The first time I came across the term ‘multi-disciplinary’ was when I was going through Prof. Sanjay Bakshi’s lectures on Behavioural Finance and Value Investing – he mentioned multiple times about the need to adopt ‘multi-disciplinary thinking’ to become good investors (find the course at https://www.sanjaybakshi.net – it’s worth your time). Then on, I came across this term multiple times in Charlie Munger’s articles, Warren Buffet’s talks, from SParc Talks (conducted by my B-school S P Jain Institute of Management & Research at Mumbai). So, I started thinking more about this term and want to share my thoughts about becoming a multi-disciplinary human being and why it’s important to become one?
Google defines multi-disciplinary as “combining or involving several academic disciplines or professional specializations in an approach to a topic or problem” – which is more about a problem-solving approach or thought process. Now how can a human being become multi-disciplinary? You and me are already multi-disciplinary humans because we often tell about work-life balance; two different disciplines requiring considerably different sets of expertise, thought process and responsibility. There are exceptional cases where people cannot separate or balance work and life – but I believe sooner or later they’ll find their unique balance. Probably in our lives the degree of multi-disciplineness is on the lower scale. More apt examples would be people like Shashi Taroor – who manage his life as a politician, writer, orator and so on – truly multi-disciplinary human being.
Before you think on your degree of multi-disciplineness, I want to brief some of the benefits of being one.
1. It stimulates the sleeping sectors in our brain
Like our effort to learn a new language – the new disciplines that we add will stimulate unused sectors in our brain and makes it more productive and creative. More disciplines lead to more mental models in our brain. It imparts completely new skills and thoughts in us – which ultimately leads to more myelin (read more at http://thetalentcode.com/book/) & more creative brain.
2. It provides effective brain breaks from our status-quo tasks
Have you ever thought about an office task while being with your family? While on a vacation – does office chores pop up in your mind? This defines how effective are the breaks we take from our routine tasks. Increasing your degree of multi-disciplineness will increase the effectiveness of your breaks and will let you enjoy the task at hand more intimately and passionately. So next time instead of talking about work-life balance – you’ll talk about Work-Passion(s)-Life balance (hear more about why not to follow passion alone in life at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVEuPmVAb8o)
3. It provides a significant sense of achievement and pride in us
How many times have you took part in a charity drive or a NGO movement and felt a greater purpose for your life? Yes, as the degree of multi-disciplineness increases – our sense of achievement and purpose in life increases and that will make us better humans with better self-esteem.
4. It broadens our outlook about life
Multi-disciplineness adds completely new dimensions and philosophies in our lives which broadens our outlook to life. Many a times, people whom we consider as our mentors are those people with high degree of multi-disciplineness in their lives.
I too am in the journey; Work – Family – Social Work – Blogging – Charity and many more to chase. Now analyze your degree of multi-disciplineness and start charting your journey. Good Luck!!!