I Want to Be a Renaissance Man

DaVinci Sketch

Throughout my life, I’ve been extremely interested in several different things:

  • Skateboarding. When I was in elementary and middle school, I was obsessed with skateboarding. I remember falling asleep every night dreaming about skateboarding, waiting for school to end so I could skateboard, and scheming up new ways to get money to buy skateboarding equipment.
  • Video Games. When my family got our first computer system, it was preloaded with Wolfenstein 3D, Tyrant, and several other games. I was immediately addicted to them. My brother and I would go to extraordinary lengths to extend our daily computer time beyond the 1 hour my parents alloted to us, and we would eventually dominate both games, and unlock all the fun cheat codes. And don’t even get me started on Diablo II and Starcraft. I played those games so much that I seriously consider them a large part of my youth.
  • Programming. After video games got old, programming engulfed my life. Since learning my first language, I’ve spent countless hours reading programming blogs, books, and tutorials. I’ve written hundreds (if not thousands) of individual programs (in numerous languages), and quite a few technical articles on various topics. In high school, I gave my first ever technical presentation to the computer club, describing what one-time pad encryption is, and showing off my C implementation.
  • Fitness. In October 2009 I decided to change my appearance. I got rid of all junk food, started exercising, and haven’t looked back. Ever since I got started with my new lifestyle changes I’ve been learning more and more about diet, nutrition, and exercise regiments.

Unfortunately, I’ve always considered myself something of a single-minded person. I often associate myself with the stereotypical computer geek– spending 24 hours a day on the computer, unable to cope with social situations, and obsessed with computers. I don’t want to be that person anymore. Instead of being capable in only a few target areas, I want to be great at everything. I want to be universally knowledgeable, and be able to have a great impact on whatever I decide to participate in.

I want to be a renaissance man.

What I’ve realized is that I’ve been limiting myself. Instead of challenging myself to grow and learn new things, I’ve placed artificial borders around myself. Instead of trying new things in my life, I’ve rejected them because they don’t seem to be something a computer geek would do. No more of that.

I really enjoy learning things. All sorts of things. Over the past few months I’ve been increasingly interested in personal development, organization, bodybuilding, music, travel, astronomy, business, entrepreneurship and design. From now on, I’ll allow myself to explore new things, learn as much as possible about them, and develop my skill sets. There is no reason why I should limit myself to being an expert in only a few areas. If I step up my game–live with strict discipline and organization, then there is no reason I can’t learn everything there is to know.

As I begin to build my new life, I’ll be sure to write about it. The adventures are just beginning!