9 Reasons to Master a New Skill

“In a fast-moving, competitive world, being able to learn new skills is one of the keys to success," says Heidi Grant Halvorson, psychologist and author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently. "It’s not enough to be smart — you need to always be getting smarter."
Point well made. However, the benefits of learning a new skill won't just show up in your career. Boosted confidence, willingness to experiment, and the know-how to fix a bike means you can pretty much be an all round, can't-stop, boss-ass bitchThis summer, take up a new skill and reap the many benefits. Pass it on. Zeal for learning is contagious.  
Be more employable
Multi-talented people with a variety of skills across the map can be more versatile in the workplace. Even if your skill seems totally unrelated to your gig, your passion will make you stand out, and there's likely a way your skill will translate – whether it's communicating with your co-workers, writing well-crafted emails, or being able to fix the dishwasher. 
Get more confident
The more you can prove to yourself that you're super smart / quick / can conquer something you put your mind to, the more confident you'll feel about your ability to conquer everything else. 
Be more self-sufficient
Being able to do more handy stuff, and do it well, enables you to live a more independent life. It also means you can help others, too. Want to really let a friend know you love 'em? Offer to repair their bike this spring, hem a pair of their pants, or deliver a batch of vegan muffins on a Sunday night. How's that for an offering of gratitude? 
Get to know yourself better
Picking up a new skill can lead you to discover capabilities, talents and interests you didn't know you had. We're all multi-faceted people, with interests all over the map. Let one of them lead you down its path and see where it takes you. 
Constantly improving
People who are always working toward mastering a new skill are always expanding the boundaries of what's possible for them. So, you may have thought becoming bilingual in French was totally absurd – until after you do it. It's just a matter of putting your mind to it. 
Down with boredom
Ever heard that quote, "if you're bored, you're boring?" Constantly learning new skills leaves little time for boredom. When you're interested in something, you're more interesting to other people. That's a pretty sweet bonus. 
Be experimental
"Finding your direction in life" isn't something you ever do once then it's done. Experimenting with new directions keeps your life feeling fresh – even if you keep the same job for ever. Being able to constantly incorporate skills into it lets you grow and change your career, even if nothing around you does. 
Get happy
Wise words from postive-thinking author Norman Vincent Peale: “Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the fire of enthusiasm." Keep your enthusiasm up and you'll stay stoked for life. Mastering new skills can totally help with that. 
Break out of the box
When life feels stale and narrow and like there's no room to grow or change, you always have the power to make your life whatever you want, by learning whatever you want. Sure, you might be trapped in a crap 9 – 5 job, but what's stopping you from starting an Etsy business on the side? Or writing a book? Or taking a college course to get certified in travel agency operations? You can always do whatever you want. The only limit is your brain.  

Tags: 29daysofhope, career, education, hobbies, learning, self help, skills, smarts

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