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August 13, 2010

I have often considered the possibility of becoming a “Renaissance Man”— acquiring vast knowledge and life experience by indulging as much as possible in all creativity pursuits: journalism, poetry, fiction, novel writing, blogging, aesthetics, fashion, innovation, trend-setting, painting, drawing, scripting, film production, acting, lyricism, character development, reality simulation, singing, music production, graphic design, linguistic arts, economic development, city planning, entrepreneurship, social engineering, societal optimization– these are just some of the creative arts that I wish to become experienced in.

But obviously to become an expert in all of the aforementioned field would be nearly impossible, or at the very least highly impractical. If I were to seriously dedicate myself to all of these pursuits, it would lead to me becoming a “jack of all trades”, and as I will have “spread myself over too much bread”, the end result would be a person with a lot of life experiences, but little to show for it save perhaps a whole lot of wisdom.

The impracticality of taking on too many pursuits at once is in accordance with the law of Balance– that is, if you cover more ground, the strength of ground covered with weaken in direct proportion to the amount that is spread. Another way of putting it: Everyone has the same amount of inherent potential; one’s wisdom is the distribution of that wisdom will determine how well that one’s life can be appreciated.

The anecdote I feel is most fit for explaining this, would be in the life of my father. When he married my mom, he was sure that he was perfect for her, because he was experienced in all of the practical things in life; being “jack of all trades” was to him a good thing, because it ensured complete independence (and thus perfection, or at least the illusion of perfection). He could maintain his own car, landscape his own yard, upkeep and remodel his own house– even build his own house from scratch if he really wanted to. This was a man capable of doing anything on his own– and as one who up to that point was successful at everything he did, my dad was confident that marriage was another opportunity for success– after all, why wouldn’t it be?

Just like butter spread over too much bread, my father exemplified the biggest flaw of the “jack-of-all-trades” mentality: By trying to be good at everything, his foundation became weak– he became weak. By spreading himself too thin, he opened himself up to psychological attack, and being so exhausted from the upkeep of his very own expectations of himself, he collapsed under the weight of the unexpected those circumstances beyond his control. In this way, too much priority being placed on self-improvement can destroy anyone’s life. My father didn’t fail at life because he wasn’t good enough– he failed because he was too good— or rather, he forced himself to be so perfect that he collapsed under the weight of his own expectations. To bear these kind of burdens is akin to “holding the weight of the world one’s shoulders”; it was not the circumstances that killed him; it was his own pride.

In recognition of this, I aim to utilize the law of Balance to achieve the opposite effect: by narrowing my list of pursuits to only a few things, I can excel at what few things I do, instead of just being good at many things. If I can only accomplish so much in a lifetime, it would be pointless to try to experience as much as possible– after all, such a pursuit can never be satisfied, since there is always more to experience. Therefore I will try to experience only a few things, and make sure that whatever I do experience, that I savor those experiences as much as I can. There is more meaning in being great in a few things than merely proficient in many things, so if I wish to be great, I must optimize myself for greatness.

So I want to be great– what then should I be optimized for? Greatness, of course! I want to achieve greatness, that through my example people might be inspired to become great also. There are many things that I wish to excel at, but all of which I would do only that I might be recognized as great. For although I wish to write, to produce, to innovate, and to revolutionize– I wish to do only these things that I might be appreciated. Therefore it is only natural that I should optimize my talents to achieve greatness, as it is only through greatness that all things in life are permitted a true appreciation.

The way I figure it, if one like myself– someone born into a near-poor family, with a crippled psychology, and to a dysfunctional environment; someone who was raised as an orphan with juvenile delinquents as my siblings; one who spent his high school years in a “special school” for the behaviorally challenged and psychologically damaged; one who has struggled through live dealing with nearly a dozen major mental illnesses; one whom society has already decided to be an incurable reject, a dangerous liability with no real future– this type of person is one that few (if any) in the world would expect to achieve what might be considered greatness– and that is precisely why that I must become great.

If I can become great, then anyone can, and if the world were able to realize such a crucial thing as this, perhaps everyone might be able to experience a perpetual epiphany.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. A Reader of th3g1vr since 20 Dec 06 permalink
    August 13, 2010 6:40 pm

    My friend, I am one, who expects many noteworthy achievements from you.

  2. A Reader of th3g1vr since 20 Dec 06 permalink
    August 13, 2010 6:54 pm

    Do not discout the value of your post, “Habits: Physical Necessities;” and,” Habits: Mental Necessities.” Both of which are beneficial and helpful to any young, or older individual–anywhere in the world–who wants to improve. These are great guidelines which lead to greatness;—Greatness! 🙂

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