The power went out just now as I was publishing a new blog post. Perfect timing, right? I flopped down on the couch to decide what to do with my electricity-less, internet-less time. And I began thinking about the book I’m in the process of writing now. It’s about how to learn anything. Specifically though, I thought back to when I was in high school and my friend Angie and I plotted our ultimate learning project: our rise to Renaissance Man stardom. We wanted to be like Leonardo da Vinci and the other historical “masters of all trades”.
We loosely acted on our plans. We made a list of all things that a true Renaissance Man should know: classic music, biology, art history, world history, math, politics, among others. A true Renaissance Man should be one of the most capable people in the world in all these subjects, we agreed. He (or she) had to be the best. So naturally, we made being the best our goal.
We never became Renaissance Men. In fact, we failed quite miserably.