A lot of [what it means to be smart] is the ability to zoom out, like you’re in a city and you could look at the whole thing from the 80th floor down at the city. And while other people are trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B reading these stupid little maps, you could just see it in front of you. You can see the whole thing.
You have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does, or else you’re gonna make the same connections and you won’t be innovative. […] You might want to think about going to Paris and being a poet for a few years. Or you might want to go to a third-world country — I’d highly advise that. Falling in love with two people at once. Walt Disney took LSD, do you know that?
Some time ago, I did an exercise where I tried to recall the key turning points in my life. After a while, I realized that it was never a “genius idea” or “an amazing realization” that shaped my path — but people.
I’d meet someone. I’d have my core assumptions challenged. We’d do something together that I’d never think of doing on my own. In the end, I’d be left with experiences and lessons that I never would’ve been able to get just by my own intellectual effort.
To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.