We are constantly being told to “settle down and focus.”
Find one thing that you like to do and study that and only that.
Polymaths are people who have exceled or mastered more than one field.
Top Achievers are often polymaths, who can excel at the intersection of many fields, and are experts in weaving connections and creating cross-discipline insights.
Completely contrary to the myth of being a “master of none,” polymaths can uniquely position themselves to be potential superstars by becoming the top 1% in the intersection of many different fields.
An example in action within my own:
All of these achievements led to thousands of dollars in scholarships, fellowships and learning opportunities. I also tripled my salary between 2015 and 2017, as I began commanding higher rates.
But what’s interesting isn’t the linear flow of achievements; it’s the distinctions and awards across fields: Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies, Education, Consulting / Business, and Risk and Compliance / Financial Services.
In fact, I don’t think these results would’ve been as pronounced if I had focused on one area:
my understanding of psychology framed the way I approached my work in the field of gender studies; I integrated positive psychology and organizational science into my work in education through interventions to maximize student results; I used educational theory and design to construct and enhance our organizational learning in business, and I constantly use my psychology skills to be a better consultant.
Now, mastery is key here: mediocrity in one area should not be extended to another. I clearly earned accolades and achievements (a show of mastery) in each of the above areas before integrating them with the next.
But there is a clear advantage to combining interests and skillsets to stand out in a new combination of the disciplines.
So, instead of forcing yourself to “buckle down and focus” - ask yourself what TWO (or more) things can you become amazing at, and how can you combine them to become an emerging superstar?
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