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NOTABLE! How Do You Invest in Yourself? Non-Business Skills You Find Valuable

MTF

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Out of all the investments you can make, there's only one investment that will stay with you forever: investing in yourself.

What non-business skills do you find valuable in your everyday life? What would you like to learn/are learning because you believe it will always be a valuable skill to have?

Here are some of the skills I've developed, am working on or would like to learn (in no particular order):
  • foreign languages - it's always useful to know at least one foreign language. I'd say that the most useful languages internationally today (after English) are Spanish, French, and possibly Mandarin Chinese, and to a smaller extent (depending on where you live and what you do), German, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Arabic. If you're proficient in a foreign language, in the worst case you can always become a language instructor.
  • basic fitness knowledge - what to eat, what not to eat, how to perform basic exercises at the gym, etc. I don't think I need to explain why.
  • tennis or golf - according to this research 38% of the wealthy play tennis at least once a week. Golf is first with 51% of the rich playing it, but I prefer tennis. I think it's useful to know how to play tennis or golf because it gives you easier access to wealthy people or just provides a cool way to spend time together. Being good at some sports in general is also valuable because in the worst case you can always become a coach.
  • some kind of self-defense (krav maga for me) - no matter where you live, it's always a good idea to know how to defend yourself. Americans would probably add shooting skills here as well.
  • first aid/emergency first response - these skills save lives. Enough said.
  • growing food - even if it's just some vegetables or fruit trees in your backyard, it's good to know the basics of how to produce food.
  • some basic survival skills - not because the world is about to end, but just to know what to do in case of a natural disaster or when you get lost in the woods.
  • rock climbing - improves balance, teaches you how to move in an efficient way, strengthens your entire body. It's useful when hiking or in general climbing anything (including a ladder haha).
  • cooking skills - personally I've always found it elusive. I can cook basic stuff, but nothing sophisticated. It would be very useful to know how to cook a meal you could get in a good restaurant.
  • public speaking - even just the basics are extremely valuable to get the attention of a group of people.
  • basic psychology and people skills - it's the single most important thing you can do to improve your relationships and bring a LOT of value into your social life (simple empathy is extremely powerful).
  • writing skills - we spend so much time on the Internet today writing all kinds of things that it's extremely valuable to know how to express yourself clearly.
I'm curious how you guys invest in yourself or which skills in general you have or want to develop.
 

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Justin Gesso

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Great thread.

I agree with a lot of your items and will have some overlap here. My four cents:

People skills
Empathy, negotiation, speaking, writing, Dale Carnegie stuff. There's a lot of business overlap, but the personal aspect is big too.

Martial arts
Discipline, fitness, memorization, camaraderie...self defense

Nutrition
You have to know how to eat. Clean, healthy living is a beautiful thing.

Volunteer/mentor
Not sure if this is exactly a skill...but worth mentioning. Find someone who can benefit from your particular background and help mentor them. Incredible way to advance yourself and invest in your character. Same goes for general volunteering.
 

ZCP

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I coach sports and also spend time with scouts. Trying to give back. Nothing more rewarding than being the first to tell a child that 'they are not a special snowflake....' and have them later come back and thank me for the kick in the pants.
 
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Not sure if this is exactly a skill...but worth mentioning. Find someone who can benefit from your particular background and help mentor them. Incredible way to advance yourself and invest in your character. Same goes for general volunteering.
I coach sports and also spend time with scouts. Trying to give back. Nothing more rewarding than being the first to tell a child that 'they are not a special snowflake....' and have them later come back and thank me for the kick in the pants.
Good suggestions, definitely a good way to create more value outside of business.

Meditation.

Everything, I mean everything, starts with the six inches between your ears.

A great mentor once said to me, "If you're going to start, you may as well start at the start."
Couldn't expect a different answer from Yoda.
 

Charnell

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I would say picking up an artistic skill would be something for folks to look into.

This summer I took a ceramics class twice a week, just making plates.

It's pretty damn therapeutic.

