How is it possible that some people can build so much and do so much in a short time, while others toil for a lifetime and achieve so little? How can people like Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, and Leonardo da Vinci deliver so much with a brain similar in size to yours?
Become an “Expert-generalist” (a term coined by Orit Gadiesh, chairman of Bain & Company). What this means is that you need to study widely in many different fields, understand deep and deeper principles that connect those fields and their possible associations, and then apply those principles to your core specialty.
The Jack of all trades is a Myth.
The success of expert-generalist shows that this is a myth, and if you look back in history you will find this to be true. Learning across multiple disciplines provides an information super-advantage that specializing cannot come close to matching, yet alone beating.
Just think, if you were a Chemist, but you also know about Biology, you will have the ability to come up with connections and ideas that people specializing in those fields alone would not even think of. Now combine those two fields with Mechanical Engineering, Tech, Physics and the combinations and possibilities become endless.
Now imagine setting up an organization with like-minded people and the neuro-net connections become limitless.
Countless studies like this one by Scientific America show that creativity is much more than thousands of hours of deliberate practice.
One of the secrets is to become an avid reader, another is to master techniques that empower you to make connections and associations such as "Learning Transfer", "Contrasting Cases", "Mind Mapping".
What does this mean? It means we shouldn't just take one approach or best practice to learning. We should explore lots of different approaches, deconstruct each one and then compare and contrast them. The goal is to understand the underlying principles, then reconstruct existing beliefs by combining and linking underlying principles of each field with others.
Ask yourself these fundamental questions each time you think of anything: “What does it remind me of?” and “Why does it remind me of it?”
So it’s not magic. It’s disciplined learning, avid reading combined with the right learning process.
This shift in thinking is summarized by legendary expert-generalist Buckminster Fuller decades ago:
“We are in an age that assumes that the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable… In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. Specialization has bred feelings of isolation, futility, and confusion in individuals. It has also resulted in the individual’s leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which in turn leads to war.”
So go on, earn and learn those superpowers that can help you gain more insight into your life, career, family, work and business.
It’s not magic.