What are some skills that I should develop before I turn 18?

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Originally answered on Quora

If there’s only ONE skill you can develop and be good at, it should be that of having a Growth Mindset.

As you grow older, life is going to get tougher (don’t let anyone tell you it’s going to be easy).

You will face many obstacles and roadblocks that will stop you from achieving from what you want to do. You will also feel dumb a lot of times.

But all that’s okay. Feeling a little dumb is fine. What isn’t is the notion that you will remain dumb on a particular topic forever.

The world is moving at an unprecedented pace. There are technologies and inventions popping up everyday from every corner of the world.

So, how do you keep up?

  • You can choose to have a fixed mindset. You will become stagnant and sooner or later someone more dynamic, agile, and growth driven will replace you.
  • Or you can develop a growth mindset. This way, you stay curious, learn, and be at the top of your food chain.

Growth mindset is a push you need to provide yourself every day so that whenever you feel you do not know about something or you can’t do it because you lack the knowledge, you take that challenge head on.

Growth mindset is an always on activity — a habit more than a skill.

Doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 38, aim to develop a growth mindset. It will benefit you your entire life.

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The Art Of Getting Good At Something

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Taking up random jobs or projects where you have no experience is under-rated. Here’s why

There is a a random project or job that sits at your desk. It doesn’t have a clear road-map, or worse yet, it doesn’t even align to your current skills. What do you do?

Most of us have a fear of taking up new things. This happens because it’s an unknown territory. From an evolutionary standpoint, this looks like a pretty good strategy.

“Don’t do scary stuff and you will not be eaten for lunch”

However, we are far more evolved to take up that bullshit, don’t you agree?

Personally, I have taken up jobs and projects with almost no idea of how I am going to take them from A to B. With zero experience, I still dived in. The fear of unknown has always made a strong effort to drag me down, but to hell with it.

Was I foolish? Maybe.

Did I fail? Yes.

Did I learn anything new? More than I asked for.

“Unknown” is a magical place where nothing magical happens. It is the same place where businesses die, organizations fail, and people die of boredom.

Don’t know how to write? Reach out to a friend who needs some writing help and tell them you are going to write for them. Better yet, write for them and show it.

Will you be amateurish? Yep.

Will you sound bad? Maybe.

Will you learn something? 100%.

Will you be ridiculed? If yes, quit the friendship.

Don’t know how to code? Take up a friend’s project who wants to get his portfolio made online.

Don’t know how to design? Reach out to a small business and help them out with social media creatives.

Don’t know how to do videos? Reach out to a business who wants to up their video game and create short videos for them.

The point is simple: If you want to get good at something, take up a project for someone and go do it. Do it even when you have no idea of you are going to do it. If you fail, you will end up learning something, and that is equally valuable.

You will not become an expert — no — but you would have started on a journey of constant learning and growth. And that is invaluable.

There are tonnes of free resources available all over the internet. There are hundreds of websites that need you to come over and learn in exchange for your attention. Give them your attention!

If anything goes wrong, trust yourself on this — “You will figure it out”.


Tell me a story of how YOU figured it out, how you learned something all on your own and defeated the “unknown” monster. Can’t wait to hear!

https://upscri.be/3b9c4d


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Show Your Idea In Action

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Source: Giphy

Recently, I was in a ⚡ discussion with one of my colleagues. We had stumbled upon a ground-breaking idea

Immediate action? Share with the management. After all, what good an idea if it rests in your head? But, after a brief thought, we decided against that.

We stopped for a moment and evaluated our past briefings. We found that whenever we communicated our ideas verbally, the idea conversion rate was incredibly low. Each person had a different opinion and question.

  • How will the idea work?
  • What will the strategy be?
  • And the crown jewel of marketing jargon — “Where’s the ROI in this?”

Then, we tried visuals. We communicated in photos, graphics, statistical graphs, and showed how the elements connected. Idea Conversion Rate went up, but now, people wondered if they were falling for the beautiful shit syndrome.