Plus I can open up an Etsy store and sell all the shitty plates I made. The instructor thought they were good.
 
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@Charnell, interesting. Making stuff with your hands is getting rarer and rarer so its value should theoretically only rise in the future.
 

buylowsellhigh

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Nutrition
I believe eating healthy is one of the single most important investments you can make in yourself. You can work for hours on end and only get 6 hours of sleep per night but if your're eating cheetos and drinking soda all day, you're going to notice a decline in your mood, health, and just overall mental state.Plus, following a good, consistent diet is very easy and cheap to do.

Fitness
This is another investment that I believe is almost as important as nutrition. They gym only takes one hour out of your day and has HUGE benefits on your overall self-confidence and well-being.

Those two are essentials that I think everyone should have in their life.
 
G

GuestUser450

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Algorithms for me personally, mental models for dealing with life/other people.

Algorithms are pretty good/not perfect sets of steps/rules to make decisions quickly. Speed is king, especially since given time, we can rationalize ridiculous shit.
Mental models, as in the classic Munger/Bevelin view: connected multidisciplinary models that make a foundation of common sense. Everything is finite including our memory and processing power so models are just fulcrums and levers.

The idea is not to gain but to limit being really wrong.
 

Grzegorz Gołda

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Learning
People have different modes of learning and schools rarely teach how to learn or even how to find learning mode that is appropriate for you. For example, I learn best by discussing something with another person and by reading something in the background while doing something else. I have discovered it only by chance and it enabled me to learn 1000x more than before I realized it. It's a skill too, because you need to discover, tweak and maintain parameters that maximize your learning mode.
The bottom line is that it will save you tremendous amount of time and allow to acquire even more skills in future.

Programming
It's obvious that you can always work as a programmer, but there are other benefits.
For example, you can learn basics of Python and how to use code already written by others to automate many, many things. (There is a book teaching that: Automate the Boring Stuff with Python) You can write a script watching some website and alerting you when something changes. You can make any calculations. You can make computer do things for you when you sleep.
And with all the APIs available now, there is seriously so much useful information that you can extract and use to make better decisions, in business or in other areas of life.
 

Andy Black

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Interesting reading what you're all doing, and why.



For me:


Running/Weights

I was going for a run (ahem.. jog) twice a week, and the gym lifting weights twice a week. I've been doing this most of my life. I've stopped it while I incorporate Kung Fu and Kick Boxing into my routine, then I'll work out how to get running and weights back into it - well, at least running because I used to love track athletics.


Martial arts
I've recently taken up Shoalin Kung Fu, and Kick Boxing. I do Kung Fu twice a week and it's incredible - my ankles have never been this flexible in my whole life, and I've never sweat so much moving so slowly. We held "Ma Bu" (Horse Riding Stance) for 3 minutes this evening - my legs were on fire!

Also, my Shifu was taught by a 98 year old Shifu - so this is something I envisage doing for life.

Martial Arts are something me and my brother (RIP) got into in our teens, so it's my way of spending time with him because I know he'd be tickled pink that I'm doing it. I chose Kung Fu because my mother is Chinese.

I started back at Kick Boxing because my kids are doing it and I thought I'd better learn what they're doing. I'm now coaching them out in the back garden. I really like hitting the pads, and damn... but you also have to think while you're doing it.

A Kick Boxing coach I had years ago told me something I've never forgot: "Want to know the secret to learning really fast? Teach others." Which is a nice segue into...


Coaching/Teaching
For the last couple of years I've help local teenagers prepare for their leaving certificate Maths exams. It's really hard work, and I won't lie and say I don't hate having to do calculus, geometry, and trigonometry again.

The ROI on helping some kids pass their Maths is incredible though. They can get into College if they want, and the best bit is they don't then go through life thinking they're somehow lacking. The meet me thinking they can't do Maths. They leave knowing they can, and that sometimes it's just about how they've been taught.

I also do plenty of Skype calls with people who're struggling with AdWords, or getting started in business. I don't charge for these, but enjoy helping people. An unexpected benefit has been that I've started to see patterns where people get stuck, and 2 hour calls can now take 30 minutes. Again: "Teach others if you really want to understand a subject."

