Mighty Life List
Dec 27 2010

Esquire’s What I’ve Learned

Every month, when I get my Esquire, I flip straight to the What I’ve Learned column. It’s my version of eating dessert first. In January they do an entire What I’ve Learned issue, and these are my favorite moments of insight from this year’s issue with links to the full interviews:

“Some people understand what it is to create something special, and others are thinking what they can get out of it.” -Al Pacino

“There was an incredible power that was against me. And that power, I hope I was able to use it to do something good. Power is power. It’s energy. And if you get big, big energy, you can use that in a good way.” -Yoko Ono

“People don’t remember who the critics were.” -Robert Redford

“Running from something and running to something are the same thing.”

“There’s always going to be someone smarter, prettier, nicer. It’s better to appreciate it instead of being threatened by it or defending yourself against it.” -Mary Louise Parker

I think you ought to treat your spouse like you treat your friends. You clean your house for your friends, you make sure they’re taken care of, and a spouse comes second. I think you oughtta treat him like a friend.” -Barbara Bush

My woman is smarter than me, stronger than me, and within six months would be just fine without me. A motherfucker’s got to pay attention to his relationship.” -Esquire reader, Russell Bryan Love

“I don’t look ahead. I’m right here with you. It’s a good way to be.”

“If you’re going to have kids, there’s only one way to go. They have to know they’re th emost important things in your life, and once you’re doing that, there’s no way that you could not learn from them, because they just give you stuff constantly.” -Danny DeVito

“I don’t want to impress people I wouldn’t cross the road to talk to. I want there to be a strict door policy at my club. I want to go, “You can’t come in. You won’t like this. And I don’t want you to like it.” -Ricky Gervais

“Could you imagine people eating a painting — if they could introduce a painting into their bodies? It’s probably the artist’s dream, and we have the opportunity to do so.”

“I dedicate more than double the time most people do. Thus, at the same level of talent, I have an advantage.” -Ferran Adrià

“In the history of the earth, there’s never been more people writing. Everyone’s a writer. Everybody spends time trying to let people know who they are. Twitter.” -James L. Brooks

Dec 30 2009

100 Skills Everyone Should Master

In 2008, Esquire published 75 Skills Every Man Should Master and Popular Mechanics published a list of 100 Skills Every Man Should Know. My list was inspired by those, but it was Jason who mentioned that someone should do a list of gender neutral skills; I’ve been working on this on and off since then.

100skills

A few of the items could read as attributes, but I think they’re all acquirable skill sets. Some have links to tips and articles attached — eventually all the items will link out, but I’d like all the links to be valuable. I figured you guys would be a better resource than a search engine. If you’ve read anything recently that you think could be helpful in acquiring one of these skills, please leave the link in comments. I’ll update with links as we go, and suggestions for skills are also welcome.

Without further ado, here are my 100 Skills Everyone Should Master:

1. Set goals
2. Keep a plant alive
3. Care for a baby:
How to Hold a Newborn Baby
The Five Ss from The Happiest Baby on the Block will soothe most fussy babies
4. CPR
5. Feel confident naked
6. Interview for a job
7. Bake a birthday cake
8. Use a fire extinguisher
9. Use a compass
10. Express condolences
11. Tell a joke
12. Remember names
13. Sharpen a knife
14. Dump a poisonous friend
15. Check your oil and tires
16. Relax/Meditate
17. Apologize
18. Be polite
19. Get a good night’s sleep
20. Dress appropriately for the situation
21. Type
22. Fight fair
23. Read
24. Ask for exactly what you want
25. Trap a rat or mouse
26. Basic stretches and/or yoga poses
Yoga Sequence for the Novice (Thanks, Kelli)
27. Heimlich
28. Please a partner sexually
29. Tell your partner what you want in bed
30. Shine your shoes
31. Make your case in writing
32. Tie a scarf or tie (bowtie too):
Scarf Tying Guide (Thanks, Louise)
33. Jump a car
34. Mix a signature drink
35. Delegate
36. Make a simple meal for company
37. Give a neckrub
38. Drive a stick
39. Ride a bike
40. Swim
41. Use chopsticks
Chopstick Etiquette (Thanks, Mindy)
42. Make a new friend
43. Build something simple (ie: shelf, desk, treehouse)
44. Change a tire and put on snow chains (thanks, Toni)
45. Give a toast
46. Make a perfect egg
The Great Fried Egg Tutorial (Thanks, Tara)
47. Speak in public:
Public Speaking Made Easy
48. Improve your mood
49. Simple mending (Thanks, Maureen)
50. Travel light:
Rick Steve’s Packing Light Tips (Thanks, Sandy)
51. Steam vegetables
52. Negotiate
53. Be a good listener
54. Be alone comfortably
55. Select good produce:
List of seasonal produce generated by state and month
Locavore App for iPhone (Thanks, Samantha)
56. Maintain your weight:
The Steve Ward Diet
57. Build savings:
The Wealthy Barber isan accessible book that teaches the basics of personal finance
58. Say no/disappoint someone
59. Use a drill
60. Flexibility/equanimity in the face of the unexpected
61. Make small talk
The Rich Resonance of Small Talk by Roxanne Roberts (Thanks, Pamela)
62. Skip a rock
63. Set personal boundaries:
The Relationship Two-Step by Martha Beck
64. Organize your home
65. Deliver a eulogy:
How to Give a Eulogy
by Tom Chiarella
66. Shuffle a deck of cards
67. Dance socially
68. Know a second language
69. Win the affection of a dog or cat
70. Write a quality love letter
71. Play one card game well
72. Eat healthfully
73. Create a budget
74. Take a decent photo
75. Order the wine
76. Know what makes you happy
77. Flirt
78. Make a good first impression
79. Write a thank you note:
How to Write a Thank You Note by Leslie Harpold
80. Find a perfect gift
81. Assertiveness
82. Arriving on time
83. Make a little kid laugh
84. Kiss well
85. Make a good mix tape
86. Tie basic knots:
IWillKnot.com
87. Dress to flatter your shape
88. Build a campfire
89. Change the subject
90. Acquire or shed a habit
91. Treat a hangover:
Hangover Cures by The Morning News
92. Be a good judge of character
93. Season a cast-iron skillet
94. Give a compliment
95. Accept a compliment
96. Contribute in group situations
97. Judge yourself by your own yardstick
98. Calculate the tip:
Michelle said this in comments, and it’s what I do too: Simple trick to calculating a tip. Move the decimal over one place and double that total. So, if your bill is $100.00, it would be $10.00 x2 = $20. Or if your bill is $5.23, your tip should be .52 x2= $1.04
99. Ask for a raise (Thanks, Amber.)
100. Build a shelter

Good reader suggestions:

-Do a load of laundry
-Keep your living space clean (Thanks, Megan)
-Write legibly (Thanks, Robin)
-Choose a good mate (Thanks, Pamela)
-Ask for help (Thanks, Mavis)