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Here’s How You Can Be Successful Even Though You Have No Special Skills

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Here’s How You Can Be Successful Even Though You Have No Special Skills

Since we were young, we were always taught that having special skills’ necessary to our future success.

We’re forever being sold a lie on how to prosper in life: discover what you’re best at, work hard at it, swim in an ocean of riches and happiness.

That works brilliantly if you were born the best at something, but for everyone else, it’s kind if soul-crushing. What if you don’t have any world class skills? What if you’re just ok at lots of things?

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The good news is, nearly everybody is like this, and that includes ultra-successful megastars. Very few successful people are actually the best at something. They’re usually a really effective mix of lots of things that matter.

Bill Gates is not the best programmer in the world, nor is he the world’s greatest speaker, salesperson, visionary or accountant. He’s good enough at these things though, and he’s learnt to weld his skills together into something far more valuable.

Will Smith doesn’t claim to be the world’s greatest actor or musician. But he’s coupled these skills together, combined with a charming personality, shrewd personal branding, and a die-hard work ethic. His whole is far greater than his parts.

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Most such people would have made a terrible mistake had they solely focussed on the one skill they were ‘best’ at. Steve Jobs might have become a used car salesman.

Even when your skills are mediocre, an astute combination of mediocrity can turn you into something priceless.

Say you’re a passable tennis player. You love the game, but you know you’ll never be a world champion. By itself, this skill isn’t worth much. But you learn to combine that skill with the ability to teach well. Later, you figure out how to make tuition videos, and how to promote yourself on the Internet. You won’t be the best at making videos, or online-promotion, but even mediocre skills combined are unique. You could build a thriving online business doing what you love and yet all your individual skills never advanced beyond ‘good-ish’.

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This works for any profession. An average businessperson who learns a bit of law, or body language, or programming, or design, or public speaking can assert a monumental advantage over their peers. Indeed, you might say what makes someone a great businessperson is a fusion of relevant skills, like psychology and self-discipline.

Individual skills are common. Combinations are rarer. If you want to raise your value, take a step back from your strengths, and consider building a broader combination of them.

Oliver Emberton is an entrepreneur, writer, programmer and artist who writes about life and how to make the most of it.

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Featured photo credit: Superhero kid sitting on a wall that controls the city via shutterstock.com

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Anna Chui

Anna is the Editor-in-Chief and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert and shares tips on happiness and relationships.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

How to Use Travel Time Effectively

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How to Use Travel Time Effectively

Most of us associate travel and time with what we’re going to do one we get to our destination. Planning and mapping out what to do once you arrive can certainly make for a more pleasurable vacation, but there are things you can do while you are on your way that can make it even better.

Sure, you can plan for the things you’re going to do on your vacation while you are travelling en route – but what about making use of that time for other things that you don’t usually do when you’re at home? You don’t need to have your gadgets with you to do it, and you can really connect with yourself if you take the time to manage your life while heading towards your vacation destination.

Here are some great tips to help you with your time management while you travel, some of which are more conventional than others. Nonetheless, you can find out what works best for you and apply them accordingly depending on when and how you are travelling.

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1. Take Your Time Getting There

As I write this, I’m on a flight to San Francisco. Flying is the fastest way to get from place to place, and for many people it’s really the only way to travel.

But I’ve often taken the train or ferry on trips so that I have extra time without distraction to get more done. I’m not worrying about navigation or lack of space to do what I want to do. Instead I’m able to focus on getting stuff done during the time I’ve got without feeling rushed. For example, when I took the train from Vancouver to Portland, it was an eight hour trip and I managed to get a ton of writing done and closed a lot of open loops. It also was less expensive than flying, which was a bonus.

Sometimes taking the long way to get somewhere on vacation can be the best thing for you to get somewhere with your life.

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2. Go Gadget-Free

This is going to be a tough one for a lot of you. But why do you need to bring your gadgets with you when you go on vacation? It isn’t be a bad idea to leave all but one of them behind, and only pull out that one when you absolutely need to do so. In some countries, you’d be wise to be discreet with them anyway since flaunting them in front of those that are less fortunate than you isn’t a good practice. While it may not seem like flaunting to you, in different cultures it can definitely come across that way.

If you can’t go gadget-free, then at least go Internet-free. If you use a task management app that requires syncing across your multiple devices to be effective, remember that if you only have the one device with you then it can be the “master device” for the time being and will store your data locally anyway. Just sync up when you get home.

3. Reflect and Prepare

Finally, going on any sort of excursion gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been. The fact you have removed yourself from where you usually are can give you a perspective that you simply can’t get when you’re at home. You may want to journal your thoughts during this time – and by taking more time to get to your destination you’ll have more time to dig deeper into it.

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After a period of reflection – however long that happens to be – you can then begin to not only prepare for the rest of your travels, you can prepare for the rest of what happens afterward. The reflection period is important, though. You need to really know where you’ve been in order to properly look at where you want to be. Time away from things gives you that chance.

Conclusion

Traveling isn’t always about where you’re going and how quickly you can get there. In fact, it’s rarely about that at all.

More often it’s where you’re at in your head that will dictate how much you benefit from traveling. So don’t just go somewhere fast. Instead, take your time on the way there and take the time to connect with not only where you are but who are while you’re there.

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If you do that, you’ll have a better chance to be who you want to be when you leave.

Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

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