This is something that I have often though about but never really made a point to do. Honestly, it has just come natural to me and I am glad it did. I am sure some people certainly say that I would be weird, but to me that is mostly a compliment. I mean look there is a level of weird where you are a societal outcast, that level is not a compliment. However, to me being weird means you are interesting, and I am not bragging, but I am the most interesting person I know.
So how does one go about being well rounded or what does that term even mean. To me, and you can have your own definition, is that being well rounded means you have a wide variety of interests and hobbies and are able to discuss a wide variety of topics in a conversation, while contributing. The first part of that definition I think could apply to most people, but the latter part of contributing may weed out most. This is where you actually have to know what you are talking about and have a genuine interest in many different topics. Take a look at the following questions:
Who is better LeBron, Jordan, or Kobe and why?
Explain to me the third law of thermodynamics and what you think about it?
Who do you think is right Thomas Hobbs or John Locke when it comes to society and why?
Tell me about the difference between the .223 round and the 7.62×39 round?
Descartes said “Cogito ergo sum” what does that mean and why was it important?
Explain how the end of WWI probably lead to the circumstances perpetuating WWII?
What is the highest tax bracket in the US, and do you think the “rich” pay their fair share, explain (also define what you consider rich)?
The above 7 questions cover a wide variety of topics including sports, physics, philosophy, guns, history, and finance. To me the most important thing about being well rounded is to always keep learning. In college I studied finance so I like that and have a general interest in that topic. The university I attended was a Liberal Arts school so I was made to, much to my complaining, take philosophy classes. Honestly, I did not really take an interest in the subject until after I graduated. It’s funny how being made to do something and doing it on your own or for fun makes a huge difference. As for the rest I have always played sports so basically any sports topic I could talk about. One thing I have always found somewhat disturbing is the segregation from those that like sports from those that like comics and or reading. Society has perpetuated this and I think it is very sad, and seem to make everyone believe these two parties cannot be one and the same. Why can’t I love basketball or soccer and also read the latest Iron Man comic? I don’t get that.
Of the 7 questions one just came natural (sports) as I have been around sports my whole life. 3 of the questions I somewhat learned in school, I say somewhat because while I did learn something about philosophy I did most of the learning after college. The remaining four I completely learned on my own because one was a hobby and the other was something I was deeply interested in and the history question is something that I find interesting as well. Physics really reached its tentacles into my tiny brain after reading A Brief History of Time and I have been enamored by it ever since. I will not say I understand all of it, believe me, some of the theories out there are nuts, but I still think it is extremely fascinating and on some level perhaps the most important science of mankind. Figuring out our physical world is something we will have to do in order to take the next step in evolution, but that is a topic for another discussion.
As for guns and shooting, this is just one of my many hobbies. I have way too many and I wish I made more money so I could do them more often. I am from the country so I always knew quite a few people that had guns but never really cared one way or the other about them. It was not until a few years ago that I bought my first gun and began shooting. Now I have a hand full and shoot quite often. The only down side is that it is expensive. Sporting Clays is really fun and even if you have never shot before you should go do this at least one time. I am not very good I shot a 49 out of 100, and that was my best. That means that out of 100 targets I only hit 49, that is not very good, but it is still fun. You get outside, get some fresh air and get a little exercise. Trap is also fun to shoot but again kind of difficult but not as hard as Shooting Clays. As with all things practice makes perfect. Still you should go give either one a try even if you have never shot before. My next hobby I would like to try my hand at would be long distance shooting. I think the science and what not with long distance shooting is fascinating. But when you really get into this it becomes more complicated. Things like the wind, humidity, weight of the bullet, all play a factor in long distance shooting. So it is not just about showing up and pulling the trigger. Also there is much debate about the best round and loads (how much powder) in a round which will give you your power. So I think it would be neat to make your own round and determine how much you are off at 500 yards and what you could correct each shot. Mixing science and a hobby is fun. To an extent I also do this on my bike. Tweaking my caloric intake as well as distances is always an ongoing learning experience. The only real difference is that the human body is hard to figure out. With a rifle if you do the same thing every time, theoretically the rifle will also do the same thing every time as well. For a long ride you may feel fine but a few miles in the ride you may realize that your legs are tired or you just don’t have the energy.
So I guess the point of this rant is more of a self-help secession or just something to keep in mind. I am sure you have heard a jack of all trades master of none, but I don’t read too much into that saying. Having a well-rounded area of interests and hobbies is always fun, but it can get expensive. Another of my hobbies is collecting rare and hard to find comics, but I have talked about that one before.
I have read many articles that on the path to being a millionaire you have to be well rounded and willing to learn. That is one of the key ingredients. I doubt I will ever have that much money to my name, but at the very least if you continue your education long after school, have many and diverse hobbies, I can assure you that you will be an extremely well rounded and interesting person. Also along the way you will never stop meeting people and learning new things.