On Being a Lone Wolf

Reflecting on my time at university, a regret I have is playing it solo. Initially, I did everything alone - attending lectures, working on assignments, and studying. It was only in my senior year that I started to open up and study with friends. Studying together was more efficient, more motivating, and it became a bonding experience with my friends. I now wonder why I chose to go solo in the beginning.

I’ve been a lone wolf for most of my life. I preferred figuring things out on my own. I enjoyed solo activities like video games and reading. It served me well as I was able to develop my interests, desires, and opinions independently of my peers.

However, geniuses are not developed in isolation but rather in a scene”. Brian Eno calls this Scenius:

[Scenius] is the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius.

Individuals immersed in a productive scenius will blossom and produce their best work. When buoyed by scenius, you act like genius. Your like-minded peers, and the entire environment inspire you.

I’d argue though that you want to harness the virtues of both a lone wolf and a scene. Have the independence and self-reliance of a lone wolf. But the flow of ideas, exchange of techniques, and networks of success generated from a community.

March 10, 2024

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