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#1 Posted by DriveupLife (1144 posts) -

I'm always trying to keep learning useful stuff that will help me out in the real world. What are some of those lesser known skills that you've always thought about giving a try, but haven't for one reason or another? Here's my top five.

1. Public Speaking. I've Done a couple speeches outside of school but I'd like to do more.

2. Handy Man work. I've never been a do it yourself kind of guy but I should know a little bit about how to make small fixes in the major rooms of a house.

3. Car repair. Just like #2, I've never been that much into cars. I know how to change my tires, but besides that I'm kind of clueless, I'd like to get better at knowing my way around my car.

4. "Soft Skills" aka humor, conversation skills, and person ability. Everyone is a little rough around the edges in some way when it comes to social skills, I'd like to smooth out some of those rough corners so I can meet more people.

5. Swimming. I'm a terrible swimmer, I've always wanted to pair up with a coach and work on the fundamentals.

So GB, what about you?

#2 Posted by mosespippy (4746 posts) -

The three that immediately come to mind are:

  • How to play an instrument
  • How to speak a foreign language
  • How to draw well

I've tried learning them all with varying degrees of success. I don't really have an environment that is conducive to learning though.

#3 Posted by Winternet (8236 posts) -

Let's just focus on one at a time, shall we? And in that case it's:

  • Make enough money to fuel my videogame lifestyle. It has not been easy.
#4 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12626 posts) -
  • Diplomacy
  • Disable Device
  • Knowledge (Arcana)
  • Move Silently
  • Hide
#5 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2652 posts) -
  • How to play an instrument (I've always been fascinated by drums and bass guitars)
  • How to speak Spanish (This is more of a problem than anything. Coming from a family that speaks the language and never bothered to teach the first American born. Also with living in California it's almost a necessity in order to get a job.)
  • How to do CPR (Drew and Vinny's recent reveal of doing this made me want to go for it. Plus you never know when it could come in handy)

That's all I got so far.

#6 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1154 posts) -

1-4) whatever skills that are necessary to get my registration
5) being able to render better. Maybe like this guy. (Seriously, my 3D skills need to get at that level, though I probably need to build a better computer capable of making that though).

#7 Edited by Funkydupe (3437 posts) -

I want to learn how to be better at drawing/sketching, like the professional concept artists do; I find that skill fucking amazing.

#8 Edited by jkz (4066 posts) -
  1. Play the violin
  2. Play the kota
  3. Get properly good at gardening; I love me some awesome gardens
  4. Play the trumpet
  5. Like seven different languages. I guess most among them Italian?

Things to aspire to, I suppose. By the by, I approve of this thread

#9 Posted by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

I'm working on figuring out how to do some of the more complicated bits of bicycle maintenance. What i'm finding is that nothing is complicated but a lot of it requires pretty specific tools to buy. I think that I would like to make a hobby of restoring old bicycles at some point. Maybe.

That's all I can think of.

#10 Edited by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

I also want to order one of these and learn how to play it. Seems simple enough. I have plenty of experience playing non-percussion instruments so should be able to pick it up fairly easily. I think the sound they make is beautiful. The one in the video is called a Hang (hung) drum. I guess they are only made independently by the guys who designed them. Much more common (cheaper) is something called a Hapi drum, which is the type I will likely invest in.

Loading Video...

#11 Posted by h0lgr (958 posts) -
  • Get higher than Diamond league in SC2. (Yes, really)
  • Making concept art on a professional level
  • Learn how to write a proper screenplay/script
  • Programming
  • What?
#12 Edited by MonetaryDread (2327 posts) -
  1. How to kill a man with my bare hands.
  2. How to dispose of a body.
  3. How to lie to the police and not get caught.
  4. How to live with the grief of committing murder.
  5. Learn how to set achievable goals for myself.
#13 Posted by donfonzie (237 posts) -

I want to learn eveything. Knowledge is boundless.