I've even thought I'd do some counselling type course in later years, and would love to help youngsters who've fallen through the cracks of our education systems and think they aren't good enough because they didn't get paper certificates. Grrrr... that so bugs me. Maybe one day I'll even help the Local Enterprise Offices by mentoring local business startups on marketing or something.


Forums
Ahem... I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in forums - now narrowed down to just TFLF. I don't know what it is. I like helping people? Writing teases content and ideas out of me?

I personally develop a lot when I find I write the same thing over and over, or try and tackle the same problems in many different ways. It increases the number of ways I can explain something, so that I hopefully find one that resonates with whoever I'm talking to.


Mindfulnness
It's hard to keep doing this every day, but I'm really trying to live in the moment and be aware and thankful for what I already have.
 

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H Dog

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For me I have a few things that help me stay focused and clear minded...

1) tidy and no clutter... Trust me, just go around your house - if you're feeling brave - and get rid of all of the stuff you don't need. Then anything you want to keep but don't use, put it away in storage - and keep that out of sight too. When your living area is tidy, you'll be focused on whatever you need to do. Also, make your bed every day!

2) making lists... Takes away crap from your brain, equals less stress.

3) update your calendar, again, takes stress away from your mind... The theory is if you check all your list and do everything on your calender, you do not need to worry about anything unless it comes up as new.

4) listen to classical music, this one is a biggie... Go on YouTube and put your headphones in and lay on your back, listen to each nuance of each note and marvel at the epic talent that is traveling through your ear canals to your brain. Soothing and awe inspiring.

5) steam room/ cold showers... If you're lucky enough to have a gym membership with a steam room... Hit the steam room for 15 minutes, until your heart rate starts to rise (don't do this if you have problems) and then immediately go under a cold shower... I do it every time I go to the gym and I get the best tingleling sensation in my legs ever! I immediately feel refreshed and alert!

6) smile every time you catch yourself in the mirror... Smiling has been proven to increase happiness simply by smiling, sounds like bs but I actually do this, works a treat.

7) I have more but will leave on this one, but it's one I can't stress enough of - might not be too relevant to this thread - flossing. Do this shit everyday because if you don't your breath will clear a room and your teeth will fall out and you will be the guy who people say "how can he eat a steak with one tooth?"... Also, if you haven't been to the dentist in X years, you will have a plaque build up so get those puppies cleaned and you can thank me later for having fresh breath... Don't cheap out either go somewhere expensive and get an X Ray on your teeth too. If your gums are bleeding you definitely need to go... You'll be surprised when you learn the benefits and shocked when you realise you hadn't done it sooner!!
 
G

GuestUser450

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some kind of self-defense (krav maga for me) - no matter where you live, it's always a good idea to know how to defend yourself. Americans would probably add shooting skills here as well.
When did you start krav maga?

I'm fascinated by this, but at the same time, incredibly intimidated by the investment. My daughter wants to learn bjj and shiny object syndrome+pride has me interested too.

I'm mid 30's & fit but thinking I wouldn't get as much from it now as I would've in my teens?
 

Andy Black

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When did you start krav maga?

I'm fascinated by this, but at the same time, incredibly intimidated by the investment. My daughter wants to learn bjj and shiny object syndrome+pride has me interested too.

I'm mid 30's & fit but thinking I wouldn't get as much from it now as I would've in my teens?
I'm mid 40's and reasonably fit.

I'm getting so much more out of Kung Fu and Kick Boxing than I was getting out of weight training and running.

I plan on doing them all, but if I had a choice, I'd stick with the first two.

Flexibility is so important, and us in the West just don't do enough of it.
 

raden1

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When did you start krav maga?

I'm fascinated by this, but at the same time, incredibly intimidated by the investment. My daughter wants to learn bjj and shiny object syndrome+pride has me interested too.

