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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 December 18, 2020

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

Does technology have all the answers?

This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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Creating technological solutions transparently

This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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Technology as the connecting tool

Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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