Are you a grokkist?

Are you a grokkist?

Grokkist Lore

Do you lead with curiosity and have a thirst for learning? Are you a multi-hyphenate who has a desire to leave things better than you found them? If so, you might be a grokkist.

At Grokkist, we're building a community of people who approach the world with curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, who embrace the multi-hyphenate life, and who aren't afraid to leave things better than they found them.

We call ourselves grokkists, and we're passionate about creating a space where we can connect with each other, share experiences and knowledge, and co-create learning, work, and social experiences that align with the grokkist way of being in the world.

“I love having a word for the way I am” - Emily
“It’s about going through your life where everything has a kind of preciousness and mystery” - Nathan

But what does it mean to be a grokkist, exactly? Here are five characteristics that define our community:

How to spot a grokkist: 5 character traits

1. Curiosity

Grokkists are naturally curious about the world around us and the people in it.

We have a deep-seated need to understand how things work and why they are the way they are. We are not content with surface-level explanations and are always seeking a deeper understanding of the world.

This curiosity drives us to explore new ideas, ask unusual or difficult questions, and seek out new experiences.

We follow our interests and we do not rush to judgment.

“Curiosity is a main thread through my life that's led me to where I am today” - Carl
"I'm quite curious in general about anything. I don't know if that comes from getting bored easily or wanting to know something new or not being able to sit still. I always want to be somewhere where others are or where I'm told not to go. I'm always looking to connect with something, someone, or some place. That is a constant driver for all the things I do.” - Grace

2. Thirst for Learning

Grokkists have a deep thirst for learning that goes beyond formal education.

We are driven by our curiosity and love to soak up knowledge and experiences from a variety of sources. We are constantly seeking out new information and insights, and are always looking for ways to expand our horizons.

Grokkists can get restless and begin to shrivel up when there is nothing left to learn in their current situation.

“To grok, which is a way to find your own path and your own education and put different pieces together, is very much something that resonates with me.” - Sam
“If there's something that I'm interested in, I will find what I can about it and I will devour it and I will absorb it and I will assimilate it so that I can communicate it as best as I can. But aside from that, it's always been very hard to shape myself into the mould of somebody else's program.” - Michaelangelo
“I started developing these skills to kind of cater to my own needs” - Travis

3. Multi-Hyphenate Hummingbird

Grokkists tend to have many different skills and interests that are sometimes related and sometimes not.

We are not content with being pigeonholed into a single career or area of expertise.

Instead, we are like hummingbirds, flitting from flower to flower and cross-pollinating different fields of knowledge.

We thrive on exploring multiple interests and finding connections between seemingly unrelated fields. This multi-hyphenate approach allows us to bring a unique perspective to our work and our relationships.

“It can appear to people as short attention span or changing your mind and your focus. But in fact, I wouldn't be where I am today without every part of what I've built. It's like opening doors. You've got more doors open and more things that you know, and that informs the opinion that you give or the advice that you provide." - Lara
“That excitement of going ‘oh my god, that connects!’ That's so super cool” - Myles

4. Squiggly Career

Grokkists are rarely on Plan A.

We tend not follow a linear career path and are always seeking new challenges and experiences.

We are not afraid to take risks and try new things, even if this sometimes leads to uncertainty, self-doubt and a feeling of always starting again.

Whether we know it or not, are continuously weaving together our accumulated experiences into a Red Thread, which we share with others as practical wisdom that enriches whatever practice we happen to be engaged in at the moment.

“If I ever had a Plan A, I have long since forgotten what it was.” - Amanda
“I've never had a very planned career. I just find things interesting and I pursue them.” - Maxine
“When you have an overview, you can see there’s a red thread going through all of it – there's a line.” - Bo

5. Leave Things Better Than We Found Them

Grokkists have a strong desire to use our knowledge and experience to make the world a better place.

We tend to be conscious change agents, whether as reformers, radicals, or revolutionaries.

Always looking for ways to channel our grokkistry into meaningful action and system change, we can't help but bring a breath of fresh air wherever we go - in our relationships and projects, in our community, or across an entire sector.

“Good people who know how to be curious, creative, excited, that’s what you want. What you don’t want is people who just want to tick boxes” - Peter
“It's really lovely to engage with the concept of a grokkist and feel that there's other people out there that think in a slightly abstract and different way. And it's really encouraging to look at all the positive applications, rather than just thinking that you are a tangential thinker who's a bit of a nuisance." - Lara

Ok so I'm a grokkist – now what?

If this sounds like you, we invite you to join us at Grokkist and let's see where our curiosity takes us.

We're building a space where grokkists can connect with each other, share experiences and knowledge, and co-create learning, work, and social experiences that align with the grokkist way of being in the world.

Choose your path...

📥 Subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletter, Scholé Supplement, and celebrate curiosity, learning, and life as a grokkist.

🟢 Join the Grokkist Network, our dedicated community space where you can connect with other curious, multi-hyphenate individuals who are passionate about leaving things better than they found them.

🎙 Listen to our Still Curious podcast and go inside the rich lived experiences of grokkists from many walks of life as they reflect out loud about the paths they've taken and who they have become along the way.

❤️‍🔥 Explore our Reimagine Education hub where we are connecting teachers, learners, reformers and radicals from all walks of life to creatively reimagine what grokkist-friendly education looks like.

Where does the word 'grokkist' come from?

The word "grok" was coined by science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein in his 1961 novel "Stranger in a Strange Land". In the novel, the word is used to describe drinking in a deep and intuitive understanding of something, to the point of becoming one with it.

The concept of grokking has taken on a life of its own, with people embracing it as a way to describe their own way of being in the world.

Grokkists are people who approach the world with curiosity and a thirst for learning, who embrace the multi-hyphenate life, and who aren't afraid to leave things better than they found them.

Having a positive and playful identity to draw on can be incredibly valuable for our self-understanding and the way we show up in the world.

Grokkists have a way of seeing the world that is both unique and valuable, and embracing this identity can help us to bring our full selves to our work and our relationships.

By embracing our grokkistry, we can tap into a deep well of creativity and innovation.

We can approach problems with a fresh perspective, and we can bring together disparate ideas and experiences to create something new and meaningful. And perhaps most importantly, we can connect with others who share our curiosity, our thirst for learning, and our desire to leave things better than we found them.

So if you're a grokkist, embrace it!

Use the term as a way to describe your way of being in the world, and connect with others who share your values and your approach to life.

And if you're not a grokkist yet, consider whether this way of seeing the world resonates with you. You might just be surprised at what it unlocks for you.

Danu Poyner

Danu is the founder of Grokkist and host of the Still Curious Podcast. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand and has a career that has become more squiggly than a Norwegian fjord.