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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Skills That I Admire (most of which I don't have)

There are certain skills and abilities that I find very noteworthy. Now I don't have most of these things, which may be why in fact I admire them so much. Not in any kind of order....

1. Ability To Play A Musical Instrument
Look, I know that musical aptitude doesn't necessarily equate to mental aptitude, but gosh, some of the brightest people I've ever met (or heard of) also had the ability to "play". I'm not on this list...I have zero musical aptitude, although (as I've mentioned before) I have a perfectly good Yamaha acoustic guitar sitting about six feet from me, just waiting to be played. Maybe I'll get around to those lessons next year.

2. Ability To Speak Another Language
I am fascinated by the ability to speak fluently in another language, which is another skill I don't have. Yes, I can string a sentence or two together in German, and yes, I can pick out about every 15th word of the lady speaking Spanish in front of me at the supermarket, but no, I have no real skill in this arena. That's not likely to ever change, but if I could learn just one language well, what would it be? Italian, by far and away. It's just such a cool sounding language.

3. Ability To Speak In Public
Finally, a skill that I actually do have. Part of my job requires this, so I'm actually (I think) very comfortable speaking in front of a it 5 people of 500. Do I consider this to be a skill? That's actually rather to tough to answer, because all of us, outside of those with a physical impairment, can in fact speak. The "in front of a group" part isn't as much as skill as it is a state of mind I suppose. Yes, there are technical aspects of this...for example, I know how to avoid distracters (the "hmmm" and "ahhhhh" you hear some people utter)...but I personally think that this can be taught to anyone. What speaking in public comes down to is this: GUTS. You simply need to have the guts to pull it off. To be very crude for a moment, obscene comic Andrew "Dice" Clay once nailed it when he said " this world you just need f&^king balls". He is 1000% correct.

4. Ability To Paint/Draw
This is highly opinionated, in the sense that what I consider to be "art" may not strike the fancy of someone else. For example, I love paitings done in the "American Primative" style, but I can see where someone else might find that cheesy. Anyway, I will confess to doodling every now and then, although not too well.

5. Ability To Sell
I am not a salesman, and truth be told, I don't like being sold to. However, I do admire people that can actually do this well, and I'm talking about people who work in car dealerships either. The most successful "sellers", in my opinion, are high profile politicians. Think about it: over 50% of the voters in this country selected Barack Obama for President. Why? He was clearly less experienced than his chief opponent, but he was better at SELLING his vision to voters.

6. Ability To Build/Repair Plumbing
I have tremendous respect for people who are engaged in the "trades". For example, I think that someone who lays bricks for a living can truely create something that is beautiful. For me, I most admire plumbers. I know, that sounds cheesy, but as someone who does have some aptitude when it comes to electical work (I wired our attic), I can't figure out plumbing. I wish I could.

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