#14 Posted by believer258 (12663 posts) -

I thought this was about video game skills, so I immediately thought "I want Mabufudyne, Curaga, Levitate, some kind of invisibility spell, and something that allows to me to not sleep."

#15 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (951 posts) -

Be better at math. If you're good at math, you can fucking do anything.

#16 Posted by zFUBARz (672 posts) -

Be better at math. If you're good at math, you can fucking do anything.

except talk to girls if the majority of engineers and mathematicians are any clue.

As for my answers I dunno, I mostly just need to learn to be dedicated to things. I can do pretty much Anything well enough to get myself into trouble, but never stick with it long enough to become an expert, I suppose it's a bit like Vinny really. I just always want to know more things which means I never stick around long enough to really dedicate myself to any of them.

#17 Edited by IamTerics (502 posts) -
  • Swimming - took me a while to realize that water on my face scared me from swimming, not a fear of water
  • Another language - this seems like the most practical
  • Basic survival skills - this came from watching Survivorman constantly for a month

The rest of the skills fall into game development, like learning how to code better, learning to draw, pixel art, use a music tracker, etc. But those are all skills that I'm currently trying to learn. I rather learn to make a game then take swimming lessons or a language class.

#18 Edited by tourgen (4568 posts) -

guitar - decent progress so far, tons of fun

music theory - I want to make shitty eletronica

logistics and laws of running a small business - the gritty details

repousse and chasing silver & copper

ceramic tiling and mosaics - no scratch that, tile work suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. never again

#19 Edited by BadOrcLDR (184 posts) -

1. Math - I'm miserable at it.

2. Dancing - 'cause why the fuck not?!

3. Spanish [Language] - I'm in California, it's not necessary but its nice.

4. Spider Tolerance - 'cause I haven't any.

5. Reading Maps - FUCK Google Maps! Getting me lost in Richmond... do you want me to die, Google?!

#20 Edited by Morbid_Coffee (974 posts) -

1) Speech

2) Lockpicking

3) Bloody Mess

4) Mysterious Stranger

5) To love

#21 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6497 posts) -

1.) Turning my comic ability into a remotely marketable skill.

2.) Having anything I know or am good at be useful in any practical scenario whatsoever.

3.) Learning to cope without the aid of substances.

4.) How to truly abandon one's current situation in favor of following one's dreams.

5.) How to finally, truly, stop giving a fuck about other people's opinions.

#23 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6867 posts) -

@everyones_a_critic: The first key to not caring what other people think is having a ridiculous amount of self confidence to the point that you think everyone else can be completely ignored as you see fit.

1. Magically finding a job without the benefit of Nepotism

#24 Posted by TopSteer (702 posts) -

1. Learn German

2. Learn Japanese

3. I don't know maybe Touring Car Racing?

Aside from some other general things about life I can't really think of anything else.

#25 Posted by zFUBARz (672 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: first, solid advice

second don't bother, nepotism is what makes the world go round, you really think CEO's and lawyers and all that deserve those jobs? that there aren't more qualified people? Fuck no, they just know people. Even if you go and work your ass off schmoozing and kissing ass (think about a grad student getting work with a professor) it's still just knowing people. What matters is using that connection to make something of the situation.

#26 Posted by BigJeffrey (4947 posts) -
  1. Pokemon Master
  2. Leran howl to spel
  3. Learn Japanese
  4. Learn math
  5. I wish for 5 more wishes
#27 Posted by Stonyman65 (3006 posts) -

(in no order)

  1. I want to learn music theory (guitar theory, specifically)
  2. I want to learn about land navigation and general survival skills
  3. I want to learn about basic medical/EMT skills
  4. I want to learn about computer security and networking
  5. I want to learn about long range-precision shooting
#28 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6867 posts) -

@zfubarz: Beautiful Princess Bride avatar sir

#29 Posted by TheFreeMan (2712 posts) -

-Learn a language. Preferably French, that'd be great.

-Automobile repair.

