What Does It Mean To Be A Polymath?

Ever since I was a child, I've always been someone with too many interests and performed well in most subjects around the same level (but with English and Math at the very top). I enjoyed reading fictional stories from a wide range of genres and then that love for fiction eventually grew into a love for exploring a variety of topics in literature, music theory, music history, business, entrepreneurship, physics, mathematics, economics, technology, philosophy, spirituality, art, and the interconnection of these things that have the potential to form the foundation of a more ideal future, or at least a better tomorrow than today.

I started reading a few articles on being a modern-day polymath and began to wonder if I am one too.

What causes me to consider myself a polymath?

  1. My interests include writing, literature, poetry, songwriting, music, graphic design, visual arts, web design, digital entrepreneurship, spiritual prophecies, religion, history from alternative perspectives, mathematics, simple philosophy, human behavior, and the general idea of what technology will be like in the future (but I am certainly no engineer or research scientist).

  2. As a blogger, I love to write, but I have an artistic and mathematical approach to things. I pay close attention to detail, yet I view things also from a bird's eye view. I like being equally logical as I am creative.

What are the reasons why I might not be a polymath?

  1. There's too much I don't know.

  2. I do not have enough in-depth or sophisticated knowledge about everything.

  3. I haven't made any groundbreaking discoveries or done extensive research that would revolutionize some aspect of the way humanity evolves and thrives.

  4. I am just a girl with too many interests and nothing substantial to support them (too much breadth and lack of depth).

Types of Polymaths

There are genius polymaths (who are at the pinnacle of society that either have made history or have the potential to make history), expert polymaths (who are currently tackling significant projects with extensive research and are renowned experts in three to five fields), apprentice polymaths (those who have a high level of expertise and have more in-depth knowledge than baby polymaths), basic polymaths (those who are talented in and are interested in five or more things and have the ability to synthesize topics from diverse fields), and people who aren't polymaths at all. If you're well-rounded and have the capacity to learn and apply what you have learned to a personal endeavor (regardless of whether it's well-known or not), then you are a polymath.

What are the minimum qualifications for a basic polymath?

  1. Know about or at least have the natural curiosity to learn about a variety of topics.

  2. Be able to connect seemingly unrelated topics, synthesize points from a variety of fields to form a very compelling argument, and be able to discern the essentials from the extraneous in order to present complex pieces of information and profound ideas in a simple and understandable way.

  3. You need to be good at math (side note: I've seen writers and philosophical bloggers that claim to be polymaths, yet they show no evidence of being good at math or science at all and in fact can only recite historical facts about scientists but cannot solve a math problem or apply any math to their lives). *Fun fact - I actually majored in Math, so I am wary of those who claim to be polymaths when they are only good at communicating.

  4. You need to be a good writer. It doesn't mean you're a popular blogger or famous published writer, but you do have to love writing, be above average, and be able to form your own thoughts and think analytically, yet also do so with style and a distinct writing voice.

  5. You need to have talent in at least one art form (but preferably two or more), be it playing a musical instrument, composing, writing songs, singing, theater, drawing, digital art, filmography, videography, or poetry.

  6. Understand human nature from a perspective that isn't conditioned by popular opinion. Be able to analyze others, predict patterns in behaviors and ways of thinking based on a few cues, understand where they're coming from, and identify core motivations.

  7. You need to be very introspective and self-aware. Even when you overthink yourself and tend to ruminate over what you did, it's far better to be like that than to be oblivious to your own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

  8. Have an interest in spirituality, religion, and philosophy. And know a lot about at least two to three spiritual forms, religions, and philosophies.

  9. Understand economics and marketing and be able to avoid being swayed by people that manipulate you for money (or in some other cases, sinister purposes). You are a conscious consumer and a very wary one too.

  10. Have a desire to evolve and thrive, not just survive as a mundane, socially-conditioned consumer that only thinks about jobs, money, being included in a social circle, and material gain.

  11. Your political views are not narrowly defined by either the Democrats or Republicans. You do not enthusiastically rally for either side, nor do you engage in mass hysteria or anger-fueled, emotion-based arguments. Your political view is generally a synthesis of a variety of political systems throughout history and with reasons to back up your argument on why you think a certain system is more effective and/or ideal.

So are you a polymath?