Recently, my manager asked if I wanted additional training in any other areas. Initially, I was reluctant. I don’t want to stay at my current job because, well, it’s only a job. I have bigger hopes and aspirations. But, I decided to say yes. Why? Well, because ANY skill you acquire will double your chances for success.
But Leroy, “not all skills are equal and not all skills are important. Hence, they can’t double your chances of success.”
Yes, you’re right. I whole-heartedly agree with you. Obviously, some skills are more important than others, and the tenth skill you acquire might have less value than each of the other nine.
But when you approach learning a new skill with the mindset that it will double your odds of success, you instantly trick your brain into being more proactive in your pursuit of learning.
If I told you that taking a website coding class, will double your chances of success, the chances of you acting increases. If instead I only offered a vague opinion that acquiring new skills is beneficial, you might not feel particularly motivated.
A) Where Do I Start?
Method 1: Be a kid again
It’s difficult to figure out where to start. For me, I like to remember all my passions before I reached ten-years-old. Before ten, my brain was still malleable enough to absorb everything, but not yet tainted by formal education.
When you were a kid, the things you enjoyed were almost instinctual, rather than influenced. You understood that you liked something for the mere fact that it brought enjoyment to you.
Start there. Remember all the things you enjoyed and pursue similar skills. As you start learning those, diversify. Jump into random categories that interest you.
Method 2: Consume News
If you have trouble finding something to read, start with the topics that interest you, even if they may be something trivial like gossip and celebrity scandals. Over time, you will enjoy the experience of reading and start sampling topics that wouldn’t have interested you before.
Personally, I read news from business, health, science, technology, and politics. Continue to expose yourself to new topics, primarily the ones that interest you the most.
But be weary, consuming some news can be a huge downer if you pick the wrong topics. Try to avoid stories about tragic events and negativity and focus on the positive aspects of science, technology and business.
B) It Gets Easier
When you first try to learn a skill it can be daunting. You can’t see yourself learning something that, at the time, seems impossible. But once you understand a few core concepts it gets easier.
A huge advantage of learning as much as you can in different fields is that the more concepts you understand, the easier it becomes to learn new ones. The learning process snowballs into other fields, consistently teaching you new skills.
Imagine explaining to an alien the concept of a zebra. The learning curve would be steep. If the next thing you tried to explain were the concept of a horse, the conversation would be much shorter. You simply have to say that the horse is a lot like the zebra, without the black and white stripes.
The process of learning continues to simplify itself, as you progressively absorb more knowledge of varying skills.
C) How Do I Be Perfect at EVERYTHING?
The short answer to that question is, “You don’t.”
You do not need to seek mastery or perfection in any skill. The idea is that you can increase your market value just by being good –not perfect- at more than one skill.
In terms of success, you are better off being good at two complementary skills rather than being extraordinary at one. In some cases, being extraordinary at one skill will pay off, but for the majority of us regular people (ME), diversifying your toolbox will lead to success.
Do not pursue perfection, but pursue learning. Aim to learn as many skills as possible. They will eventually help you out in one situation or another. The more you learn, the better you become.
Diversify your toolbox today by learning something, anything. Learn to whistle with two fingers, sewing basics, draw a cat, or tinker with a basic sound system. I promise you, once you learn something, you will be closer to success.
Be bold, be free, and love on.