Cody Simpson isn’t a household name in the U.S., but soon will be. In his brief twenty-four years, Simpson has been a pop star, contestant on Dancing with the Stars, television and stage actor, and advocate for environmental campaigns. Yet this multi-talented young man trained as a swimmer, kept it up and is now in serious contention for the Olympics. Did Simpson arrive in this world gifted, or does he have a formula for success?
Two words come to mind: curiosity and focus. Simpson is what we used to call a “Renaissance man/woman”, or a polymath; a person of wide-ranging knowledge, learning, or skills. Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath. In fact, Da Vinci was curious about so many subjects—from aeronautics and engineering, to studying cadavers and observing how our musculoskeletal structure works-- that he left many art projects unfinished because he moved on to learning another skill. But like Simpson, he had the focus to perfect the new skill without distraction.
Interestingly enough, learning something new reinforces your primary profession or sport. Emulate polymaths and learn a skill that gives you pleasure. Your speaking will be elevated, fueled by this creative spark. And if there is a 2021 Olympics, cheer on the young Aussie, Cody Simpson. “Good on you!”