The benefits of intellectual curiosity

January 3, 2007

While true polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci are rare, there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that having diverse interests makes you better in everything you do.

To some extent, this is counter-intuitive – you might expect to perform best by putting 100% of our efforts into a single pursuit. However, recent evidence suggests that is not the case. Your behavior shapes your brain and the benefits of practicing one skill are not limited to that skill alone, they can be transferred, and the more things you know something about the more there is to transfer. As Alvaro Pascual-Leone, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School says: “If you practice multiple things you actually get better at any one of those things.”

So go ahead and pursue your interests, passion and curiosity no matter how trivial it may seem, you are actually doing your brain, yourself and your employer a favor!

For a more detailed analysis on the benefits of cross-training your brain read Fortune’s article at:
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/10/30/8391729/index.htm

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