Rules for Intrepid Living: Rule #2

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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.

3 thoughts on “Rules for Intrepid Living: Rule #2

  1. That’s a nice “rule” to have 🙂

    I’m currently working on learning how to make alcohol. So far I’ve made some easy spirits (my favourite being Gin and damsons) and mead. I’d like to try my hand at beer soon. It makes lovely presents and always surprises people.

    I’ve also started to identify trees to get to know my local environment better. It got a bit boring to say “This is a lovely tree” and not know what kind of tree it was.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I’ve never made spirits, but I can definitely see how that would be a handy skill to have. I think if you enjoy that then you will love brewing your own beer. It can be a little expensive to get started, but the possibilities really are endless. Plus, it’s hard to beat kicking back and relaxing with a beer you made yourself!

      I need to become a little better with tree and plant IDs myself. I’ve retained a decent amount from my Boy Scout days, but I may follow your footsteps and work on identifying more.

      It sounds like you have some excellent skills to showcase, thank you for sharing! Best of luck in all your adventures.

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