Lately, I caught myself torn between two (possibly even three) distinct ideas for my future career, almost paralyzed by the idea of sharing my time between two completely different goals. After all, we have all been taught that in order to achieve anything, we should choose one path and follow it with abandon, constantly taking steps and educating ourselves in this chosen field. On the other hand, I couldn’t quite accept the idea of choosing only one career.
My naturally critical mind started to question this common theory. After all, I pondered, with enough determination and good planning, I should have more than enough time in a day to tap into each goal without having to neglect other responsibilities. In the end, aren’t we meant to grow and expand our horizons? Why should we close our minds to follow only one path when there’s so much more to discover? Where we really meant to live in such a blinkered manner?
The truth is that no field is completely independent and self-existent. They all interpenetrate each other in the most surprising ways. Who would have thought that economics or IT could be influenced by philosophy and psychology? And that is exactly what is happening more and more commonly. Why don’t we, as a society, celebrate and promote the idea of a polymath? If we opened ourselves more often to new and foreign to us streams of knowledge, we could discover even more amazing things and additionally, train our minds to expand our perspective. It’s even suggested that we should read books not only in our field but also a more varied collection since it enhances our imagination and stretches our thinking, making us more creative and better at solving problems.
Recently, I have personally discovered that inspiration and new ideas can come from the least expected directions. I must admit that at the beginning of this semester I was full of assumptions about the uselessness of some of the courses I had to take. To my surprise, the most criticized by students and theoretically sounding lecture turned out to be the one that have challenged my thinking about the previously natural truths. When I opened my mind and started listening, I was rewarded with enormous amount of ideas for articles and books and an expanded view on the functioning of the world and human nature. The lesson I have learnt from this is not to make assumptions about things too fast and embrace any opportunity to learn something that comes my way with an open, free of judgement mind.
Learning is a lifelong journey. Let’s not limit ourselves with too narrow of a mind and perhaps together we will discover something absolutely amazing!
As for me, I have noticed that my seemingly disconnected interests indeed supplement and enrich each other and it would be a loss to cut any of them out of my life. That’s why I will continue to pursue my multiple goals with the same or even bigger commitment and abandon than if I had only one.