The stepping stone from where you are today to where you want to be is simple: learning more skills. If we compare the differences between the people living an average lifestyle, and successful, happier people, is that the latter have learned and leveraged more valuable skills in their lives.
To become our best selves, we must constantly be learning more skills and educating ourselves on how to provide more value to the world. As Tony Hsiesh, the CEO of Zappos, once said, “if you want to make a million dollars, serve a million people.” With that said, here are 7 new skills you must learn to reach your full potential:
1. Learn a New Language
If English is the only language you know, then you’re missing out on 1/5th of the world’s population that doesn’t speak native English. As globalization rises, everything from business, media, and the economy will require interaction with foreign people outside of your language.
Learning how to speak a new language will give you a significant advantage over those who lack the knowledge, and it’s better to get started sooner than later. As a side benefit, language learning has been shown by numerous sources to increase your mental agility, memory retention, and decision-making skills.
Where to learn: You can get started with a free mobile app like Duolingo, or learn faster using a personalized language learning website like Rype, which matchmakes you with a native speaking teacher for private lessons online.
2. Play an Instrument
Playing an instrument can not only wow your friends, but also make you smarter. Studies have shown that playing an instrument can increase your IQ by 7 points. Studying music also increases your concentration skills, which is becoming a necessary skill in today’s distracted world, and helps you become a better listener. If you’re not sure which instrument you should learn, read this article.
Where to learn: For instruments, I would recommend getting started finding an in-person teacher in your local city on Craigslist. If you prefer learning online, you can check out this complete list of websites to learn different instruments from piano to the drums.
3. Public Speaking
Warren Buffet has often claimed that the most valuable skill a recent graduate can learn is the art of public speaking.
Being a good communicator is massively understated and a crucial skill that can never be improved enough. Whether you’re going into a job interview, making a presentation, or starting a business, being a great speaker is what will make you stand out from above the crowd and get your message across.
Where to learn: Join a local Toastmasters organization in your city, and you can start to receive immediate feedback.
The concept of blogging is only 20 years old, and is still incredibly important if you want to build your brand, grow your business, or differentiate yourself amongst others.
Blogging helps you develop a mixture of valuable skills — from writing, marketing and resilience that is hard to develop anywhere else. With over 150 million blog readers (2014) in the US alone, blogging is one of the most powerful platforms to reach a global audience with your message.
Where to learn: Blogging can be started for free with new platforms like Medium gaining popularity. Or you can start and host your own blog using WordPress or Tumblr. Check out this post to how to set up your own blog in 5 minutes. You can also check out courses on how to blog here.
As Jim Rohn once said, “you are the average of the five people around you.” If you want more success, then surround yourself with people that are smarter, more motivated, and more successful than you are. In order to become a better networker, especially with high-profiled individuals, then you need to learn how to bring value first.
Where to learn: The best way to learn how to network is to watch how other succesful people network. In order to do this, you need to attend industry conferences, networking events, and get infront of these people in-person.
6. Speed Reading
Bill Gates has went on public to admit his biggest regret in life, which is the ability to read faster. Time is the most important and limited commodity that we have, and it’s the only commodity that we can never have back. By learning how to read faster, you can save yourself dozens of hours per year, even hundreds if you’re an avid reader.
7. Learning Faster
The ability to increase your learning speed may be the most valuable skills of all, as you can learn any skill faster. Learning faster is not always limited to your cognitive abilities, but it’s about developing a certain framework of learning. This includes modeling those who have come before you, applying the Pareto’s Law, and skill deconstruction.
Where to learn: There’s no magical formula to this skill, other than applying the framework taught by learning experts through action.
Two books I would recommend are The Art of Learning and The 4-Hour Chef.
Over to you
Which skills from this list are you most interested in learning? Is there a valuable skill that we didn’t mention that others should know? Share it in the comments below!