Superhero Science Boy’s superpower is a superhuman thirst for knowledge.
Who the heck is science boy?
Science Boy is the comic book superhero created by F.R.I.E.N.D.S’s Ross Geller. Ross recounts the traumatic experience where he got mugged:
Ross: Out of nowhere, this thug with a pipe jumps out and says, “Give me your money, punk!”
Phoebe: “Oh my god!”
Ross: “I know! And the worst part was, he took my backpack. Which had all the original artwork I had done for my own comic book. Science Boy!”
(The Laughtrack plays. We laugh along with it).
Monica (whose memory gets jogged): “Yeah! What was his superpower again?”
Ross: “A superhuman thirst for knowledge.”
The Laughtrack plays for a prolonged time. We laugh at Ross and science boy and his superpower.
Funny, yes. There’s just one problem.
Ross Geller was right.
A superhuman thirst for knowledge is indeed a superpower.
A Thirst for Physics Made Elon Musk the Richest Person in the World
Elon Musk loved physics right from his childhood. He rode the dot com wave in the late 1990s and started Zip2 and subsequently X.com (which merged with PayPal). But his love for physics never died. His love for physics helped him explore unexplored vistas in space travel.
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny his contributions.
He has created waves in unchartered waters – be it electric cars or space travel.
By the way, he is the richest man in the world.
It all started with a love for physics.
Ryan Holiday Consumes Information by the Gallons
Bestselling author Ryan Holiday reads more books in a year than more people read in their lifetime.
It is safe to say he has a superhuman thirst for knowledge.
He meticulously takes notes on old-fashioned index cards, which provided him with materials for multiple best-selling books.
That’s not all.
He continues to be a better person by the day, thanks to all the wisdom he consumes. Holiday has come to be the unofficial spokesperson for all things about stoicism.
This thirst for consuming knowledge did not accompany Holiday from birth. He cultivated it with meticulous discipline.
You and I can practice this discipline. The discipline to develop a thirst to consume knowledge.
A Thirst For Knowledge Allows You to Combine Different Skills Together
Mastering one field makes you a monomaniac.
Which is a phenomenal achievement in its own respect. You just need to look at the half-assed efforts of the majority, to develop an appreciation for the monomaniacs.
Dilbert’s creator Scott Adams suggests taking it a notch higher. What if you master two or three fields? Combining them will give you a unique advantage.
And how to decide which fields to focus your energies upon?
By trying out a broad range of fields. Some of these will cry out to you — Presto, you have found a field of your calling.
Rinse and repeat.
Go on to figure out how to combine fields together. Art + Web Design. Chemistry + Music. Writing + Anything. The possibilities are endless. Go crazy.
Grades Are Irrelevant
Grades are as important as how many likes you get on social media.
Growing up in India, teachers put pressure on me (and other students) to get good grades.
I grew up with the belief system that good grades is the holy grail.
When I got the opportunity to go to college at the University of Maryland, I entered with a “grades first mindset”. It pains me to think about the opportunities I could have pursued if I had let grades take a backseat. Research. Exploration. Innovation. You name it.
Grades have their use, they provide a metric to evaluate students, but this is a rough evaluation by any standards.
Knowledge trumps grades any day.
Fear Precludes Learning
What if I suck?
I’m afraid to fail.
I may not be good at this.
They will laugh at me.
Everyone goes through such doubting thoughts. Most people make the mistake of believing these thoughts. They stay away from learning. I did.
Greatness, unsurprisingly, remains a stranger where fear occupies the driver’s seat.
Author Susan Jeffers says “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. If we can feel the fear and pursue learning anyway, the sky is the limit on what we can achieve.
Anything worth pursuing doesn’t come easy.
Learning is certainly worth pursuing.
With all the energy we can muster.
If I could go back in time back to school, I would make one significant change.
I will thirst for knowledge.
I will carry that thirst to college.
Or I may skip college and consume knowledge from textbooks and the internet like a person possessed.
I will make sure I consume knowledge like a person who hasn’t eaten for days together goes for it at a buffet table.
I will look at grades with superlative disdain.
The good news — it is never too late to start developing a thirst for knowledge.
Science Boy nailed it alright — the thirst for knowledge is a massive superpower.
A superpower available to all of us — we are superheroes in the making.
Image Credit: Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash