Step 16 - Rousseau, The Renaissance Man and Iron Sharpening Iron
Why you must embrace controversy
Have you heard the expression that there is always three sides to a story: One person's side, the other person's side and the truth.So, technically speaking, you must listen to both sides and observe so you can safely arrive at a conclusion: the truth. Well, that works the same for knowledge.
In this 67 steps, Tai Lopez argues the idea that every successful person is, after all, a renaissance man/woman. Being a renaissance person means being eclectic, exploring different views, cultures, languages and subjects. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the French philosopher and author of the quote " people who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little', read about 200 books before writing his own. When you read and listen to other people's ideas, you activate the creativity in your mind, you are able to better discuss subjects.
In order to answer the hard questions in life you will need a variety of skills just like a recipe needs a variety of ingredients. Here are the basic ingredients this 67 steps encourages you to have:
1- Speak more than one language
2- Know a little about music and/or playing an instrument
3- History and Geography
4- Classical - Art, architecture, literature, poetry
You may see this as a waste of your time for it does not relate to anything you want to do or are currently doing. However, you never know when a key person will be around and nothing stands out more in a crowd then someone who is knowledgeable. A key person is someone who holds the key to everything you want so you must be able to be noticed by that person.
It doesn't mean you have to be a know it all but you do have to know enough about a subject in order to have at least a 5 minute conversation with a person. If you are a republican, read democratic books so you can see what they see and stand where they stand. You already know what it means and how it feels to be a republican, so read something different than that. However, don't just go reading anything simply because is different but rather strive to read the best of the best so you can get, of course, the best information.
You may not like to hear the ideas of the opposing group and at times you will feel like a traitor but that will diminish once you read more and more and see that even the rivals can have great ideas and point of views. Do not be blinded by the media, they teaches us we should be separated from everything we do not agree with. If you are an atheist, go to a church, read a book about religion, see their point of view and what makes them think that way, you might even agree with some points.
Lastly, find out what your weaknesses are and start working on that. Is it health, music, language? What is an area in your life you know nothing about? Set a goal and make one of them to go to bed a little wiser everyday.