-Handyman stuff.



man there's a lot more that I thought about, but these are the top stuff.

#30 Posted by zFUBARz (672 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: lol thanks, makes me think maybe I should have put "learn the most basic of photoshop skills" on my list.

#31 Posted by Inkerman (1492 posts) -
  1. How to speak Korean.
  2. How to programme.
  3. Get better at reading body language (like Mentalist good)
  4. Learn to get up in the morning and some self control at going to bed.
  5. How to stop procrastinating about my writing.
#32 Edited by Atlas (2558 posts) -
  1. To play the piano
  2. To speak Japanese
  3. Computer programming
  4. To draw
  5. To be OK with being me
#33 Posted by YOU_DIED (712 posts) -

I also want to order one of these and learn how to play it. Seems simple enough. I have plenty of experience playing non-percussion instruments so should be able to pick it up fairly easily. I think the sound they make is beautiful. The one in the video is called a Hang (hung) drum. I guess they are only made independently by the guys who designed them. Much more common (cheaper) is something called a Hapi drum, which is the type I will likely invest in.

Loading Video...

I might be late to the party, but this is fucking sweet. I want one now.

Loading Video...

#34 Edited by super2j (2055 posts) -

Electronics/programming (just get my foot in the door so I have the basics, i have the basics of programming, thanks highschool).

swimming (for some reason everyone I know knows except me)

piano/ basic music theory

public speaking

martial arts ( for discapline and health, and even though this is not true apparently, to learn how to defend myself)

#35 Edited by Sanity (2045 posts) -

1: Not get stressed out over stupid shit.

2: Get better at shooting offhand.

3: Survival skills, basically would love to learn to be self sufficient if i had to be.

4: Learn a different language

5: Learn how to drive a stick.

#36 Edited by SerHulse (709 posts) -
  1. Japanese
  2. Archery
  3. Piano
  4. Theoretical Physics
  5. Learn how to fly a plane

#37 Posted by jewunit (1091 posts) -

1. Microsoft Access/SQL- The programs have a lot of nooks and crannies that I just haven't had the time to learn. It would be useful to learn them for my career.

2. Programming- I don't know what kind or programming language I would want to learn, but it seems like an important skill to learn in general.

3. Spanish/Japanese- I studied Spanish for a number of years, but I have forgotten much of it over time. It would be worthwhile to re-learn it. I would ideally learn Japanese to better appreciate manga and video game translations. That interest is a bit more recreational than these other skills.

4. Nutrition/Food Discipline- I generally know what healthy eating is, but I am terrible with moderation. I need to learn what foods I can derive appropriate nutrition from and not just nosh about until I am full.

5. Pro Wrestling- I know it's silly, but I would like to take a class at a wrestling school and learn a little bit of the art. I think it would enhance my appreciation of the wrestling shows that I watch.

#38 Edited by thomasnash (640 posts) -

1: Bookbinding. I've wanted to learn to do this for years and years. It's mostly because my parents have a bunch of lovely leather-bound books. I've always had a particular fondness for their copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which is absolutely gorgeous - brown leather, gold leaf edges. I always pick it up and flick through it when I'm over there - The Dictionary of Quotations is something I like to browse through every so often anyway, but the loveliness of their copy just draws me towards it every time.
I actually got given a bookbinding kit, and a voucher to a workshop teaching bookbinding, last christmas so hopefully this will become a reality soon.

2: German (and also french. And ancient greek). This is more practical than any others I can think of. I'm hoping to start doing a PhD next year focusing on Kant and French critical theory, and one piece of advice someone gave me a while ago was that learning the original language of the texts would be useful. I was pretty good at french at one time, just after I finished my A levels, but it's withered away over the years, as my teacher warned us it would - I wish I'd listened! If I get funding then I'll probably use some of it to take lessons in both languages. As for the greek, that's more for personal fulfillment. I did Latin at school, and even though I was never that good and probably couldn't translate a passage of it, as a Literature student I've found the small knowledge I have of it to be really useful, but by the same token I feel the lack of any knowledge of ancient greek - the other half of english.

