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Rule #2. Learn a unique skill. It doesn’t matter what it is or how trivial it may be. One day it will come in handy.
Folding origami. Opening a bottle with something other than a bottle opener. Making duck tape roses. Making a really good mojito. Jury rigging an arc welder from jumper cables and a few car batteries. What do these things have in common? They’re all things I’ve done over the years to help people out, make people smile, or fix a problem.
We should all try to have some unique skills in our utility belts, ready to take out when the situation calls for it. Sure, none of these skills are truly unique; lots of people know how to make an origami crane. But ask the five people closest to you whether they can do it and you may find it’s a bit more unique than you think it is. It isn’t an essential skill, you won’t save any lives with it, but imagine being in a busy restaurant and getting a child to stop crying by handing them a crane they can play with. You’ve just made dinner a little bit better for the people around you.
The point of these skills isn’t learning something that other people don’t know, or trying to show off, instead it’s about being ready for the unusual, and being ready to BE the unusual. How can we expect to lead adventurous lives if we’re not a little strange? Normal people don’t seek adventure, so make yourself a little more unusual and find your unique skill.
So what unique skills do you possess? Can you juggle, open a bottle of wine with your shoe, start a fire with a soda can, make an awesome paper airplane, or brew your own delicious beer?
Whatever unique skill you have, think about how you can put it to work for yourself and the people around you. Because sooner or later, it will come in handy.
“Rules for Intrepid Living” is an ongoing weekly article that gives potential guidelines for how we can all live a bit more of an intrepid life.