9 Skills To Learn

The top performers have skills. Not just one. Multiple.

A lawyer knows law. A personal trainer knows fitness.A doctor knows medicine.

The top performers in each field might have their one core skill down. But they also have many other skills that helped get them there.

This post is about identifying those skills.

Taking Care of Your Body

Taking care of your body is arguably the most important skill because without it, you won’t be doing the others for long.

How do you take care of your body?

You use it. It doesn’t matter if you lift weights, run, do yoga, bike, or play team sports. Are you moving your body? If not, it’s an area to look into.

Taking care of your body is more than moving your body though.

It’s also making sure you’re eating high quality foods. Are you getting enough protein? Are you eating micronutrient dense food?

Recommended Resource: OnTheRegimen.com

High Energy

You take care of your body by feeding it with exercise and high-quality foods.

That will give you half the puzzle to create high energy.

You also need to guard your mental.

Cut news sources that don’t add to your life. Read books from people who have achieved enormous success (any self-help or autobiography will do). Watch documentaries. Use that energy.

High energy is a natural result of doing the things which are good for your body and mind.

Recommended Resource: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Sales

It doesn’t matter what you end up doing, there’s a high chance you’re going to communicate with others.

So it may help to make sure those people like you.

How do you get someone to like you?

You have to sell yourself.

Sales is about more than selling a product. Sales is about getting what you want.

If you want to get a raise, you’re selling yourself.

If you want to get into college, you’re selling yourself.

If you want a boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re selling yourself.

Sales are a skill everyone can (and should) learn.

Recommended Resource: How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Psychology

Our brains were not made for the modern world.

Our brains are still getting used the idea that we can see light at night. That we can travel in the air. And that we can contact any person we’ve ever spoken to with a push of a button.

One of the things our brains are not used to are understanding that we’re flawed. That we do several things that make no sense. To understand how we are flawed is tremendously important. Not just that we are flawed. But the biases we have.

Scott Adams once listed 190 biases in his book. Then he proceeded to say, “Not knowing any of these biases will probably cost you money in the future.” Psychology is more than a list of biases.

If we can understand how these biases affect us, then we can do our best to fight against them. We can watch out for them and be vigilant when they pop up.

Recommended Resource: Thinking In Bets by Annie Duke 

Negotiation

If you’re going to own your own business? You need to know how to negotiate.

If you’re going to work for someone else? You need to know how to negotiate.

If you’re going to buy anything ever? It might be helpful to know how to negotiate.

Negotiation is more than knowing how to get a good deal. It’s knowing when to walk away. It’s the ability to get your price. To be good at negotiation, it helps to have empathy (listed below). It helps to understand psychology.

But negotiation is a skill by itself.

Recommended Resource: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Habit-Formation

Why do all professions need habit-formation? Because habits help you improve at your craft. If you don’t take advantage of habits, someone else will. If you want to be good at anything, you need to make it a habit.

That doesn’t mean you have to do it every day. Joe Rogan talks about how performing comedy five days doing a week can be better than seven days a week because the extra two days lets your mind come up with new material.

But regardless, performing is a habit for him. Similarly, Rogan is in the habit of recording podcasts.

Recommended resource: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Mental Toughness

The top performers are mentally tough. They are willing to do what needs to be done, even when it sucks. That’s what it means to be mentally tough.

It’s a trait that’s becoming more and more rare as society becomes easier and easier.

And thus, it becomes more and more valuable.

Recommended Resource: 75 HARD, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Leadership

Why leadership?

You’re already leading yourself every day.

Leadership exists in a dichotomy. A good leader must be (from the resource below):

• Confident but not cocky

• Courageous but not foolhardy

• Competitive but a gracious loser

• Attentive to detail but not obsessed with them

• Strong but have endurance

Recommended Resource: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s point of view.

If you don’t have empathy, you’re going to struggle with relationships outside of profession, which will make your job much harder.

You will constantly blame other people instead of trying to understand their perspective – which will lead you to be miserable (I only know because I’ve been there!).

Overall, your quality of life will improve as your empathy for others improves.

Recommended Resource: How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Conclusion

The top performers are good at a whole bunch of stuff.

They might have one skill they are known for – but they often have several other skills they have in their back pocket. Like a magician, they are ready to pull out these skills whenever the moment calls for it.

A personal trainer needs to know how to lift weights. But he also needs to have other skills in his back pocket. Like communication. Psychology. Nutrition.

A doctor needs to have knowledge of medicine. But he also needs to be able to know how to communicate efficiently. How to touch patients appropriately.

You can’t get by in this world with just one skill.

Why?

There are too many people who will attempt to master that one skill and who will master it. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for you. Just the opposite. If you can combine that skill with some of (or all!) the attributes mentioned above, you’ll be far and away a top candidate in your specific field. You’ll field the best job offers, you’ll be the top ranked individual in your field by customers and peers, and you’ll live a happier life.

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