One of the books I read this year was a book called “The Last Safe Investment” written by Bryan Franklin and Michael Ellsberg. I heard about it through Praxis, in fact, they sent me copy at the beginning of the year. A couple weeks ago, we had an online meeting with Michael Ellsberg and he talked about the ideas incorporated into the book.
Because we had this call, I've gone back through the book to refresh my mind on the matter. What I found interesting is how my outlook on life and career have developed during the program. Now, I can see how to better apply the ideas in the book to my life.
I'm not going to cover everything about the book, but there's a specific part of it that's been on my mind - super skills.
“Any skill that has a virtually guaranteed return on investment regardless of your professional circumstances. Super Skills increase your value to nearly every business, as well as the value of all your other skills.”
Super skills are “super” because they're valuable basically everywhere. Some are more difficult to acquire, some are more valuable than others, but all of them are useful and help you gain or create opportunities.
They're broken up into four categories: interpersonal, creative, technical, and physical. Lately, since life has been off, I decided to do some internal assessment and brainstorm how I can gain or improve my super skills.
I'm taking this approach: when life feels all over the place, re-center and focus at what's going on in the core. One of the biggest things I value in life is creation. That’s a bit generic, I know. But, you first have to create for others before you can create for yourself. Well, the best way to do that is to make yourself valuable. So, I'm working on my super skills.
Alright, now for the details. My strongest category is in the creative category. Skills like writing, improvisation, and design have all been strengths ever since I was little. I'm not completely concerned with this area, but I would love to improve my storytelling skills. I think it's a good tool for sales especially, but also for giving a speech or leading a lecture of some sort.
My next strongest category is the physical category. I'm very conscious of what I eat, how I function in general, and what products I use. However, I need to spend more time outside and get more exercise - even if that means finding time for daily walks.
My third strongest is the interpersonal skills. I'm shy, but I'm surprisingly very comfortable in front of an audience. Public speaking is definitely a strength of mine. I'm also someone who loves to be a sense of comfort or encouragement (in this case it's referred to as “holding paradox”). I've organized many ways to exercise my networking, leadership, and visioning skills - all of which came about from a conscious effort unlike the creative skills. I want to improve in all of these skills, but especially teaching, visioning, and selling.
Lastly, the technical skills. I've never been the “analytical” type, but I'm striving to become stronger in this area. I'm learning skills related to web development, marketing, and thinking systematically. It's new to me, but I love the challenge, I'm in awe of it, and I'm confident I'll excel after putting in time and practice.
That's where I'm at. I have ideas for improving on each skill and I'm excited to work on them.