I was recently updating my bio on LinkedIn when I stopped to review my Skills & Endorsements list. Mostly my friends and colleagues created this compilation of abilities, but I add a couple now and then when I feel I am proficient at a specific task. The skills tend to be on the professional side, but I am considering adding a few comical ones, like critter fishin’, just for the heck of it.
You need skills in life. You can’t just walk into a job interview without certain skills. Imagine trying to get a position as a structural engineer without decent math and science skills. Your experience and aptitude in Physics and Calculus are very important. You can’t expect to get the job because you enjoy playing with Lego or know how to make the perfect soufflé. Don’t get me wrong, baking a soufflé can be challenging, but just like Napoleon Dynamite demonstrates how to get a girl, your skills need to be appropriate for the job at hand.
OK, so you need skills, but where do you get them? Well, you can acquire skills through training, like taking a class at school or working under a mentor. After I graduated high school, I went on to college to become a Zoologist. I studied courses like Biology, Chemistry, and Wildlife Management. I learned about animal identification, physiology, and behavior. I also learned that when you work with animals, you are bound to get dirty and smelly. Actually, I knew that before I went to college; I just had the opportunity to get more experience in the subject.
Now, you don’t have to go to an institution of higher learning to receive skills. You have many right now. Everybody has skills. It doesn’t matter if you are an Olympic athlete, company president, or kindergartner. We learn skills from the day we are born. Every skill you acquire defines you, even though we discount some basic ones like chewing solid food. Other skills you might take for granted are reading, writing, and even riding a bike.
I started acquiring my artistic skills at a very early age. I loved to watch Bob Ross in his show The Joy of Painting. Bob had more than superior afro growing skills. He used his clunky brushes to create happy little clouds, mountains, and trees. He taught his wet-on-wet oil painting technique with a “you can do it” attitude that never failed at making me feel better about myself. It wasn’t long before I started doodling and painting things I saw in nature, since I spent so much time outside.
The funny thing about skills is that they come in handy when you least expect them. If you ever took a First Aid course, you know what I mean. Yeah, you sit through class learning how to stop bleeding by applying pressure to a wound, or give someone CPR, but you hope you never have to use those skills. It’s only during an accident that your training kicks in and you have your arsenal of skills to help you.
Other skills are like that too. You could be talented at music, gardening, or just a good listener. Your skills can come in handy even though you don’t think they’re of much use. Businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison, initiated International Good Deeds Day. This global annual tradition of good, calls everyone to come out together and give of themselves for the benefit of others and the planet. Shari said, “Every person – with his or her own skills, abilities and uniqueness – can contribute to others and bring great joy to those that fortune has not smiled upon.”
Think about it; a skill you have, someone else doesn’t. You could use those skills to make their life better. You might not know Kung Fu, but you’ve got some mad skills! All you have to do is use them, share them, and make a better world with them. You can use your skills on the next Good Deeds Day, which is April 2, 2017. Even better, start today and use your mad skills to make someone happy. I know you have it in you. You can do it.
Bob Ross image courtesy of Haiden Goggin, via Creative Commons, some rights reserved.