Scatterbrained or Polymath?

I confess that I have many interests.

Because I’m driven to creativity, I have dabbled in everything from poetry to soapmaking, from comic book writing to car repair, from coding to carpentry. Because I’m curious, I seek out knowledge in history, literature, science, movies and beyond. Although I understand the value of staying with one project (and do), I can easily jump from one project to the next.

There is a saying in Estonia, “Nine trades, the tenth one — hunger.” You’re probably familiar with the 10,000 hour rule – put 10,000 quality hours into your field to become a master. It’s all about specialization. But certainly, there are individuals who have made quite a success of dabbling, individuals such as Elon Musk, Ben Franklin, Da Vinci, Newton, etc. (it’s a long list).

It’s one thing to obtain knowledge, it’s quite another to integrate it into something new and valuable. Being a successful polymath, I believe, takes a lot of energy and focus.

At any rate, I’ve finally come to embrace my polymath character and not fight it. It’s a part of who I am. Every day, I ponder ideas for bringing two disparate ideas together (often in my work). So, it has already served me well.

Does this resonate with you? How have you brought two fields together?