I'm mid 30's & fit but thinking I wouldn't get as much from it now as I would've in my teens?
I do bjj. There are plenty of people who come in there and start in there 40's and 50's. I'm 19 not sure I'm really expecting to get anything out of it. I just do it for fun.

Lifting weights/meditation/yoga also makes me feel good. Though I'm having trouble keeping consistency.
 
G

GuestUser450

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Trust me, just go around your house - if you're feeling brave - and get rid of all of the stuff you don't need.
+1
Not easy, even when the stuff has no nostalgic value. I got rid of almost all my guitars+amps, put my records in storage, sent clothes to a resale store, etc.

Never thought less stuff would have such a big effect but it does. Hard to describe - I feel less anxious. My only hold-out: books. I bought a kindle, loaded it, and still can't chuck my books. :cookoo:
 

Omega

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Tae Kwon Do Is also a good pick for martial arts.

Not sure how it measures up to Krav Maga, but I did Tae Kwon Do for 3 years and learned a lot.

My roundhouses will forever be blessed with strength, I recommend looking into it.

There are tons of different martial arts available so it's really up to you what to pick since so many are readily available.
 
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MTF

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Learning
People have different modes of learning and schools rarely teach how to learn or even how to find learning mode that is appropriate for you. For example, I learn best by discussing something with another person and by reading something in the background while doing something else. I have discovered it only by chance and it enabled me to learn 1000x more than before I realized it. It's a skill too, because you need to discover, tweak and maintain parameters that maximize your learning mode.
The bottom line is that it will save you tremendous amount of time and allow to acquire even more skills in future.
Good stuff. I personally find the best way to learn how to learn is to learn as much as you can and then apply patterns and processes of one thing to another. Things I've learned rock climbing help me with other sports or when facing my fears, learning foreign languages has helped me develop a better work ethic, and so on.

When did you start krav maga?

I'm fascinated by this, but at the same time, incredibly intimidated by the investment. My daughter wants to learn bjj and shiny object syndrome+pride has me interested too.

I'm mid 30's & fit but thinking I wouldn't get as much from it now as I would've in my teens?
I started a few months ago and I'm well past my teens (but younger than you) so don't worry about your age. As a father and an adult person you'll probably get more out of it now than in your teens. It will teach you not only how to defend yourself, but also how to avoid dangers and in general become street-smart. It will also get you in incredible shape.

Just make sure to find an instructor who's been trained by Israeli instructors and who teaches proper krav maga, not the fitness club friendly version of it.

Tae Kwon Do Is also a good pick for martial arts.

Not sure how it measures up to Krav Maga, but I did Tae Kwon Do for 3 years and learned a lot.
You can't really compare these two because taekwondo is a martial art and krav maga is a self-defense system. Krav maga is all about function over form (how to defend yourself in the most effective way even in the worst circumstances, often in a very brutal and dirty way) while most (not all of them, some are more useful than others) martial arts are more about form (movements, often completely impractical for self-defense purposes, practiced in a sterile environment) and less about function.

In the street there are no rules, so if you want to learn how to defend yourself, you shouldn't practice a martial art that has strict rules.

I trained karate for a few years when I was younger and it taught me pretty much nothing when it comes to self-defense because its focus is more on the "art" part than "martial."

I'm not saying that taekwondo or karate is worse. It depends on what you want. It's different like a sedan (form) is different than an SUV (function). You can't say that Ford Explorer is better than Honda Accord. They serve two different purposes.
 

JaxAttacks

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Good stuff. I personally find the best way to learn how to learn is to learn as much as you can and then apply patterns and processes of one thing to another. Things I've learned rock climbing help me with other sports or when facing my fears, learning foreign languages has helped me develop a better work ethic, and so on.



I started a few months ago and I'm well past my teens (but younger than you) so don't worry about your age. As a father and an adult person you'll probably get more out of it now than in your teens. It will teach you not only how to defend yourself, but also how to avoid dangers and in general become street-smart. It will also get you in incredible shape.

Just make sure to find an instructor who's been trained by Israeli instructors and who teaches proper krav maga, not the fitness club friendly version of it.



