By definition, a Renaissance man is a person whose expertise spans a number of different subject areas, someone who is able to draw from a multitude of skills to solve specific problems. To me, a Renaissance man isn’t just an interesting individual, but a person who thinks not only scientifically and logically, but also creatively. And it’s the latter, the lack of creativity, where I see the biggest deficit in most people.
There is a lack of ability to think outside the box, which I attribute to a neglect in the arts. Unfortunately many people never took art classes in high school, creative writing courses in college, or took up an instrument. By avoiding these components in your education, you become very single-minded in your thought processes. Even within careers such as business or engineering, the ability to utilize artistic skills is highly beneficial.
As a strength and conditioning coach by day and a writer by night, I have witnessed first-hand how the ability to think in an innovative way has made me better at my jobs. It helps me deliver new and better workouts to my athletes, apply the science I learned in school in unique and effective ways and ultimately differentiate myself from others in my profession. And while I have always been a creative person, whether it is in photography, writing, or music, you don’t have to come from an artistic background to reap the benefits of that aspect of culture. Tapping into that side of your brain will help in any profession, because it aids in viewing the world differently.
Taking time out of your week to devote yourself creatively to some type of outlet also helps de-stress, and can become a form of personal therapy as well. With all the time we spend nowadays reliant upon technology, a lot of us are losing touch with what has made the human race so unique for thousands of years — the ability to communicate our emotions and ideas through artistic means.
Every single one of us should seek out a way to think creatively. It adds uniqueness to anything you do, which leaves an impression on whomever you may meet, whether it be a future boss, a future girlfriend, or a prospective client. Having the ability to appreciate the artistic culture and taking part in it yourself, if even something as small as going to an art exhibit, develops the skills to communicate with many different people. Art, in its very nature, is a form of expression and communication.
So, incorporate a little bit of creativity into your everyday life.
Try different mediums: drawing, painting, photography, or writing throughout the week, and see how it makes you feel, and how it may improve your performance at work. You’ll become more interesting to others, be able to talk about a wide range of subjects, and with that comes a certain kind of confidence that transitions you from the modern day to the renaissance.