Thursday, May 08, 2008

Esquire's 75 Skills Every Man Should Master


image: Leif Parsons for Esquire

First of all, that image is kinda freakin' me out.

Esquire's Tom Chiarella has posted a list of 75 skills every man should master. And not jokey skills. I want to cultivate many of them (not so much with the tying a bow-tie, and there are a few others I'll leave alone).

Some you'd expect (see Bow Tie). Others were a bit of a surprise:

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. I got run out of a job I liked once, and while it was happening, a guy stopped me in the hall. Smart guy, but prone to saying too much. I braced myself. I didn't want to hear it. I needed a white knight, and I knew it wasn't him. He just sighed and said: When nobody has your back, you gotta move your back. Then he walked away. Best advice I ever got. One sentence.

74. Know some birds. If you can't pay attention to a bird, then you can't learn from detail, you aren't likely to appreciate the beauty of evolution, and you don't have a clue how birdlike your own habits may be. You've been looking at them blindly for years now. Get a guide.

It's great that Chiarella offers some explanation with his list. Sometimes he tells you straight out how to accomplish each item "61. Cook bacon. Lay out the bacon on a rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes."

His suggestions are concise and would give anyone a well-rounded knowledge. You may not be erudite even after mastering all these skills, but you'd be an awful lot closer.

Link via Neatorama

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