This article was co-authored by Klare Heston, LCSW. Klare Heston is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker based in Cleveland, Ohio. With experience in academic counseling and clinical supervision, Klare received her Master of Social Work from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. She also holds a 2-Year Post-Graduate Certificate from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, as well as certification in Family Therapy, Supervision, Mediation, and Trauma Recovery and Treatment (EMDR).
There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 86% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.
This article has been viewed 268,454 times.
Many people want to reap the benefits of being well-rounded in every aspect of their lives. The concept of a well-rounded person started growing in the Renaissance era, with the term "Renaissance man" being used to describe contemporaries such as Leonardo da Vinci. Finding the right path to being a more versatile person can be difficult; however, you can become a more well-rounded person by actively following your interests, diversifying your experiences, and striving for higher education.
Part 1Part 1 of 3:Diversifying Your Experiences
- 1Allow yourself to explore the world around you. Nurturing your curiosities by allowing yourself to explore the world around you is one of the best ways to make yourself a more well-rounded person. Activities including travel and trying different foods and hobbies can significantly expand your horizons and help you see new perspectives.
- Getting out of your comfort zone can help to develop you and your perspectives so that they are more well-rounded.XResearch source
- 2Try new activities. Trying new activities that interest you or even that someone invites you to join will diversify your experiences and expand your horizons. Even if you don’t enjoy it in the end, you will still be more informed and versatile than you were prior to trying the activity.
- You can try artistic activities such as painting, dancing, or making music; do a new sport or even just take part in a pick-up game; or engage in hobbies like bird-watching or collecting coins.
- Be open-minded to trying new activities even if they don't seem appealing at first. If a friend wants to go and see a science fiction movie, go along even if you think that sci-fi is not your favorite. Seeing something through another person’s eyes can give you a new appreciation of it.
- 3Engage in your community or local area. Engaging with your community or the local area, such as through politics, will put you in contact with a wide variety of people and opinions. Exposure to different perspectives in your community can help you develop into a more well-rounded citizen.XResearch source
- Consider taking part in the politics of different parties to ensure that you expose yourself to as many perspectives and opinions as possible.
- If people talk about topics with which you’re unfamiliar, avoid the temptation to walk away. Staying can teach you something new that will encourage your development.XResearch source
- 4Travel as often as possible. There is an unimaginable amount you can learn from other places, especially foreign countries and cultures. Travel experiences will expose you to different perspectives, histories, and opinions, and in turn make you more well-rounded.
- Travel will show you that the world, even if it’s a nearby town, is multi-faceted and can add new sides to you, too.
- Traveling to foreign countries is the best way to see other perspectives, but domestic travel is also an excellent way to experience this. For example, if you are on the East Coast of the United States, you might be surprised to know that the lifestyle on the West Coast is quite different and could help change your perspective on how you life your life.
- Make sure to get off the beaten path when you travel. Sticking to popular tourist destinations can reinforce stereotypes or decrease the richness of seeing a new place.
- 5Eat new foods. Eat new foods or cuisines when you get the chance. Trying different foods and tastes can help you appreciate other people and cultures and improve your health.XResearch source
- If you live in an urban area, trying new foods and cuisines is easy. You can find restaurants from most cultures simply by exploring the city a bit.
- If you don’t live in a metropolitan area, consider cooking foods from different cuisines. Cookbooks or websites often have recipes that you can easily make at home.
- You can even use napkins, special utensils, or other accessories that go with the cuisine you are trying.
- 6Meet new people. Every person has their own perspectives and opinions that are formed on the basis of their experiences. Meeting new people who expose you to new information can help you to be more versatile.XResearch source
- In order to meet new people, you should first acknowledge that your truth is not the only or right view.
- Get together with people from different races, cultures, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and religions. You can also try to meet people with disabilities. All of these different people will give you insight into how others live and think.
- You can ask new people who you meet questions about their perspectives and what informs them.
- The more you talk to other people, the more successful you can become at conversations which in turn can make you more well-rounded.
- 7Volunteer or help others. Simple acts of kindness and helping others can do wonders for exposing you to different personal experiences. Volunteering can help put things in perspective for you and help you become more well-rounded.
- Consider volunteering at a hospital or soup kitchen. This could lead you to not only more positive feelings, but also stimulate discussions that will help you learn.
- Even helping friends and family can help you develop into a more well-rounded person. For example, do you know someone who has a sick family member or a child with special needs? If so, then you might consider offering to help by babysitting or running an errand for the family.
Part 2Part 2 of 3:Expanding Your Education
- 1Educate yourself. An important component of becoming more versatile is educating yourself through the consideration or application of a wide variety of sources. Without knowledge, you can’t grow or develop, and educating yourself broadly will help you to most effectively become well-rounded.XResearch source
- You can use a variety of sources to educate yourself. Taking classes, reading books or a large out of town newspaper like the NY Times, watching documentaries, or even just talking to another person can provide you with new information that will help you develop yourself.
