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54 Things Everyone Needs To Know How To Do

54 Things Everyone Needs To Know How To Do

There are those quintessential skills that we can all agree every human should have, including wilderness and survival skills. However, in this day and age, there are another set of skills we should acquire in addition to basic survival skills. Don’t underestimate the importance of being prepared for an emergency. In this list you will find all the skills you need to be self reliant in our information era, as well as emergency related skills.  Here’s 54 things everyone needs to know how to do.

1. You should know how to start a fire without matches.

You never know when this might come in handy- a fire is one of the most important elements for survival for a human being- providing warmth, light, and energy.

2. You should know basic survival skills.

Should you ever be stranded in a forest or forced to survive outside, you’d want to know the best places to get water, what you can and cannot eat in the wild, where to build a makeshift bed, how to catch a fish, how to correctly cross a river, how to keep your core body temperature high… and much more. Get a survival guide and begin learning.

3. You should know how to grow your own vegetables.

Even if you live in a city, you should make an effort to learn to grow your own food- including all kinds of vegetables, herbs and fruits. It takes a lot of skill, experience and time to make these plants yield valuable output- so if you’re interested in learning this- don’t waste another minute. You might need this skill one day.

4. You should know how to swim.

If you don’t know how to swim yet, you need to seriously consider learning. There are a number of emergency situations where you might need to swim in order to survive or help someone else in the water.

5. You should know how to change a tire.

It’s possible you get a flat while on a trip one day, with no access to a car repair place; perhaps even stranded in the middle of nowhere. What if no one on this trip knew how to change the tire?  Changing a tire is something you can learn how to do in a matter of minutes that could save you lots of time and headaches on your next road trip.

6. You should know how to jump start a car.

This isn’t as easy as it seems. If you watched your parents do this in the past but never learned for yourself, now’s your chance. Don’t be unprepared when the need for it arises. It’s very useful knowledge to have, and very common to need this skill one day.

7. You should know how to code.

Not knowing how to program will soon become synonymous to being illiterate. It doesn’t seem this way yet, but this age is coming. If you don’t know how to program, you’re merely consuming the whole world around you, which is programmed. It’s important to know how to navigate this new world by being able to tell the computer what to do. If you want to start empowering yourself, here are some resources.

8. You should know how to build a website.

Another issue of basic technological literacy. Everyone should have a website- whether it’s personal or for a business. If you don’t know the basics of building a website, you have to hire someone or buy a template. You are going to benefit a great deal from learning. It’s also a great way to earn side income.

9. You should know how to think critically and question the status quo.

With all this information at our fingertips, now more than ever, we need to be able to think for ourselves, question the current way of doing things, and be critical of all forms of media, government and education.

10. You should know how to cook an egg (correctly!)

Too many people are ruining breakfast by mucking this up. C’mon people- it’s time to learn the right way of doing this. Runny or under cooked eggs are not only bad for your taste buds, but it could also increase your chances of getting salmonella.

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    11. You should know how to perform CPR.

    Do you want to save a life? 70 percent of Americans feel helpless during a cardiac emergency, and here’s another surprising statistic- the life you save is most likely the life of someone you love, because 4 out of 5 cardiac arrests occur at home.

    12. You should know how to manage your time.

    Time management is a precise art and science, and if you haven’t studied it yet, you should. Applying these principles of time management to your life can get you back precious hours you didn’t know you had, and completely eliminate much of your productivity destroying behavior.

    13. You should know how to dress properly.

    First impressions are important. Dressing to impress means being tidy, up to date on fashion, looking as professional as you can, dressing for your body, and if you’re advanced, bringing some personality into it.

    14. You should know how to approach and meet new people.

    Even if you’re an introvert, it is important to have the ability to walk up to a new person and hold a nice conversation. Meeting people is a great way to learn new things, expand your network, and gain new opportunities in life.

