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7 Skills You Must Learn to Reach Your Full Potential (And Where to Learn Them)

7 Skills You Must Learn to Reach Your Full Potential (And Where to Learn Them)

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.

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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.

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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.

4. Blogging

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.

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5. Networking

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.

Where to Learn: You can take a free speed reading course online, or you can use technology such as Spritz to increase your speed.

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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!

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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