Specialisation is for insects.

The Competent Human Being.

According to Lazarus Long, a competent human being should have a list of traits. We agree, and believe that with a balance of those traits, people would be much better versions of themselves

Just a take on how Lazarus Long could look

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love[1][2]

In these times, conflict, conspiracies and the perceived threat of things like automation and artificial Intelligence the message might be even more important than it has been in the last 50-100 years. Take it from a man (yes, fictional) with more than 2.000 years of life experience, it will likely serve you well.

Why do we think its so important

There’s an old saying, that a to a worm in radish, the world is radish. It goes for people who are to narrowly focused as well. Our belief is that a person who has a balanced level of these traits knows that they can handle just about anything, and that will keep them from fear of the unknown. They will be more likely to have a calm approach to adversity and be able to focus more on the long game, rather than here and now.

Oh, and it makes for some interesting people as well.

Why even try to live up to this?

The more narrow a person thinks, the less open they are to other points of view. This can resolve in conflict in many ways that serve absolutely no purpose.

A well rounded person does not feel threatened by opinions and concepts arguing against their held beliefs. They have a plethora of skills and traits to make up for it.

Having a complete toolbox of skills means that you can more easily take on challenges, pivot, learn, and develop novel ideas and solutions. You simply have more tools.

Expanding on the skills

To get started, lets look at the skills, and see what they could represent

  • Changing a diaper: Being able to take care of others who are vulnerable and cannot take care of themselves
  • Planning an invasion: Thinking through a situation, strategically planning and and anticipating what could happen
  • Butchering a hog: Self sufficiency and doing the dirty work
  • Conn a ship: Being able to navigate and control both vehicles and complex situations as a whole
  • Design a building: Creativity in a way that solves problems and where the result is beneficial to many
  • Write a sonnet: Artistic creativity and bravery to put oneself “out there”
  • Balance accounts: Financial literacy and the general ability to balance resources and not put yourself in financial trouble
  • Build a wall: Being able to build, with out hands, something physical that serves a purpose
  • Set a bone: Have the knowledge and skill to help others in pain
  • Comfort the dying: Providing emotional and empathic support to others, and putting their pain over your own uncomfortable
  • Take orders: When working in a team, being able to take orders and just execute without hesitation
  • Give orders: You should be able to be the one who takes responsibility, makes the calls, and leads
  • Cooperate: Posses the adaptability to work with all others, no matter the situation or environment
  • Act alone: When needed, just go out and do the thing, not needing help and not needing approval
  • Solve equations: Understanding the problem, understanding systems of everything from people to math
  • Analyze a new problem: Thinking critically, getting an overview, having analytical skills
  • Pitch manure: Do the hard and dirty work that is needed, but that most people might not want to do
  • Program a computer: Being able to work with technology of any kind, and to think in systems and algorithms
  • Cook a tasty meal: Providing for yourself and for others, both through nutrition and care
  • Fight efficiently: Defend oneself and others as well as values, both physically and emotionally as well as in discussions
  • Die gallantly: Believe in what is important to you, and accept defeat because you did your best and the cause is important enough. Also knowing when to stop

How can we visualise these traits?

Sometimes it’s easier to figure out where you could benefit from growing when you map things out. Don’t worry, we are working hard to help you with this… Sign up for the newsletter to know when the app is ready.

Some examples of competent characters

Lara Croft does not get beaten down. She’s extremely bright, knows a lot about a lot of things, and acts with dignity when needed an ruthlessly when called for.

Lara Croft

While Barney is a comical character in How I met your mother, he is also the person who can do just about anything, and can fit in wherever needed with ease.

Barney Stinson

James Bond, what can we say. Highly educated, extremely pragmatic and can act without hesitation in whatever way is needed for the greater good.

James Bond
Stay rounded!

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