Multi-hyphenate

In one of his recent articles, Ryan Holiday makes a case for being a multi-hyphenate, or as Emilie Wapnick would call it, a multi-potentialite

While he admits that it can be a difficult thing to balance the pursuit of different skills, he also says that “it’s easier than people think”. 

“I compensate for that difficulty with the additional gains and breakthroughs I accrue by having access to different modes of thinking, different fields of study, and different types of experiences,” he writes. 

He finds ways for his different fields of work to complement each other. 

“We think pursuing these other interests will come at the expense of our “main thing” — but in practice, it’s often the opposite,” he says. 

“By becoming well-rounded we also become sharper — and not just sharper but stronger, and able to put more force behind the arrow.”

He adds that “wisdom is fungible” and that no matter where we’ve gained it, we are also able to apply it to other things. 

He uses Archimedes, who made a major discovery while in the bath, as an example for how breakthroughs in one area of work can come while one is in the middle of another thing. 

“These breakthroughs are a hidden benefit of range, of being good at more than one thing, of having multiple interests,” he said. 

Pursuing multiple things at once allows your brain to switch tracks. And in doing that, grow. 

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