- 2Take classes or participate in continuing education activities. Continue your education and training throughout life by taking classes, attending lectures, or getting additional professional training. Developing your intellectual skills will help expose you to different perspectives and will help you develop into a well-rounded individual.XResearch source
- You can attend classes, lectures, seminars, or other continuing education programs in person, or you can take them online. Many universities now post classes or lectures online for the general public, you can also use an online learning site like Udemy.XResearch source
- Training and the type of development that comes from practical experience can also be very valuable to developing your knowledge and skills.
- 3Read a wide variety of media and sources. Reading a variety of publications will expose you to different opinions and perspectives. This can help you develop yourself and become more versatile.
- Consult different kinds of media such as newspapers, magazines, websites, and books. Documentaries are an excellent way to expose yourself to new information.XResearch source
- Even reading for 20 minutes a day can make a difference in your knowledge base.XResearch source
- Make sure that the sources you read come from a variety of perspectives. For example, if you read something from a liberal politician or news source, then consult something from a conservative politician or news source to see both perspectives of an issue or argument.XResearch source
- 4Visit museums and cultural centers. Visiting museums and cultural centers may expose you to new information and experiences. Whether you visit them in person or virtually, museums and cultural centers can help you to develop yourself into a more well-rounded person.XResearch source
- Any museum or cultural center has something to offer you, though you may want to consider visiting one that allow you to explore your interests and curiosities more fully.XResearch source
- If you can’t get to a museum that interests you, consider seeing if it has a website. Most museums now have sites that allow you at least a preview of their collections.
- Stay informed about new exhibits at local museums as well so that you don’t miss something that might interest you.
- 5Develop your opinions and perspectives. Use your new experiences and information to develop your opinions and perspectives. Being able to incorporate these elements into your life can show that you are versatile.
- See the big picture and focus on developing well-rounded views as you incorporate new information and experiences.
- Understand that you don’t have to completely believe every person’s views. You can pick and choose what you like of their perspectives based on what you’ve learned in your research.
Part 3Part 3 of 3:Balancing Your Personal and Professional Lives
- 1Focus on your life, not your job. If your personal life is happy, then chances are your professional life will follow suit. Make sure to spend plenty of time with family and friends so that it doesn’t affect your ability to focus at work.XResearch source
- Try to stick to a routine with work and home life. If you can, arrive at work and leave at the same time every day. Make sure to account for overtime work with some extra time to yourself for a long lunch or a walk.XResearch source
- 2Be passionate about what you do. Let the truism "if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life" guide you. You can’t be truly successful or find balance in your work and personal lives unless you are passionate about your profession.XResearch source
- Your job will feel like chore if you don’t love it. This will make you more likely to be sloppy in your assignments and not take any initiative that would help you succeed.XResearch source
- 3Don’t be afraid to take risks. Changing your professional or personal course to put yourself on the path to success and happiness requires taking some risk. However, this doesn’t mean making reckless decisions, rather that you should take a calculated risk.XResearch source
- Take a calculated risk, not one that may derail your professional or personal life.
- 4Take care of your physical and mental health. You can’t be well-rounded or balanced if you don’t take care of your physical and mental health. Learn to focus on yourself and have a "me party." Exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress, and increase endorphins and energy.XResearch source
- Taking a short walk twice a day will refresh your body and mind and can help you avoid burnout.XResearch source For example, a 3-mile run will give you time to work out personal or professional problems if you need to while providing your body with needed exercise to maintain your health.XResearch source
- In a world where you are easily contacted by cell phones, email, and social media, having unplugged alone time is vital to maintaining your health by minimizing how much input you need to process on a daily basis.XResearch source For example, you can turn off all electronics at 10pm so that you have an hour or two all to yourself or with your family.
- 5Take breaks and vacations. Having time away from your job for everything from ten minutes a day to a full vacation is important to your success as well. Time away refreshes you, helps you avoid burnout, and can reset you on your path to success.XResearch source
- Take breaks during the day. They give your brain and body a chance to relax and refresh.XResearch source
- Schedule annual vacations to further help you refresh. While a ten-minute walk or a run will help you decompress throughout a workday, an annual vacation where you completely unplug from your job will refresh your body and mind.
- If you don’t get paid vacations, then take weekend trips instead.
Expert Q&A Did you know you can get expert answers for this article?Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow
- QuestionHow can you improve your self-knowledge?You can always improve your self-knowledge through a variety of means--even after college, or even if you did not attend college, or even finish high school. You can always read online or visit a library. There are a variety of resources online like udemy.com and khanacademy.org where you can study for either a nominal fee or for no charge at all.
- QuestionWhat does it mean to be a well-rounded person?
- QuestionWhat does it mean to have a well-rounded education?
- While being well-rounded is important, being passionate may be the key to being successful in your life. You want to balance that passion with other knowledge and experiences.XResearch source Avoid being the "jack of all trades, master of none."
About This Article
To become a well-rounded person, expose yourself to different, interesting experiences by trying new activities. For example, you might consider learning how to paint or picking up a sport. You can also expand your horizons by traveling as often as possible, even if you just take a road trip to a nearby city that you've never visited before. Along with exploring the world around you, make an effort to educate yourself by reading books, watching documentaries, and taking continuing education classes. You can also visit local museums and cultural centers to learn and to pursue your interests. For more advice from our Social Work co-author, including how to develop well-rounded perspectives, scroll down!