curiosity, personal -

Are you a polymath?


It sounds like a mathematical term, but it's not. What is actually means is a person with wide knowledge or learning. However, often, polymaths don't think of themselves as particularly smart or clever, but instead as simply curious.

Are you a polymath? - A blog post by Paperbuzz

Could you be a polymath? Are we all polymaths to a greater or lesser degree? If you've read my other blog posts about curiosity (Curious about Curiosity, and 28 Ideas to Encourage Curiosity), you'll know that there's lots of ways to be curious.

Often a person's job meets their need to be curious - a primary teacher, detective, scientist or historian are good examples. Curiosity would definitely be viewed as a very positive trait in any of those professions.

However, in some of those jobs, what is required is actually a great deal of knowledge about one subject, rather than many.  'Poly' from 'polymath' means many, so, to be one, it's all about demonstrating knowledge in a wide range of areas. It is also about making connections between them. What sums it up for me is the phrase (which is unfortunately often viewed as negative) 'Jack of all trades but master of none'. That certainly describes a primary teacher - and I say that from a positive place, not a negative one.

Are you a polymath? - A blog post by Paperbuzz

However, I sometimes wonder if I notice my need for curiosity more now, instead of when I was a teacher - as then it was simply part of the job. For example, you would be given a topic, go off and research it yourself and then figure out how to teach it to your class. Where as now, it is entirely up to me what I want to be curious about. I suppose that I've had to get curious about things such as how to create a website for my business, or how to market my products, but on the whole, I get to decide when, how and if I want to find out more about a subject.

Running a creative business means that I also have the luxury of flexibility, so that if an opportunity arises to find out about something new, I can usually say yes. I can also indulge in different creative pursuits as you never know when you might find a new skill or technique that might inspire a new range or direction for the business. I also enjoy finding about about a new emotion every month!

So, would I consider myself a polymath? Yes, probably.

What do you think? Are you a polymath too?

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