Episode-2389- Becoming a Modern Renaissance Man — 11 Comments

  1. Jack, you’re completely right about finding a myriad of things to keep your mind occupied in the military. I am sure other guys can provide a similar list but in 12 years positions or jobs I had to do: Student, pilot, instructor, SWAT team member, police officer, manager, training developer, advertising, marketing, recruiting (sales), statistician, business forecasting, program management, legislative development, database developer, physical security engineer, regulation compliance, investigations, strategic planning, fundraising. That’s just off the top of my head. I had formal education to perform only one of those jobs, the rest had to be learned OJT. Direct application was the best teacher.

  2. I think there are probably more people moving in this direction than give themselves credit. Life pushes you in this direction. If you are like me (God forbid!) you were interested in art and music in school, but also took history, sciences, math, literature. Then you got older and chose a career. I didn’t have the confidence to be an artist, so I chose electronics. Well, studying electronics exposes you to physics (including chemistry), mathematics, engineering, materials science, and today, programming. Then I decide to go off and help my church and they try to teach me sales (didn’t work out so hot) and then bookkeeping (I did fine as a bookkeeper). Later I decided to be finished with that, and went back into electronics after learning a whole bunch about computers and software. Four years later I retired so I could get more involved with my church, and have begun to learn how to do spiritual counseling. If I had had a family, I would have learned a lot about child rearing and keeping a family together. As it was I learned how to cook, do basic carpentry and electrical work, etc.

    I bet you a lot of people have a much wider skill set than they give themselves credit for. But if they are like I was with the fine arts, then they might not have the self-confidence to use their skills.

    Beyond that, I understand that a lot of people fall down because they don’t know how to study properly. I didn’t seem to have that problem very much – except maybe in music – but I use Hubbard Study Tech because it has been so widely tested and found effective. One huge problem with “modern” schools is that they have ignored study basics. In a world full of technical subjects we need to be familiar with, you have to know how to study.

  3. This was a great show. I have no interest in busting my butt for monetary gain, so I took the fluid careers path by combining careers and innovating in them (which allows me to spend more work paid time exploring areas of my interest; 2 birds 1 stone). I agree with many points you made, but I argue that you can master many areas that are even tangentially related. I think so from practicing karate and aikido (my school of martial arts makes you learn both simultaneously from beginner level). I excelled at karate first, but then came to get better at aikido as I began to become an expert in karate, people argue they are different as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills, but when you break them down and learn their connection; they are mirrors of each other and feed off each other. Much of my leaps in aikido came from seeing aikido lessons in everyday life and using those experiences to inform my learning of aikido (feedback loop). Likewise, everyone’s brain begins wired a certain way to see and experience a certain way, but then as you learn and embrace learning you rewire your brain both purposely and just by process. I’m rambling but, other skills and areas of interest follow that same concept. Ideally, as my basis is mathematics, like the theory of everything, everything is connected, and as we are just starting to understand the human brain and processes, I argue that one day humans will be able to tap into more of themselves (we’re beginning to as we surpass indoctrinated social engineering) and become prudent masters of most things.
    Learning to let go and quit, redirect, and leave people alone and properly relate to others (I have autism), and go my own way without commentary has been the biggest assets in my life. It is one of the greatest lessons in my opinion.

  4. You might change your mind about the present day soul stripping, spiritual lobotomizing education system, as being happenstance. Just read the works of John Taylor Gatto.

    A school teacher in NYC for most of his career. Won teacher of the year twice- once I know for the state of New York.

    The Three books are: The Underground History of American Education.”

    “Dumbing Us Down”

    “Weapons of Mass Instruction”




    • I’ve read Gatto and have spoken on the Prussian System many times. I still don’t believe there is some group of overlords meeting a few times a year to keep the school system under their control. Rather we have products of the system in charge of the system and profiteers of the system hiring lobbyists. In this way it is the same as most industries.

  5. Another one for the ‘disadvantage’ column… certain people will attempt to constantly monopolize your time asking you to do “just this little thing for me”, because you previously showed a little proficiency in certain things that they don’t want to bother to take even a little time to learn for themselves.

    Yeah, ok, so I’m a little annoyed today…. could you tell? 😉

  6. You are not wrong, but that is simple I am either willing to do it or not. The much more annoying thing to me is “I want your advice” and you give it and hear excuse after excuse as you give it and why your advice is wrong.

