Knowledge: A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Once upon it was considered normal for a person to have a wide expanse of knowledge. Not only was it considered normal, it was considered desirable. Today, the tables have flipped. Not only is it in many ways more difficult to know something about everything due to the mass of knowledge out there but it really isn’t encouraged any more. Part of this is understandable. In order to be successful in nearly any field you have to stand above the competition and that means knowing your field as well as possible.
Jack Of All Trades
Naturally, that doesn’t leave much time for the leisurely study of other pursuits. On the other hand, we’ve subconsciously begun to denigrate the concept of having a well-rounded store of knowledge. Think of the cliché, “Jack of all trades master of none.” This is actually a corruption of the phrase:
The original was formerly intended as a compliment, the phrase means that a person is a generalist rather than a specialist, versatile and adept at many things. Currently, the modern, albeit wrong itteration is clearly that having a breadth of knowledge prevents you from being a master of any particular field. While most of us can’t hope to master multiple skills or fields of study in our lives, we certainly can and should strive for one. Yet, we should not do so while excluding other things. Being well rounded in knowledge and understanding is far better than in stature.
Know More Than Your Profession
Truthfully, knowing more than your chosen profession is absolutely essential for you to live your full potential. Staying focused on just one thing is a great way to come to hate it. Your passion for whatever it is will almost certainly fail in the end. More than that, knowing more will help you draw connections and parallels between what you do most of the time and whatever hobbies you might choose to take up. Would we have helicopters today if Leonardo da Vinci didn’t take a walk and observe the hummingbird? Would the Lord of the Rings exist if an English professor hadn’t served in WWI or studied Norse mythology? History is full of examples of people using disparate parts of a varied and full life to create something greater.
Get Out Of Your Bubble
That isn’t to say you will and certainly not that you need to aspire to world changing inventions. It is to say that by getting out of your bubble, you will learn something new and will come to love and understand things beyond the scope of your usual routine. That added knowledge and experience will literally create new pathways in your brain, making you capable of greater understanding, allowing you to relate to people and the world in ways you can’t yet conceive.