Your Most Important Skill

What’s your best skill? Are you the life of the party? Can you make people laugh? Perhaps you’re exceptionally good at math or have a knack for design. When it comes to our main feature, there are almost as many answers as there are people on the planet.

Your most important skill, however, is simple, and I daresay it’s the same for every single one of us. If I asked 100 adults what they think it is, I bet I’d get a lot of different answers. “Our ability to speak, to communicate,” someone might say. “Thinking! Without thinking, civilization would never developed,” another might suggest. “The ability to create! To make things.” And so on. What do you think?

Actually, you learned your most important skill before you could do any of these arguably significant things. It was around the time you were one year old. Before you could think consciously, speak your mind, or create anything with your hands, you learned something much easier yet also more fundamental: putting one foot in front of the other. You learned how to walk.

In more than one way, that’s what you’ve been doing ever since. Not always with your feet, of course. But if you think about it, it really doesn’t matter how long your to-do list is 40 years later. Every morning, you wake up, and you keep doing one thing at a time. It’s the only way to move through life, but it’s also the best thing we do.

When life is tough, things aren’t going well, and you don’t want to get out of bed, keep walking. When life is great, money is raining from the sky, and everything magically falls into your lap, keep walking. And when life is so-so, not too exciting but also not too sad, just the humdrum hum of everyday, keep walking.

You’ve had everything you need to find everything you need since you were ten months old. Keep taking those same baby steps you’ve been taking since back then, and the path will always continue to unfold.