In literature, the Competent Man is a character who can do anything perfectly and displays a wide range of abilities, experiences and knowledge like “the most interesting man I the world” in the Dos Equis commercials, or a Renaissance man. SPIKE is a program that builds these kind of experiences and creates those kind of men. While not the first writer to use such a character, Robert A. Heinlien’s fictional heroes are often that type. One of Heinlein’s Characters Lazarus Long gives a good summery of requirements;
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
I decided to write my own based on my SPIKE training, life experiences and a couple I still aspire to accomplish. I recommend you do one for yourself and be sure to put in a few things that you have yet to do, it may just get you there.
“A man should have the skills to raise a child and take a life, pick a lock, plan an invasion, throw a tomahawk, read body language, sail a vessel, fly a plane, suture a wound, comfort the dying, welcome a newborn, balance accounts, write a business plan, be a leader, follow orders, plan ahead, use a computer efficiently, secure a building, use tools, change a carburetor, stand alone, act alone, work with others, analyze the issues, solve problems, train a dog, field dress an animal, prepare a meal, rappel , navigate with a compass, take out the trash and die on your feet surrounded by a pile of smoking brass.”