Aiming to be a Renaissance Guy

Life is a game, but not without its challenges.

In the last couple of years, greater than usual barriers have been thrown up for all of us. No one is immune.

I like a good challenge, as much as the next person.

I’ve always had a lot of eclectic interests in life. From science to music. Sport to photography. Cooking to bushwalking.

And it was to all of these interests that I turned to meet these recent challenges head on.

For me, setting and achieving goals has always been a part of the fun of living life. And the best fun is when you set your sights on achieving something that is really tough. And then reaching it.

It is nowhere near as much fun to achieve an easy target.

So I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned in the past few years about my goal of becoming a Renaissance Guy.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term, but it means someone who has many areas of knowledge or talents. A bit like a decathlete at the recent Olympics.

I like to do things well. This might not mean becoming a world class chef; but if I can create a beautiful meal for family or friends that they find delicious and I enjoy cooking; then I can consider that an achievement within my own frame of reference.

It is not about being the best in the world, it is about being the best you can be.

One example of a goal I set was as a musician. A couple of years ago, I was a reasonable guitar player. I could play a few songs pretty well. I had a couple of reasonable quality instruments.

I decided I wanted to be better. So I agreed to help out and play a gig each week providing entertainment for a group of which I’m a member. And each week I set myself a goal of learning a half a dozen new songs. I sold all my average guitars and bought a really beautiful quality acoustic Maton Guitar. A year later, and I now have over 200 songs I can play well. And all that regular playing has improved my skills and my singing quite a bit.

I followed a similar course with my writing. I wrote my first book in 2009, and it was a highly successful action for our business, helping us grow exponentially. For whatever reason, I hadn’t written another one for a while. In 2014, we changed the direction of our business, and I set myself a goal of becoming a better and more prolific writer. I felt I had some good tips and experience to share on a range of topics. Since then, in the last seven years, I’ve written and launched a book each year. And a few of them have become best sellers in their categories.

In order to achieve these goals, one tip I’d like to share as a successful action is to break down the steps you need to take into small actionable pieces. Rather than trying to get to the goal in an instant, or all at once. If you break things down into items you can complete each and every day, the bigger goal takes care of itself.

For me, the mix of interests, and a goal to become proficient in each has another benefit. Each influences the others in ways you might not expect. For instance, if I’ve created a nice meal, I can often feel more energised to write a chapter in my book. In other words, not getting stuck doing one thing beyond the time where it is interesting or enjoyable. I can switch between things, and bring energy to all things.

Anyway, the journey continues to becoming a Renaissance Guy, and I’m looking forward to becoming a better cook, a better guitar player, and a better writer amongst other things.

Here’s five tips from me to you, if you’d like to broaden your interests and become a Renaissance Girl or Guy too.

  1. Find several things you love doing — even if you add one at a time over several months.
  2. Set yourself a stretch goal within that activity.
  3. Write down and then execute some doable small actions you can take on each one.
  4. Switch between activities and let each feed the other
  5. Enjoy the process of creating on each

Thanks for reading a little of my story and I hope these tips are useful to you.

Enjoy your day.

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Passionate about writing, business, cooking, photography, music. Aiming to be a renaissance guy.

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Hunter Leonard

Hunter Leonard

Passionate about writing, business, cooking, photography, music. Aiming to be a renaissance guy.

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