Developing A Mind Without Boundary
We were thought to think with boundaries, yet the world as we have it and the kind of problems we will face are not aware of any boundaries.
“Reality does not divide itself into disciplines – physics, biology, psychology…Disciplines are a human endeavour to divide reality into bite-sized, digestible chunks. Experience has no boundaries. It creates value by connecting the dots to understand reality.”
When we began acquiring knowledge as beings (Homo Sapiens), we didn’t start out thinking of ourselves as a Software Engineer or an Artist or an Accountant. We started by recognizing a problem and devising a means to solve them.
The means to the solution may cut across many divides that we create today in terms of Engineering, Design, Art and so on but it doesn’t matter then (nor now). What mattered then was solving problems. It’s of no importance if you are a Mathematician or an Accountant, you combined all skills necessary to get the problem solved. That’s reality, that’s the world we still live in. A world where our problems are agnostics of our discipline or course of study at the University, a world where we are daily confronted with wicked problems than need to be fixed somehow.
Industrial revolution, civilization and advancement in technology brought about the need to create disciplines, our attempt at dividing reality into some bit-sized digestible doze. But the reality hasn’t changed and still requires a mind without boundary to masterfully navigate it and solve it’s wicked problems.
It also true that we have so much developed in knowledge as a being that it will be impossible for one person to absorb perfect knowledge from all disciplines or become an expert in all disciplines. That will just be too much for a person to absorb.
How then can we develop a mind without boundary to solve wicked problems that our one boundaried mind can’t solve?
The best way to this was an advise given by Chalie Munger in his 2007 address at USC.
If you generalize Cicero as I think one should, there are all these other things that you should know in addition to history, and those other things are the big ideas in all the other disciplines. And it doesn’t help you just to know them enough just so you can prattle them back on an exam and get an A. You have to learn these things in such a way that they’re in a mental latticework in your head and you automatically use them for the rest of your life.
If you do that, I solemnly promise you that one day you’ll be walking down the street and look to your right and left and think, “My heavenly days! I’m now one of the few most competent people of my whole age forward.” If you don’t do it, many of the brightest of you will live in the middle ranks or in the shallows.
Charlie’s solution for the challenge before us is simple. Agreed, you can’t sit down to study all disciplines in the world as we have them now, there is just not enough time for that. In fact, when you look at all those disciplines, not everything that they have to offer are needed or necessary to masterfully navigate the world. So he proposed we study the big ideas of all disciplines, add them to our mental latticework and automatically use them for the rest our life.
This I’ve been doing in a very long while as I continually try to build a mind without boundary.
In future posts, I will be taking these big ideas one after the other to explain how they can help us build a mind without boundary, make better decisions and navigate life masterfully.
Comment below if you are excited to learn how to build a mind without boundary.