The beautiful mind – reflections on how we limit ourselves

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.


28 thoughts on “The beautiful mind – reflections on how we limit ourselves

  1. Yes, reading! I never had the energy or desire to pursue multiple paths. But you will be more satisfied if you listen to your heart than “Traditional” wisdom.
    Thanks for showing me a different perspective.

  2. Follow your bliss… if that means multiple interests, then by all mean pursue them. Don’t let anyone else guide your bliss. Life is too short to be unhappy in a field that doesn’t bring you complete and total joy! Best of luck to you in your pursuits!

  3. “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”

    Thomas Huxley, British biologist and grandfather of Aldous Huxley

  4. I love this because it is so true. The older I get the more I see and experience the truth of what you have written. I agree, no more limits of a narrow mind. 🙂

  5. Absolutely! I have a degree in Business, am currently majoring in Communications with a desire to be in Organizational Development and have a passion for writing and psychology!

  6. I was happy to read your post. Once in a while I have moments I wonder if I’m not being too much enthusiastic picking up so many of my plans at the same time. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. 😉 I think as long as we have the energy to fulfill more of our goals at the same time.. we should follow our heart. 🙂 Thanks a lot for sharing this great and inspiring story and have a wonderful evening.

  7. Spreading oneself too thinly has been something which has worried people from time to time; some people run through their lives because they take on so many things. The world is rich with things to do and experience – and we simply cant do it all. So start with one career; give it 5-10 years and then start on another.

  8. I completely agree with this. I actually had a problem of too many hobbies: I want to do it all. Popular “self-help” tells you to focus on one path rather than trying to do everything, but it is in the experience of trying everything that you find how to shape what is uniquely you.

  9. Love this post! You are so honest in it and its nice! I love how im not the only one with this problem lol! Keep up the good work and i say do what makes you happy.

  10. I do agree. People should explore one or more areas of interest if they really love to do. Important is to love and enjoy what you do. So do what you love and then see how life becomes amazing.

  11. Truly an eye opening article. I remember when I first use to be very depressed in my life, and it all change after I found out about the law of attraction. I haven’t looked back since and this article and others such as this one:

    have truly helped me. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  12. Thanks for following my blog!
    This post is exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately! Great take on the topic!

  13. Hello Magdalena!

    First of all you share a name with an aunt I love very much, and it’s a lovely name! Your post spoke to me in oh so many ways. I have been struggling with much of the same doubts as you. I too have been questioning my desire to purse multiple interests. I’m a singer in a folk-pop duo, a fashion blogger, I’m writing and illustrating two children’s books, and I’m attempting to find a full-time job. I’m happy though, because I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’m sure you know that what you love is what truly fulfills you the most. Keep up the good work! Excellent writing and your posts are very inspirational! 😉


  14. I quite agree with you – too many people limit their options and possibilities. I myself am someone who likes learning new things expanding my horizons and discovering other possibilities. It is a good trait, I think. Even makes life more interesting too.

  15. We live in a word of cubbyholes–in work, in our studies, on the internet. We can’t avoid them entirely, but it’s good to remember that life exists outside the one(s) we’re forced into. As a blogger, I struggle with the niches that the blogosphere divides itself into. Lifestyle blogs, food blogs, fashion blogs, wine blogs, travel blogs, dog blogs, cat blogs, whatever blogs. What I write doesn’t seem to fit any of them, and so far I’ve resisted the push to make it fit. The cost of that is that it’s hard to publicize, but it’s a hell of a lot more fun to write. Hold on to your vision as best you can.

  16. It’s interesting to read your thoughts on this, thank you. I have found that I have spread myself too thin at times and have failed to achieve some of the important things in life. This doesn’t mean I should focus on one thing only, but I think it’s important to keep reflecting on how I’ve gone about doing this.

    I am completing a PhD in which I’m straddling fields of psychology, sociology and medicine. Now that I’m coming to the end, I find that they are complementing each other in a way they didn’t in the beginning. Good luck with your journey.

  17. Hi. I nominated you for the Dragon`s Loyalty Award. We share an interest for many authors you mention in your articles…great blog!!! You can read about the nomination in my last post!

  18. Pingback: The beautiful mind – reflections on how we limit ourselves – All Life News

  19. ‘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!’
    it is true!!!! I experience it myself 🙂

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