    15. You should know how to lift your own weight.

    If you can lift your own weight, it also means you can lift a lot of things without having to rely on someone else.  Having strength is always a handy trait to have and, in case of an emergency involving hanging off a ledge, you’ll be able to pull yourself out of trouble with ease.

    16. You should know how to remember peoples’ names.

    Most people are tired of that excuse that seems to glide off of so many people’s lips “I’m not good at remembering names…”  Let’s stop making this excuse because a person’s name is the single most important thing you can possibly remember when you meet someone new.  A good way to remember someone’s name is to say it at least twice during the conversation.

    17. You should know how to give a toast in front of lots of people.

    Public speaking is the number one fear in the world (ranking higher than the fear of death.) It’s a fear, but if you practice, it’s not that scary. Learning to say a few words in front of a large or small group is a huge asset that can be used in so many instances, professional and personal. For example, you may need to give a toast at a wedding some day. Don’t you want to be prepared and make it awesome? Go to a local Toastmasters Club meeting and try it out.

    18. You should know how to negotiate.

    Good negotiation skills can save you a ton of money. These skills can also get you that raise at your job you’ve been dreaming about. If you know how to negotiate properly, it means you’re holding all the cards and you’re prepared to battle it out.

    19. You should know how to detect a lie.

    Learning to detect when someone is lying to you seems like a sneaky thing to do, but you’d be surprised how handy it could become, especially if you’re raising children, or in charge of a huge team. It gives you the chance to consider all possibilities in a relationship. Did you know 91 percent of humans lie on a regular basis at work and at home, and you’re lied to about 2 or 3 times in a ten minute conversation? Yeah. Food for thought.

    20. You should know how to shut up and listen genuinely.

    If you learn to do this well, you will be loved and admired, and you will understand people better. It can improve relationships drastically, and ultimately make you a more compassionate person.

    21. You should know how to tell a good story.

    It sucks being the one person around the campfire who has nothing to offer, doesn’t it? Learn how to tell a good story that will have people using their imaginations again.  When the power goes out or there’s no cell phone service available, you’ll be a valuable source of entertainment to everyone.

    22. You should know how to defend yourself against single and multiple assailants.

    Why? Learning self-defense makes you more aware of your surroundings, first of all. You also stop taking physical confrontations for granted. You’re more likely able to avoid a fight effectively if you’ve learned the art of self defense in the first place.

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      23. You should know how to use a credit card correctly.

      It’s not cash…too many Americans use their credit cards irresponsibly, and in doing so, spend much more money on items than they are actually worth, pay tons of fees, and don’t have the ability to reap the many benefits of the cards. Credit card balances are supposed to be paid in full every month and they are not supposed to allow you to live beyond your means.

      24. You should know how to invest in the stock market.

      It’s not as difficult as you might think. Educate yourself! Money does grow if you know how to invest it correctly. You really have no excuse to not invest. There are a number of ways to invest by diversifying your portfolio automatically and manually through index or life cycle funds. Investing in the the stock market is not about picking stocks, as Ramit Sethi loves to point out.

      25. You should know how to speak at least one or two languages besides English.

      Did you know that 75% of the world does not speak English? That’s a lot of people you won’t be able to communicate with if you happen to be in an area where English isn’t their first language.  Expand your horizons and make an effort to communicate with the rest of the world. Start with Chinese!

      26. You should know how to make money (without a job.)

      Jobs and paychecks are not the only way to earn money. There are many entrepreneurs out there who know this, but there are just as many people who are wondering how it’s done while slaving away at jobs. There is another way, and it’s not magic, or the lottery. It’s determination, investing in your own education, and lots of sweat. And it’s definitely possible. Instead of plopping down in front of the t.v. after work, set some time aside to learns something and build up your educational and entrepreneurial skills.

      27. You should know how to manage your personal finances.

      This means knowing how to create a budget, knowing how to save money, automating your income and learning to invest and pay yourself first, before paying all your bills.

