Renaissance-person – the rules

Posted by jerry on March 20th, 2006 — Posted in Journal

On Moleskinerie the other day I came across the rules for Renaissance-man-dom – this is a really positive way of looking at the world, and of one’s own development. The blog is kept by Colin Marshall, who revises these rules about every six months. Some key ones for me were:

1. Every day, either learn a new skill or hone one you already have.
A progress-free life is extremely depressing, a downward-sloping one suicidally so. Keep the old inner demons at bay by making sure that, in one way or another, you develop, if only a little bit, with each rotation of the Earth.

2. Don’t instinctively say “no” when presented with possible new interests.
The mind of the polymath demands a constant stream of new influences; letting them grow as diverse as possible doesn’t hurt.

11. Never miss the chance to approach what initially seem like troubles as opportunities.
“Every cloud has a silver lining.” “A door isn’t closed without a window being opened.” My favorite is “Honor thy mistake as a hidden intention.” Pick your platitude, but it’s within your abilities to harness for your own benefit what originally appeared to be a reversal.

And one of my personal favourites:

13. Keep a notebook handy.
You never know when you’ll run across a valuable piece of knowledge.

I guess I would probably rephrase No 2 as: Tell me under what conditions I can do something, rather than why I cannot. – the latter is just lazy thinking.


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