Where we wrong?

We found out that a few can understand the core of an idea when you communicate it verbally. A good part of them understand when you show it visually. But, everyone understands your idea only when you show it in action.

So what did we do? We MVP’d the shit out of it and presented it. What happened next isn’t so shocking but gives a valuable lesson.

Show your idea in action!

Where Great Ideas Die

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Source: andrewillustration

The most likely places

In a deck that took 20 hours to create

In that sticky note kept neatly at your desk

In your head

In your boss’s head

In your super boss’s head

In your department head’s head

In drafts

Across deadlines

In an unread book

In a rejected freelance gig

In meeting KPIs

In fear of failure

Don’t let them die.

https://upscri.be/3b9c4d

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Here’s How You Can Become More Productive.

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Understanding attention and prioritization are key to beating procrastination.

And it starts by understanding two very important things.


Believe it or not, but there are a million things that want your attention right now. From those autoplaying facebook videos to friends to candy crush notifications — all are in need of your attention.

Successful people — or people who can afford it — employ layers of people whose job it is to narrow the attention filter.

That is, corporate heads, political leaders, movie stars, and others whose time and attention are especially valuable have a staff of people around them who are effectively extensions of their own brains, replicating and refining the functions of the pre-frontal cortex’s attention filter.

Your attention is extremely valuable so the first step to start being productive is to manage it wisely. Your attention is a currency. Don’t go around giving it to anyone and everything.


Once you have figured out where you are going to spend your attention on, you need to break the complexities of your work down into smart tasks/goals and then prioritize stuff.

Not everything needs action in your life right away but there are certain things in immediate need of your check. These are your Most Important Tasks or MIT’s.

Understand prioritization with this:


If you have ever put oil in a car then you know what a funnel is. A funnel has a wide opening at the top and as oil runs down it.

The opening becomes smaller and smaller until the oil reaches the engine, which is the ultimate goal.

Now, your funnel has n layers from top to bottom where n are the number of tasks you have.

The top 3 layers of your funnel consist of your 3 MIT’s. Now you can’t move to the bottom of the funnel (which is your goal) until and unless you have cleared the 3 layers.

You have to have to start from the top and move to to the bottom. As they say — eat the frog first so that the rest of your day becomes less chaotic!

Techniques

If you are with me till here, I am sure you want a better control over your time. Here’s how:

2 Minute Rule


In his popular book “Getting Things Done,” David Allen outlines this technique, which is simply this: When a task arises that you know you can complete in two minutes or less, do it immediately.

“I love it,” said Christian Sutardi, cofounder of Lolabox, “because it’s not a groundbreaking rule. It’s no fancy app or software. It doesn’t even require learning or dedication, and you can start doing it today.”

Workstation Popcorn


This technique works like this: You take n number of tasks (let’s say your most important tasks or MIT’s for the day) and assign them n different locations.

These locations can be your usual work desk, your favorite coffee shop, your garden or anywhere else.

The only constraint is this: your chosen spots should be such that during the shift from one task to another, you physically move to the new spot.

You can use this time to practice your zen, take a break from your screen, and get some movement into your day. Keep your phone in your pocket, and move.

Take a break away from work for at least thirty minutes. Whatever you do, don’t go back to the same place you just left!

Pomodoro


In the pomodoro technique you choose a task and break it down into tasks of 25 minutes each.

Now that 25 minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato.

This is a really helpful technique if you use it correctly and sincerely.

The idea is this:
-You decide on the task to be done.
-Set the pomodoro timer (try not using your phone for this because it will distract you) to 25 minutes.
-Work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x.
-Take a short break of 5 minutes.
-After four pomodori, take a longer break (15–30 minutes)

You can get a lot of stuff done by using Pomodoro. Chris Winfield has written an excellent piece on it — How to Work 40 Hours in 16.7.

So what are you waiting for? Get up and get shit done.