Why learning new things is very important even though you may not need it

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon in 1973 offered the best calligraphy classes taught by a Trappist monk named ‘Robert Palladino‘. He was a great influence on Steve jobs and later on Apple. Jobs credited calligraphy taught at Reed College for his knowledge about typefaces and typography that turned out to be history in making.

If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

The dots did connect years later when Steve was working on the fonts of the operating system of a Mac computer and every knowledge he had gained over the years began to come into place.

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Steve had an outside view of what he could accomplish and change the world. Learning calligraphy and knowing he only had an interest in computers did not make any sense back then but he wanted to gain knowledge. Jobs was always a keen learner all his life and did not fear taking a risk.

Sometimes we do not pay heed to the things we should think will not have any substantial role to play in some part of our life. We do not know the future, nobody has seen it and no one knows where they will be in years to come. Some may find it funny to know that the world’s two richest men out of the three top richest read about 50 books a year.

Why do Bill Gates and Warren Buffett feel a need to read different books?

It is because those who are well-learned are the ones who are in a better position to make things happen and change the world. There is no age of learning and it should not stop as long as one is alive. The benefits could be multi-faceted, not now but maybe in the future.

As Steve Jobs said, you have to be crazy enough to change the world.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

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