  7. Dear god yes…. I find half the time “I want your advice” or “what do you think I should do about ___?” really means “tell me what I want to hear”.

  8. Those people just want to complain, they do not want to change their life at this time. Doesn’t matter what you tell them there will be an excuse. They want a change in their life, but not if it requires them to do something different, an effort on their part, something they are not comfortable with, or even something which does not agree with their view of how the world should work.

    I like the way one of my friends put it. What you are doing now is what has got you to where you are at.

    Short and to the point. You may be doing many of the things suggested to help you get to where you want to be, but if you are still not progressing towards your desired outcome, you will have to have to make changes.

  9. Thinking more on resistance to change pattern. An online friend explained it to me a few years back. He showed me a chart with early adaptors on one end and resistant to change on the other end. You are an early adaptor or we would not have met online years before Facebook. Your husband is not. He had a nightmare and I asked him what it was about, he said I had planned an impromptu road trip. Nightmare to hubby but not me.

    So when one of my sons announced his engagement to a girl from India, wanting us to fly to the wedding in India, he blew up. Then continued over the next few months to give me unlogical reasons as to why I should not let him marry this girl.

    Even explaining how her parents, who had recently arranged a marriage for their son, and had been working on arranging their daughter’s wedding, agreed to this total break from tradition, allowing their daughter to marry this man from another country, another religion, her choice, not arranged marriage, yet the American dad wanted to say who his son could and could not marry, did not help. I was going to India, and if my husband did not think it was safe to go by myself, another son and his wife would go too. When the deadline was approaching to get passports/visas, he was like renew mine too. Our kids travel internationally and we need to be able to fly if they get hurt or injured overseas. (I knew he was coming to the wedding then, he would not admit it). Then it was go ahead and get him a visa, get him a plane ticket, etc.

    When given something totally unexpected, unthought of, resistant to change people have a knee jerk reaction, always a no, often anger involved. Give them time and they often come around. My daughter-in-law (different than one from India) is also resistant to change along with her oldest son.

    I explained this resistant to change to that daughter-in-law. How her husband is about as far on the early adapter, innovator scale as they get, and she is the other way. She understood. One day she was frustrated because she was trying to be more open to change, impromptu things, how she likes to know what to expect each minute of a day. And we also discussed with kids that doesn’t work, you have to be flexible. A few more years down the road and she is on an impromptu trip from Austin to Orlando with their kids, a trip she planned last minute.

    I have learned to simply know to expect a blowup when I tell my husband I am doing something new or unexpected or simply something he would not think of doing. That it is a knee jerk response from his resistance to change. Better to give him as much advance notice as possible. He is getting much calmer, resigned, you are going to do it anyway, keep yourself safe.

    Side note: son who married girl from India, one of his high school teachers always referred to him as her Renaissance Man. He has been working for startup companies, making, inventing new stuff. Less happy when role changes into management, just told me he wants to change to working as consultant.

  10. I’m a classic renaissance type, and I often feel like the prophetess Cassandra in Greek mythology “If you do this, it will result in that!” And, yup, there’s the that I told you was coming. I feel doomed to watch it all happen, despite my attempts to stop the landslides.

    Quite often I settle for just being ready for it to crash on people, have the correct tool to fix it ready to hand them, have bandages at hand, or a webpage with the information they need pulled up. It’s not hard to predict where it will snap, and how to fix it when it does.

    I had a visual aobut jobs the other day that is kind of fun. Ants, finding leaves that are useful to them, valuable. The others say “I have a piece of leaf! I will carry it back and be rewarded! I’ll be rich! You should grab a bit of leaf too.” And I’m looking up at the tree, saying “We could harvest the leaves off the tree, have a million of them…”  Thinking of the people who tell me “oh, you could get a job doing that.”  Yeah, I could. But there’s the whole tree full of neat things to do, I don’t want to focus on one piece of a leaf. There’s SO much more out there.


    Thanks for a fun podcast Jack, as always, you give me things to think on. I’m going to think on the bad parts, and how I can make them less bad in my life, because I fit all of the examples, I’m not good at faking being clueless, not good at hiding my frustration.