3. Gardening. I own a house now. It would be nice if I could grow some vegetables in my tiny garden, and it would also be nice to know about when plants flower and everything, so that I could have a garden in bloom most of the year around. My biggest problem is I don't have the patience for it, and I also don't have the eye for it, I too easily fall into the trap of laying things out in too regimented a fashion.

4. Programming. Since I got back into gaming a few years ago I've just felt like I'd love to have a better idea of how they are constructed. Also I have ideas for games. I did start trying to learn python recently, but didn't get very far. This is probably the one that is most out of reach for me.

5. Statistics. I can pinpoint the moment I lost interest in maths at school - and consequently was left entirely behind - and it was the double whammy of quadratic equations (everyone tells me they are very easy, but I was ill for the lesson and the teacher wasn't the sort to cover old ground) and stats coursework. I can probably live without quadratic equations, but a huge amount of political and economic discourse uses the language of statistics and relies on certain methods of interpreting data, and I sort of have to take anyone using stats at their word. i would really like to be able to get into data and form my own conclusions a bit more easily.

#39 Edited by jozzy (2053 posts) -

No-one said sex yet? Every woman that left your bed vowed that she had never been loved in such an expert manner before, or do you just not care that much about your prowess in that area?

#40 Posted by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

@you_died: That was pretty much my immediate reaction to watching the vid as well. Kinda like a steel drum but with more of a chime and gong sorta sound. :)

#41 Posted by Hamst3r (4848 posts) -


1. I want to get back into 2D animation and finally get good at it.

2. Same with 3D animation.

3. I want to get better at lock picking.

4. I want to get into building things. Making stuff with wood, cardboard, etc.

5. I want to learn how to program software.

#42 Posted by Slax (1005 posts) -

1. Lock Picking

2. Spanish/More languages than 1

3. Making the electronica music

4. Divekick

5. Double-kick pedal, because I've owned one forever and still am trash.

#43 Posted by gamefreak9 (2752 posts) -

Lock Picking,

Dancing(not because I like dancing but because I think it will help me bond with girls)

Handy man skills(like opening plugs and cutting wires)


I dno if this is a soft skill but i've been using Eviews, Stata, and Oxmetrics for my statistics recreational work and I would really like to learn R though this combined into number 4 as well, especially since it can process data more efficiently than Eview and Ox but also because its free.

#44 Edited by troll93 (449 posts) -

1. Fly a helicopter.

End of list

#45 Posted by ConfusedOwl (1012 posts) -

1. Better Social Skills and more confidence

2. Violin (I play guitar and have played a bit of piano. Want to branch out more)

3. Computer hardware knowledge

4. Drawing

5. Singing well

#46 Edited by ShaggE (7062 posts) -

1. Learn guitar (which I'm actively working on).

2. Learn to sing competently.

3. Learn music theory.

4. Learn piano (or alternatively, violin).

5. Learn basic sculpting/prop making. Every so often, I get this unbearable urge to just make something, and I have no good outlet for creation.

#47 Edited by Hunter5024 (6281 posts) -

@arbitrarywater said:

  • Diplomacy
  • Disable Device
  • Knowledge (Arcana)
  • Move Silently
  • Hide

Damn it. You beat me to it.

#48 Posted by Vexxan (4624 posts) -
  • Learn to program
  • Learn Japanese
  • Learn to play piano/keyboard
  • Learn to cook proper food
  • Learn to draw
#49 Posted by development (2941 posts) -

@arbitrarywater said:

  • Diplomacy
  • Disable Device
  • Knowledge (Arcana)
  • Move Silently
  • Hide

Damn it. You beat me to it.

Came here to post Skyrim skills. Thoroughly beaten.

#50 Edited by LackingSaint (1968 posts) -

Japanese, proper video editing, how to be a better artist, how to stop my dog being an asshole and self-discipline.