The Key to a Successful Neo Renaissance Life

Renaissance people, or Polymaths, or whatever you call us, are skilled and/or knowledgeable in many areas.  We believe in lifelong learning, and are driven to excel in more than one area. But the core secret or fundamental trait of a true Neo-Renaissance practitioner is curiosity fueled by the desire for new experiences.

Scratch the surface of any Neo Ren and you’ll probably find an adventuresome spirit, a world traveler, an experimenter, maybe even a first adapter in such disciplines such as technology or music or philosophy or social advocacy.

Personally, I’m one who usually looks to take a vacation trip to somewhere new rather than go to the same old cabin or resort or park. I’ll try any new wine that comes down the pike, having been thoroughly bored by the traditional varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. I’m more than eager to re-examine government and politics and look for better ways to solve our nation’s problems than trust in our two-party system to continue what it has wrought upon society for more than 100 years. I’m always open to new flavors and ingredients in restaurant food. I’ll choose reading a book by an author I’ve never read over an old favorite. I’ll take live music over recordings any day since only a live performance gives you that fresh spontaneity that isn’t often captured in a studio recording.

Thinking outside the box should be everyone’s goal because boxes are usually dark, stale, airless places that confine us rather than free us. One of my new favorite musicians, discovered in the past few years, is Sam Robson. Here’s an amazing recording that he and two friends put together using modern technology combined with musical arranging way outside the box in terms of phrasing, harmonics, and rethinking old songs in brand new ways.

Once again, a coffee break moment on a busy, stressful workday (if you’re reading this at work). High quality speakers and/or headphones are essential to hear the amazing bass voice in the recording, especially near the end of the song.

BTW, I discovered Sam Robson only because a friend posted a link on Facebook. He’s a former professional musician and I trust his taste in music without question. The Neo Ren in me said “Hey, I’ll check this guy out, might be interesting.” Slight miscalculation has turned into obsession. I can’t get enough of Sam Robson’s music. He really is a brilliant arranger/producer/singer. New experiences= Neo experiences. Neo means new. Always be open to the new. If we stick with the old, we’re doomed to die a slow, boring death of our spirits.

What’s new in your life that has amazed you?

If nothing has surprised, enlightened, delighted, or amazed you lately, maybe you need to get out of your comfort zone and take a risk with a new activity. Get with the Neo Renaissance.

0 thoughts on “The Key to a Successful Neo Renaissance Life”

  1. Hi Chris, Don’t know that I qualify as a Neo Ren or a Neo anything, but I, too, love Sam Robson. His music is so full of joy and surprising harmonies – and his hair is absolutely wild. I don’t recall how I discovered him, but I know it’s been several years, and I was absolutely blown away. Have been following him ever since. As far wine in concerned, I’ll stick with Cabernet Sauvignon, but with new flavors in food, bring ’em on.

  2. I’m always trying to visit new places – the only one I can’t get enough of is Singapore, but we use it as a jumping-off point to go to new parts of Asia – never a stale voyage!

  3. Good for you. Asia is probably one of the places I’ll never visit, mainly because there are so many other places I’d rather see first.


  4. Hey, PJ, you’re a Neo-Ren if only in your mind. The basic requirement is a curious mind, so traveling vicariously through others is perfectly acceptable. And if you don’t poo-pooh everything new that comes along, you’re a Neo-Ren. If you’re willing to engage in thoughtful debate or discussion with others who don’t think exactly as you do, you’re a Neo-Ren.

    As far as food goes, I take baby steps. Just tried caviar for the first time this year.It was okay, but I just don’t understand all the fuss about it.


  5. I love this post, Chris, especially the descriptive things you do/look for that make you Neo Ren and the description of the boxes. Great writing!

  6. Hi Julia,

    I don’t think I’ve read any Poe since high school.. Always a good idea to revisit writers and books we’ve already read, if only for the different insight one gets that comes from age.


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