      28. You should know how to draw.

      In A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink talks about the importance of flexing our “right brain” muscles, by learning creative skills such as drawing. Learning to draw will actually improve leadership ability in a person, and enhance and develop traits like empathy, inventiveness, and big-picture thinking.

      29. You should know how to be a respectful house guest.

      You never know when you might need to accept the hospitality of another human being. Know the proper etiquette of being a house guest. A great way to do this is by inviting guests into your own home. You’ll quickly learn (the hard way) what behavior is highly questionable and disrespectful if your guest is not practicing proper etiquette.

      30. You should know how to keep your computer secure.

      With all the information security threats and identity theft these days, we all want to make sure our computer is secure, our personal data is private (as much as possible), and our firewalls are up. Do you know how to set yours up? This is basic computer literacy  and probably one of the more important things to be aware of.

      31. You should know how to navigate with a map and compass (without a GPS).

      Not to mention- learn to find the north star, learn to get your east/west bearings from the sun… what if you’re on a trip and your GPS system fails you?

      map and compass2

        32. You should know how to sew.

        Basic sewing skills- such as sewing a button back onto a coat the right way, or fixing a loose shirt sleeve- will save you a few extra trips to the shopping mall. Advanced sewing skills also improves self-confidence (the knowledge you can mend everyday items), promotes focus (because it requires physical and mental concentration), and teaches persistence (most sewing projects take a considerable amount of time.)

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        33. You should know how to travel hack.

        Once you learn this skill, you will never want to pay for a plane ticket ever again. Just type “travel hacking” into your search engine and let the fun begin.

        34. You should know how to buy a car without getting ripped off.

        If you don’t know the proper method of buying a car (especially a used car), you will get ripped off. Do you want to get ripped off? I thought so. Now go learn.

        35. You should know how to be happy.

        There is a method to this, it’s not an automatically occurring thing- people who are genuinely happy are happy despite their circumstances, not the other way around.

        36. You should know how to fix a bike flat.

        Most people like to ride bikes. Most people don’t know how to fix a bike flat. If it happens to you that you get a bike flat, and you don’t know how to fix it, you will be walking home- carrying a heavy bike. Ouch.

        37. You should know how to have a conversation with someone of any age.

        It’s a sign of true maturity and humanity when a person can hold a quality conversation with a 5 year old or a 92 year old person without flinching. You will also learn so much about life if you do this regularly.

        38. You should know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle.

        People who drive stick shift (manual transmission) cars understand their car engines better than people who drive automatic transmission vehicles. Manual transmission vehicles are more energy efficient than automatic transmission vehicles. They are also more responsive to braking and accelerating, and they are safer because of this higher level of control from the driver. A more informed and advanced driver is also a safer driver. Finally, many parts of the world drive manual transmission cars more than automatic cars, and you may need to know how to drive one at some point in your life!

        39. You should know how to back up your data.

        We accumulate so much digital data these days! In addition to being able to do some spring cleaning and organization of your data, you should have a clear system in place for regularly backing up your data- whether it’s to a cloud storage location or your own physical external hard drives. Hardware can break (and of course so can software) and having an extra copy of all your data is pretty essential these days.

        40. You should know how to say “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong.”

        You know who you are! Being able to admit your faults once in a while takes effort, practice, and a change of attitude. It can repair broken relationships, heal scars, and bring the conversation back to the important things in life.

        41. You should know how to sing or play an instrument.

        Being able to read music, appreciate all forms of music genres and make music yourself- develops your brain and enriches your life. For example, learning how to play the guitar promotes well being.

        guitar

          42. You should know how to ask for help.

          It takes guts to do this, and at some point in everyone’s life, they will need some help from somebody.

          43. You should know how the basics of how to repair a car.

          I am always amazed at how the guys from Top Gear (the original, British version) can fix a broken down car in the middle of driving through some crazy salt flats, or the desert. How useful would it be if we could all understand the basic workings of a car, diagnose the problem, and fix our own cars instead of spending hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars at the car repair shop, trying to describe the weird sound the car is making to the mechanics.

