit of excellence.

Today we face a new renaissance — The Renaissance of Ourselves.

Your renaissance life begins the moment you decide you want to recreate yourself and grow into a better person. Modern life changes at break-neck speeds, so too, must we. We must become more resilient, adaptable and creative to be who we want to be, to do what we want to do. Dreams of a lifetime don’t happen with wishes. We must create them happen.

Maybe for you that means doing something you fear. Starting a restaurant, building an app, running a marathon. Or maybe it means a rebirth from a past failure. A bad break up, lost friends, a poor career.

By choosing to live a Renaissance Life, you’re choosing to believe that you can and will turn your trails into triumphs, and learn how to become a master at what you do, despite setbacks, pain, and fear.

My greatest moments of pain and failure have become the most defining moments of my life. Isn’t that crazy (stupid) to consider? I would never wish bad on anyone, but through my own troublesome experiences I come to appreciate more, desire to be more and to life my life to the upmost.

We all go through dark moments in our life:

Injury, health issues, financial meltdowns, friendships, frustrations, body issues, brokenness, bad decisions (to name some of mine).

Ultimately, what matters is what we do about them in the aftermath.

Do I give up? Or do I find a better way?

Your Renaissance has unlimited potential. Choosing the pursuit of better is how you begin.

Welcome to the Renaissance.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Wisdom:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw

CHALLENGE: Binge Reading Blogs

How did Tony Robbins become the Tony Robbins?
How did Tim Ferriss become the Tim Ferriss?
How did Seth Godin become the Seth Godin?

Lewis became a master of connecting.
Maria became a master by connecting ideas from across time.
Paul became a master of speaking, teaching and emotional intelligence.
Ramit became a master of money and psychology.
Pat became a master of podcasting and business by helping others.

We all have our influences in real life and on paper. Titans of our industries. 
But no one starts at the top. (And if they did they wouldn’t have the values to stay there.)

The question is what strategies and insights can we learn from them and apply to become our own thought leaders. How do we get from 0 to 1?  (H👺ll, how do I get from 0.01 to 1?)

I see writing as a direct window into the soul. Our thought process, fears, strengths, ideas — who we are, etched a period of time. (Even lies give us valuable insights into their psyche.)

That’s why I’ve decided to start binge reading blogs of thought readers I follow and enjoy. To know where they started, and understand how they become who they are today. I don’t want to be Tim Ferriss, or Pat Flynn or whoever, but I want to similar things they have created for lives. I want to be able to learn, create, and connect without being encumbered by if I’ll be able to pay rent next month.

Of course a blog is just a piece of their life, but even a small slice of what it takes to be successful is enough to create radical change in our lives.

And I figure, If I’m going to binge something, might as well make it something that improve my life and makes me a better person. (… …. okay fine fine, I’m still going to binge Stranger Things too. 🙂

Here are 5 ground rules I’m following:

1. I am binge reading at most two blogs at a time. (Two because I want to find connections and correlations between the two influencers) 
2. I will read every relevant post, but if they seem useless to my life I’ll skim them.
3. Any time a blog sparks an idea, be that a writing prompt for Renaissance Life or an idea I can use for my work (at 60Watts, boldsheep, Pass It Down or Paul) I will immediately start working on the idea until completed.
4. If any blog post mentions something I should do (action steps) I will immediately do it before moving on. Whether that’s a challenge, business advice, or anything that resembles increased happiness and wellbeing.
5. Some Influencer don’t JUST have a blog but a podcast, books or other areas of interest. I will binge those as well.

I’m looking for patterns, insights into life and how they become who they are today.

If I am every going to be worthy of the title of a Renaissance Man, I’ve got to learn from the best.

I’m starting with Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss.

Here’s a list of people I know I’ll want to read of the top of my head:

Ryan Holiday
James Altucher
Pat Flynn
Ramit Sethi
Brain Pickings
Seth Godin
Hugh Macleod
Tim Ferriss
Chase Jarvis
Lewis Howes
Penelope Trunk
Copyblogger (Brian Clark)
GrowthLab

Feel free to make any suggestions to any influencers you enjoy in the comments below or via email. (I’ll periodically update this list)

I’ll keep you updated on my binge reading journey as I go.

Join me on this CHALLENGE —  if your crazy like me.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

My Personal Vision Statement

What do you want your life and actions represent?

What do you want to be remembered for?

Who do you want to be?

It’s a life-long work in progress, but here is my personal mission statement. I read and say this aloud every day.

 

I live a meaningful and extraordinary life. I make Bold Moves. I challenge all assumptions. Failure, fear, and setbacks are challenging opportunities waiting to be turned into life lessons. Above all, I value time, freedom, learning, creativity, love and friendship. I stand for my beliefs.

I do what I say I will do. I lead by my actions. I have a can-do attitude. I persist. I know when to say yes, and when to say no. I listen to what others have to say and respect their views. I care deeply for others.

I am ALIVE and full of energy. I live with charisma and gusto! I am healthy, fit and active. I make goals and achieve them. I value rest and play and stillness. 

I pursue mastery and excellence in all that matters to me, every day, no exceptions. I am constantly pursuing multiple disciplines and striving towards a Renaissance Life. I am at the forefront of disruption and innovation.

I enable others to be their best selves. I am a catalyst for change. 
I will make the world a better place.

 

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Inspiration +

It All Matters by Paul Cummings

Total Focus by Brandon Webb

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