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Interesting Stuff Found On The Web

Here is something I ran across that seemed worthy of passing along. This is the source.

The Rules of Renaissancemandom, v3.0

1. Every day, either learn a new skill or hone one you already have.
A progress-free life is extremely depressing, a downward-sloping one suicidally so. Keep the old inner demons at bay by making sure that, in one way or another, you develop, if only a little bit, with each rotation of the Earth.

2. Don’t instinctively say “no” when presented with possible new interests.
The mind of the polymath demands a constant stream of new influences; letting them grow as diverse as possible doesn’t hurt.

3. Know who you admire.
It helps keep you pointed in the right direction to be surrounded by plenty of inspiration. Make sure you know where yours is and, with maximum clarity, why.

4. Be able to entertain ideas without accepting them.
Remember that old Aristotle quote? Even notions that feel wrong are worth thinking about, and getting in the habit helps fight the stifling evil of kneejerk reactions.

5. Be autodidactic, even if you’re in school.
From a quote by Mark Twain. The content and methods of classes, many of us discover too late, never quite seem to align perfectly with what and how the student should ideally learn. Fortunately, academic work can be augmented on your own time.

6. Improve your learning ability.
Because you’ve successfully learned a thing or two in the past doesn’t mean you’re as good as you’re going to get at it. If living well is all about learning a wide variety of knowledge, keeping mindful of how to improve your learning ability will increase the rate that you accrue such goodness.

7. The more sources of fulfillment, the better.
Sure, not putting all your eggs in one basket is a bit of an old saw, but it’s only common sense to draw happiness from multiple sources in the interest of increased stability. Violent mood swings rarely advance the cause.

8. Know what you want to be, but let the world decide if you are.
Few people are as irritating as those who constantly insist that they are something – artist, novelist, philosopher, musician, what have you – when their chief accomplishment in the field is making that very announcement over and over again. If you’re correctly pursuing your goals, everyone else will eventually catch wind without your having to directly inform them.

9. Collect a wide variety of experiences.
Besides the obvious advantages to this, one unintended bonus is that you’ll be supplied you with many amusing dinner table anecdotes.

10. Slow progress beats none at all.
“Great ability develops and reveals itself with each new assignment.” - Baltasar Gracian

11. Never miss the chance to approach what initially seem like troubles as opportunities.
“Every cloud has a silver lining.” “A door isn’t closed without a window being opened.” My favorite is “Honor thy mistake as a hidden intention.” Pick your platitude, but it’s within your abilities to harness for your own benefit what originally appeared to be a reversal.

12. Always have goals.
It’s impossible to gauge whether you’re moving forward if you don’t know where “forward” is. By keeping in mind where the next stage should end, you’ll always be able to tell if you’re making progress.

13. Keep a notebook handy.
You never know when you’ll run across a valuable piece of knowledge. The memory can be trusted with certain hard data, but the more obscure, ephemeral information is easily lost in the shuffle. As standard-size journals can, at times, be a bit unwieldy, I recommend one of those miniature notebooks sold at every bookstore.
For over four decades, musical polymath Brian Eno has kept this habit, likely making him the most rigorous -- or at least best known -- practicioner: “1965: aged 17, Eno buys the first in a series of black notebooks which has continued ever since. They sit in his jacket pocket and contain sketches, ideas, theories, speeches, lists, schemes and schemas. Each book offers a reward for its own return, in pounds, dollars and deutschmarks.”

14. Whatever you’re doing, think.
When reading, for example, a common method is to simply scan the text with the eyes and envision the sound of the words with the mind. However, it’s far from the best way; if you actually think about each idea you come across -- and, if you’re picking the right material, there will usually be at least one per sentence -- you’ll not only have a stronger grip on what you’re reading, but your general analytic skills can benefit as well. Let’s not limit ourselves to the printed word, since this rule is applicable to more or less any carrier or exchange of information: conversation, film, television, anything.


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