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    Salman Ansari | 7/5/20 | 11 min
    11 reads3 comments
    9.6
    Salman Ansari
    11 reads
    9.6
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    • Nicki1 month ago

      I really appreciate this article, both for the topic and the honest treatment of both the upsides and downsides. My path could probably be labeled as that of a polymath, and one of the tough realities I’ve had to come to terms with recently is the constant imposter syndrome I feel. While my friends were building deep relationships and reputations in their professions, I have chosen instead to optimize for steep learning curves. The bargain I’ve made with myself is that the cost of following my interests is that I may never feel like an insider, but that if I focus on my curiosity there’s less room for the question of whether I deserve to be in the room.

      I would disagree with one argument for being a polymath: overspecialisation. In the PhD example, I’d say the relevant expertise is almost never the highly specialised topic that was studied, but instead the experience of tackling a messy problem and breaking it down into a multi-year program of investigation, often with very little chance of success. For experiences that require a reputation and track record to unlock (like many in management and leadership), being a polymath may make some of these opportunities less accessible. Either way, I agree completely that there is a trade-off here and I love that the author is socialising a path less traveled.

      • curiouslyso1 month ago

        +1 As a polymath I also struggle with imposter syndrome. And I struggle with whether I’m allowed to even call myself a polymath. I do worry about leadership and management opportunities being out of reach because of my varied experiences.

    • bartadamley
      Scout
      2 months ago

      Great dive into what exactly a polymath is, and how we could all benefit from having a world framing such as this.

      I didn’t do any of these things with a goal of being a polymath. I did them because I was drawn to them. It took many years before I started to see any benefits from mixing these pursuits.

      We have long-lived in the industrial mindset that once we specialize in school and/or our job we are set for our education. That we are supposed to start in our lane. However, we are now entering an age where having a range of ideas/skills is not just a cute thing to have, it is an essential thing to have in an unstable economy.

      Now that I’m intentionally embracing a polymath life, I hope to see the benefits compound even more. I’m excited to see how this plays out!

      This is the beauty of what our knowledge does when pursuing multiple fields of study at once. It compounds and we find unique connections due to our diversified studies. Embracing a life of diversified learning instead of specialized learning will be the way of the future.

      I have a feeling online education is going to be a HUGE role in this.