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          44. You should know how to control your temper.

          Holding onto anger, as well as letting anger control your actions usually does more harm to you than good. Learn to let the anger dissipate before reacting. Many angry emails were regrettably sent because of the inability to control our tempers and let the passion die down a bit first.

          45. You should know how to show gratitude, write a thank you note.

          If you haven’t written a thank you note yet, you need to start. For every professional (and even personal) relationship where one or both of the people have benefitted or learned something, a thank you note is in order. The habit of sending out thank you notes to people is a great way to gain respect, trust, and stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s for the person who interviewed you for a new job, a trusted mentor, an old boss, or even your own parents- a thank you note goes a very long way. It allows you to practice gratitude in your own life, and it also makes the day of another person, giving them (and you) a chance to reflect on your relationship and think of the positive outcomes of knowing one another.

          46. You should know how to parallel park.

          Although the driving tests all seem to require this skill, many people with driver’s licenses mysteriously don’t know how to do this. If you live in the city, please learn how to do this correctly without nicking the bumpers of the other cars!

          47. You should know how to write professionally.

          There are many, many reasons why you should know how to write professionally, from the basic cover letter to the customer service email. Writing professionally will allow your message to be clear and your voice to be respected, even when you’re not speaking face to face.

          48. You should know how to perform basic first aid.

          Someone you care about or even you could get hurt and when you need to disinfect and dress a wound, you’re gonna need to know how to do it right. Sometimes there’s no time to wait for the doctors.

          49. You should know how to give a compliment.

          Giving a compliment the right way means paying attention to the details, focusing on the good in others and being very specific. A generalization doesn’t go very far as a compliment. Learn to compliment others by focusing on what makes the other person truly special.

          50. You should know the correct way to respond to criticism.

          Learn this skill to avoid looking defensive, unprepared and immature. Criticism is a good thing (most of the time), and it can help you improve and develop yourself if you can learn how to take it objectively and reflect on yourself and your work.

          51. You should know how to put together a basic emergency preparedness kit.

          Better yet, don’t just know how to put one together, actually put one together and have it ready. There’s no substitute for being well prepared.

          emergency kit 3

            52. You should know how to prepare and roast a turkey or chicken.

            Or if you’re vegan- a tofurky. You’re probably going to be in charge of this at some point in your life during the holidays.

            53. You should know how to use google efficiently.

            Stop wasting precious time by using google incorrectly. Learn to be precise and use the built in tools that google already comes with. Find exactly what you need using google more efficiently and more accurately. You can learn this here.

            54. You should know how to crowd-source opinions from your facebook friends…

            Where do you think I got most of the ideas for this article?

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            Last Updated on April 6, 2020

            How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

            How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

            What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

            To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

            All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

            There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

            With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

            What follows is a list of 13 of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these tips are essential:

            1. Think Big

              From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

              “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

              There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

              Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

              Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

              Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
              Instead be ambitious.

              2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                  From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                  “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                  All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                  If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                  However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                  If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                  In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                  To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                  4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                    From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                    “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                    There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                    Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                    His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                    He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                    Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                    Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                    If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                    5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                      From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                      “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                      This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                      It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                      If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                      Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                      6. Be a Person of Action

                        From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                        “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                        Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                        Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                        When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                        You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                        All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                        Applying this to you?

                        Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                        7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                          From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                          The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                          The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                          People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                          This is key to good leadership.

                          It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                          But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                          What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                          As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                          8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                            From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                            “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                            It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                            Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                            If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                            9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                              From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                              “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                              Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                              It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                              Keep dreaming!

                              10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                  From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                  “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                  It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                  When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                  Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                  If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                  This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                  12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                    From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                    “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                    You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                    Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                    True success comes from work.

                                    You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                    Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                    13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                      From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                      “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                      In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                      If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                      It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                      Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                      Final Thoughts

                                      What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                      Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                      More Tips for Achieve Success

                                      Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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