I rarely hand out advice to people about what to do with their lives because I believe something like that is best left to self discovery; but today I’ll make an exception and stick my head out. Before I tell you what it is, let me share a quick story:
Andrew Carnegie would have been the richest man today if he were alive. His net worth would have been(adjusted for inflation) $ 300 Billion, more than that of any other Forbes top wealthiest individuals. Early in his career, Andrew realized that there was something very powerful about memory and knowing things was incredible.
Andrew was a telegram messenger when he was a young boy, and he would not only remember names, streets, addresses of where he was going, but also passages and quotes from books that his audience might know of. This gave him the power to walk into any room, and initiate a discussion about poetry, literature, philosophy, history or anything else with anyone. His knowledge gave him the power to engage in a conversation with anyone at any given moment and charm them along the way.
Here’s a phrase from Carnegie’s biography – “Nothing will bring promotion—and better still, usefulness and happiness–than culture giving you general knowledge beyond the depths of those whom you may have to deal. Knowledge of the gems of literature at call find a ready and profitable market in the industrial world. They sell high among men of affairs as I found with my small stock of knowledge.”
The only piece of advice I have for you is essentially the same, perhaps a bit modern – “don’t be a robot”. Don’t dream of learning just one thing or another, don’t get too caught up being a specialist, study broadly, learn voraciously and gain knowledge beyond your typical daily life ventures. A robot can be a specialist and memorize and repeat facts out of a book on a subject, but it is only humans who understand how to apply one spectrum of knowledge to another and create something completely different out of it.