The title of this post is „Becoming a Renaissance Man #01“. As the sequence number 001 indicates it will be hopefully a continuous journey. I’ll plan to write several posts about it. For now I can’t say exactly when and with what regularity. Maybe you wonder what leads me to set up a program like that. Well, I’ll explain late. In addition to my own personal journey, I hope, that I can enrich this forum with this input.
So what’s the background of all this. Of course Jacob’s book inspired me a great deal of the Renaissance Ideal. I’ve read it in 2017 for the first time. Since then I re-read it every year (and I plan to do so in the coming years). Due to his input and the discussions in this forum I pretty much changed my linear life of an usual employee to a nonlinear life. So the groundwork for “becoming a Renaissance Man” has been made.
Just recently I finished reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. He made a great job in describing practical steps, which would lead toward a habit-based life. The book resonated very well with me, because I favour the result-oriented approach as same as the process-oriented approach. One main topic of his book lies in the beginning. He described two different approaches. He uses three layers (circles) with identity in the core, processes (habits) in the middle and outcomes on the outer circle. Usually people wishes for certain outcomes, but forget to define an identity. James Clear suggests a different approach, called identity-based habits. He suggests to start with the identity and then define habits (processes) around it, which would lead eventually to favoured outcomes. That made sense to me as well.
So I thought about it intensely and figured out, that I’d like to give it more than just a try. After some reflection I came up with the idea, that only the Renaissance Man as an identity would make sense in my situation and with the context I live in.
Why did I chose the Renaissance Man (or polymath) as an identity? There are several reasons:
- First: ERE is an important part in my life. And as you know, ERE is based on the lifestyle of a Renaissance Man.
- Second: When I think of the future (next few decades), I’m certain that the Renaissance Man would be best suited to deal with the challenges in life, work, etc.
- Third: After several years in the work force, I’m certain that I don’t want to become a hyperfocused specialist. I’d like to be Generalist, aligned to the model of T-Shaped-Skills
There’s that: the WHY to become a Renaissance Man.
Next, I’d like to lay out the basic foundation HOW I’d like to become a Renaissance Man.
I start with a picture, which shows the four influencing factors of the To-Be-State. My Status Quo is a starting point. On the other side it’s okay to think open-mindedly with a greenfield approach. From where do I get ideas an inspiration? Of course from my personal experience, but also from Renaissance Man role models (dead, e.g. Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander von Humboldt, but also living, e.g. Jacob and others here on this forum)
My second picture of today’s journal post shows the combination of James Clear’s identity-based habit approach with the modules of my Web-of-Goals. They are based what Jacob describes in his book as “human capital and personal assets”. So I got technical, social, emotional, economical, ecological, physiological and intellectual personal assets, defining modules of my Web-of-Goal. I added three more modules. I can learn many things from role models and dead/living examples of polymaths, therefore I added polymath skills. In addition to that personal development has been always a big part of my life. That includes topics such as ego-development and personality types. The third module could seem a bit confusing to you. I called it language (literacy). That includes (non)verbal communication skills, writing, reading, speaking, German, English and programming languages. A clear and precise language is needed to think, write and speak of ideas in general.
And that is the end of my first post #01. I guess in a forum like this (NT-dominated) I’m not the first one to have such an idea/goal. So if you have any feedback for me, it is very well appreciated. I can’t say what it’s going to be, but “becoming a renaissance man” is important to me.