1. What Are The Most Useful Skills to Develop in 2020?

– In habit research, there are certain activities that are known as „HIGH PERFORMANCE keystone habits.“ Keystone habits are habits that make it easier to develop other healthy habits. The most common example is physical exercise.When you exercise, it increases energy, improves mood and executive function, and reduces cravings, making it easier to make good decisions and develop other habits.

I’ve written quite a bit in previous years about the importance of pursuing HABITS THAN GOALS (e.g. try to shift from having the perfect RESUMEE into having the perfect LIFESTYLE). But today, I actually want to talk about the habit’s close cousin: skills.

Some skills are pretty fucking useless.

But some skills make other skills much easier to adopt and develop. In that sense, they are keystone skills. Last week I talked about the importance of „learning to learn better“ in the coming year. Well, keystone skills are key to that endeavor. They are the skills that help you learn other skills. Therefore, they are the conduit to our ability to learn how to learn. If keystone skills accelerate the adoption of other skills, then that means keystone skills are the most useful areas to focus our attention and energy.

Obviously, there are likely a bunch of keystone skills. But since everything in this newsletter comes in threes, here I’ll discuss three of the more obvious ones.

The first one? Reading. The better reader you become, the more you’re able to read to gain knowledge and insights into other skills. Learning to read faster and retain more also prepares you by creating a foundation of knowledge that will follow you in whatever you pursue.

Another keystone skill is resonating communication. Developing good conversational habits, personal charisma, social confidence, and the ability to tell a story well will help you in every area of your life—in business, relationships, parenting, negotiation, and especially when you’re trying to impress that hottie at the local donut shop.

Another keystone skill is the ability to take controlled risks—that is, the skill to act in the face of fear of failure. The more you’re willing to take risks (intelligent risks, that is), the bigger wins you’ll score—but you’ll also accumulate more failures to learn from. So while everyone else is nervously standing around the dance floor, waiting for the music to play, you’ll be moonwalking to your own tune.

The importance of these skills—conversation skills, overcoming anxiety, etc.—are exactly why I created in the past courses and workshops around each of these keystone skills.

But there’s perhaps an even more fundamental skill and piece of knowledge that we each need to even begin on the keystone skills: and that’s knowing what we want out of our life.

2) Furthermore we must learn to be ruthless in choosing to whom we give our time and attention. Quantity of experience is definitely not quality of experience. The more we’re exposed to negative experiences, the more the Negativity Bias kicks in and causes us to lose hope. And the platforms we use (Facebook, Twitter, Google, et al.) certainly play a role in our perception of everyone sucking. Negativity triggers more reactions, therefore it spreads further and easier, giving us a skewed perception of the world and everyone in it.

News media, of course, has been guilty of fostering this same misperception long before we had even heard of a modem, much less an internet. But I’ll be giving news media the full, thorough treatment it deserves in an article either next week or the week after.

Marco Giannecchini