You can't really compare these two because taekwondo is a martial art and krav maga is a self-defense system. Krav maga is all about function over form (how to defend yourself in the most effective way even in the worst circumstances, often in a very brutal and dirty way) while most (not all of them, some are more useful than others) martial arts are more about form (movements, often completely impractical for self-defense purposes, practiced in a sterile environment) and less about function.

In the street there are no rules, so if you want to learn how to defend yourself, you shouldn't practice a martial art that has strict rules.

I trained karate for a few years when I was younger and it taught me pretty much nothing when it comes to self-defense because its focus is more on the "art" part than "martial."

I'm not saying that taekwondo or karate is worse. It depends on what you want. It's different like a sedan (form) is different than an SUV (function). You can't say that Ford Explorer is better than Honda Accord. They serve two different purposes.
Great explanation. I did Taekwondo growing up and I really want to learn krav maga.
 

Mattie

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Meditation.
This is just something I noticed lately. lol Self-guided meditations was something I used a lot before this year. This year I haven't used it for the simple reason, I noticed regular meditation didn't make me feel lethargic. I suppose it was something I didn't pay attention too before, but I see how much more alert and energetic I am not using some of the stuff on you tube anymore.
 

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I would say picking up an artistic skill would be something for folks to look into.
I agree with that. Picking up an artistic skill really helps you to relax... + if you are good, people think it is impressive so it helps you socially :) That is why I tried learning how to play on some instruments, like guitar and harmonica

As for other skills, for me it would be:

public speaking:
I joined Toastmaster's club in my city helped me to overcome my anxiety and improve social skills

cooking skills: and also knowledge about diet, nutrition. It helps me to save up time and makes me feel more energized (if I provide my body valuable nutritions, it is more easy for me to focus during the day.

simple programming: basic HTML, making website in Wordpress.

reading books: books like "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill and "Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins.

mindfulness: Nowadays I try to meditate at least 10-15 minutes per day. It really helped me to improve quality of my live and allowed to stay more focused

sports:
It is not a skill but I try to jog at least 30 minutes every day.

Right now I thinking about learning some martial arts (many people recommended me Krav Maga cause it is very effective). I think knowing that I am able to defend myself would improve my confidence (right now I am just having pepper in my pocket but I feel like it is not enough)
 

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marklov

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I'm mid 40's and reasonably fit.

I'm getting so much more out of Kung Fu and Kick Boxing than I was getting out of weight training and running.

I plan on doing them all, but if I had a choice, I'd stick with the first two.

Flexibility is so important, and us in the West just don't do enough of it.

I use to live beside a retirement home, the problems with joints scare
the living bejesus out of me.

I'd say your spot on being older, flexibility and joint health is much better
than deadlifitng and heavy weights.

Yoga, stretching, band work, martial arts definately a better direction
 

NVious

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Physique, we are biologically hard wired to respect low body fat, muscles and definition.

Accessories, a nice watch, nice shoes, nice hats, nice chain, nice bracelets, i.e things you wear 24/7 as opposed to shirts and clothes you may wear a few times and that's it.

Curiosity, questioning and networking....asking people about themselves, being curious about them, offering help where you can, being a good person in general

Posture

Good haircuts
 

Kak

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Meditation.

Everything, I mean everything, starts with the six inches between your ears.

A great mentor once said to me, "If you're going to start, you may as well start at the start."
So unbelievably true!

I decided recently, with zero previous musical talent, to learn to play piano for this very reason.

It is one of the few things that demands all of your attention for something relaxing and peaceful.

Golf is a fantastic example of mental game... All of the top players have a fantastic golf game, yet someone wins... Their scores vary greatly. Why? Mental game.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Great thread, marked NOTABLE and FEATURED.
 
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happiness2go

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Travel/foreign cultures.

Travel helps to break out of my daily routine. Once back home, I almost always have a refreshed mind and great new ideas.

There is a lot of wisdom in any culture built up over hundreds of generations... so yeah, a lot of value lies in learning from them.
 

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