We have all seen those infamous pictures of men dating back in to the era called “The Renaissance.” Names such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, William Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, and Juan de Anchieta all stem from a long line of artists, writers, and composers. I have to admit that there was something about these men that set them apart from all the other guys. It wasn’t the way they dressed or because of their profession. It was because of who they were.
They were renaissance men. It wasn’t just by association of the era that they lived in. It was about their lifestyle. Becoming a renaissance man involved a life-long pursuit of focus and determination as a gentleman. These great men attuned their daily living to learning languages, understand art, reading literature, living out history, and engaging in poetry. As time has lapsed, since then we have lost the “renaissance within.“
Being a renaissance man has become unattractive. The truth is, we need to bring this back into our lives. It is an opportunity for men to lead the way and separate ourselves from the boys. Think of it this way guys, when you know things you stand out among the rest of the crowd. The best way to do this is to create a belief system of disciplining yourself to learn from the best.
renaissance way #1: Know your music.
Music is a universal language among people. Everyone listens to some type of music. Being a renaissance man causes you to go beyond the basic knowledge and understanding of general music. Anyone can quote lyrics and drop band names, but a real gentleman goes above and beyond the basics.
What area of music are you weakest in? Opera, jazz, classic rock, just to name a few. A renaissance man will concentrate his efforts in one area of music and master it. It’s about pushing yourself beyond the current limits. Do some research on the internet, purchase books, listen to music on Pandora or Itunes. Finally think of ways to surprise your lady in different settings with fresh types of music to fit the occasion instead of the same old “80’s” rock that you’ve been stuck in.
renaissance way #2: learn a new language.
When was the last time you spoke to your woman in Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch? Guys, there is a romance wrapped up within knowing another language. I’m not just talking about knowing a few words such as “Gracias” or “Si.” Do you know a complete language?
Gentlemen don’t even use excuses such as “I don’t have time.” or “My woman could care less if I speak another language.” This tells me two things about you: First, you are lazy. That’s right…plain lazy. My mentor tells me that laziness will eventually get you killed. He’s right. The second, you don’t deserve to be a renaissance man. Why? Renaissance men are sharp, disciplined, selfless, and focused.
All it takes is spending twenty minutes a day to learn a new language. We waste time watching TV and movies that last longer than that. There are plenty of Apps for your smartphone that you can use or you can purchase programs for your studies. Either way, buckle up and start learning today. For more information on this check out Duolingo in the App Store.
renaissance way #3: understand your history and geography.
I remember speaking with an individual once. We were talking about Italy and they responded with “Oh isn’t that near Alaska?!” I just shook my head. Here’s a question for you: Do you know know when the Civil War was? How about World War Two? These are all very important events in the human time line and the majority of us have no clue as to what the answers are.
Gentlemen knowing these little aspects about history and events that are happening in our world adds an edge to each of us. It tells others that we’re not just here taking up space on this earth, but were actually contributing. I encourage you to take the next month and study a country such as Japan, France, or Norway to name a few. Educate yourself in regards to everything about it. Learn what they eat, how they function, their customs, the capital of the country, what types of transportation they use and so forth. Stay up to date on current events and what’s happening around you. Listen to or watch the news on a regular basis. A renaissance man has the ability to engage in any conversation and hold his own.
renaissance way #4: learn from the arts.
I’ll be honest I used to be a “rock and roll” guy to the core. Poetry, literature, art, and religion never interested me. Over time as I have become older in my years I found that learning from the arts such as religion, poetry, art, and literature is important for a man, especially a renaissance man.
Why focus on the arts? Areas such as literature, art, poetry, and religion have so much to offer us in the realms of romance, leadership, and wisdom. For any man to neglects these areas would be foolish. Some of the greatest men and leaders of all-time were followers of poetry, religion, art, and literature.
Where should one begin? Start at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com. Look under the banner of “Classics or Literature.” Consider reading books like Tom Sawyer, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dante’s Inferno or The Count of Monticristo. Attend your local art museum, read books on the subject of Art. Finally, read about other religions, but be careful because there are some weirdos out there who want to serve you red Cool Aid and tell you “Night time is the right time.”
Gentlemen, becoming a renaissance man is not about becoming a “Jack of all trades.” It’s about learning to concentrate on one thing at a time and mastering it. Define what areas in your life are weak and strengthen them. Be a man who is sharp, not dull like a butter knife. It’s time to start your journey today and become a renaissance man that no one will ever forget.