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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!

More by this author

Sean Kim

Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

Typing is a lot of fun, especially if you’re the type of person who loves to write. Whenever an idea comes to your head or you just want to communicate something, the feeling of scribbling things down in a computer is awesome.

Do you know that being able to type faster makes you more productive? In fact, it’ll save you 21 days every year just by typing faster!

Many people look up to master typists and wish that to handle a keyboard like they do. The truth is that none of them started that way, and they had to learn.

In this piece, you’ll learn how to type faster with some useful tips and techniques:

1. Work on Your Workspace and Typing Area

A lot of people believe that fast and correct typing will start when you can master the keyboard. But the truth is, you will need to begin with getting a workspace that is clean, properly ventilated, and comfortable. Also, for optimal typing, you will need to get a table and not out your laptop or computer on your lap.

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If you will be working for an extended period, make sure that you’re comfortable.

2. Fix Your Posture

If you want to type well, the correct posture will be seated, straight backed, and with your feet planted a little apart, flat on the ground. You wrists should also be positioned in such a way that your fingers can cover the keyboard. Tilt your head a bit as you can look at the screen properly as well.

Adjust your office chair so you’ll be able to easily play with the seat and get a proper posture.

3. Hold Your Posture

It is also very important that you keep this position as you type. Ensure that your posture is good, and this way, you will be able to avoid getting aches on your wrists. These aches have a way of slowing you down and keeping you out of rhythm.

Keep your back and shoulders from hunching, and while relaxation should be your key goal as you work on, also be sure to stay upright.

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4. Familiarize Yourself with the Keyboard

The keyboard is your tool here, so you will need to get to know it. Fortunately for you, most keyboards that you see will make use of the same layout; the QWERTY layout. It is called that because of the letters that make the top left corner. You’ll also find that a lot of keyboards have keys around these main ones that do several tings.

Here’s a nice video to help you familiarize yourself with the keyboard:

So, work on memorizing the positions of the letter keys, as well as some of the most used punctuation marks. You will need to understand where they are without looking at the keyboard. This is the only way you can learn to type fast.

5. Close Your Eyes and Say the Keys out Loud as You Press Them

Another great way to get to know the positions of these letters is to look away from them and directly at the screen. Then, pronounce the keys as you press them and see if you’re correct. This step will go a long way in helping you to memorize the keys, and it can easily help you

6. Start Slowly with Touch-Typing

Improving your speed as you type is a matter of developing your skill over time. However, the quickest way to master typing will be touch typing. If this is your first time with touch typing, then you might spend a lot of time on this step. However, once you can type without looking at the keys, your speed will increase.

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Now, this typing method might feel a bit alien, but you’ll improve with time.

7. Stick with It and Don’t Look at Your Hands

The whole essence of this step is to keep you from looking at your keyboard as you type, so that your fingers are made to learn how the keys work.

Again, you might find that your speed reduces when you begin, but just stick to it. Touch typing will help you to reach higher speeds and master it.

8. Practice, Practice, Practice

Mastering the touch typing technique will prove to be a bit finicky, but once your posture is up and you get your fingers where they should be, you can only improve by practicing.

Spare some time on a daily basis to practice and master both accuracy and speed. With continuous practice, you will also notice that you make fewer errors with time.

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9. Check out Some Online Games

There are also some websites that can help you with your practicing. They score you and record your words per minute, so you can try improving your record and competing with others as well. Here’re some of the nice sites:

10. Dictation Practice

If you don’t know what you can type, another alternative to getting good practice is to listen to something and try to type as you hear the words. There is no limit to the kind of things you can type, and you can even make the practice process more fun. So, get an e-book, an online lecture, or listen to a talk show and type. You could watch a TV show as well.

11. Monitor Your Progress

Ensure that you keep track of the progress you make as you go on. But it is important that you don’t get obsessed with how many words you are able to type in a minute. Rather, ensure that you stay comfortable while you type. With time, your words per minute will increase, and you’ll be able to clock up some high numbers.

12. Get Some Formal Training If You Want

There are actually a lot of specially designed courses and programs that will boost your typing ability. If you’re willing to improve your skill, get any of these and see how well they work for you:

Don’t just finish reading this article and expect that you’ll type faster. You do need to work on your skills. It takes time to type fast but, practice makes perfect!

More Tips About Typing Faster

Featured photo credit: Cytonn Photography via unsplash.com

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