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54 Things Everyone Needs To

Know How To Do

Jesicka Labud
Jesicka Labud is co-founder and editor at Two Non-Techies, Empowering Non-Techies
to Learn to Code and Build Awesome Start-ups. Full Bio
There are those quintessential skills that we can all agree every human
should have, including wilderness and survival skills. However, in this
day and age, there are another set of skills we should acquire in addition
to basic survival skills. Don’t underestimate the importance of being
prepared for an emergency. In this list you will find all the skills you
need to be self reliant in our information era, as well as emergency
related skills. Here’s 54 things everyone needs to know how to do.

1. You should know how to start a fire without


matches.
You never know when this might come in handy- a fire is one of the most
important elements for survival for a human being- providing warmth,
light, and energy.

2. You should know basic survival skills.


Should you ever be stranded in a forest or forced to survive outside,
you’d want to know the best places to get water, what you can and cannot
eat in the wild, where to build a makeshift bed, how to catch a fish, how
to correctly cross a river, how to keep your core body temperature high…
and much more. Get a survival guide and begin learning.

3. You should know how to grow your own


vegetables.
Even if you live in a city, you should make an effort to learn to grow your
own food- including all kinds of vegetables, herbs and fruits. It takes a lot
of skill, experience and time to make these plants yield valuable output-
so if you’re interested in learning this- don’t waste another minute. You
might need this skill one day.
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4. You should know how to swim.


If you don’t know how to swim yet, you need to seriously consider
learning. There are a number of emergency situations where you might
need to swim in order to survive or help someone else in the water.

5. You should know how to change a tire.


It’s possible you get a flat while on a trip one day, with no access to a car
repair place; perhaps even stranded in the middle of nowhere. What if no
one on this trip knew how to change the tire? Changing a tire is
something you can learn how to do in a matter of minutes that could save
you lots of time and headaches on your next road trip.

6. You should know how to jump start a car.


This isn’t as easy as it seems. If you watched your parents do this in the
past but never learned for yourself, now’s your chance. Don’t be
unprepared when the need for it arises. It’s very useful knowledge to
have, and very common to need this skill one day.

7. You should know how to code.


Not knowing how to program will soon become synonymous to being
illiterate. It doesn’t seem this way yet, but this age is coming. If you don’t
know how to program, you’re merely consuming the whole world around
you, which is programmed. It’s important to know how to navigate this
new world by being able to tell the computer what to do. If you want to
start empowering yourself, here are some resources.
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8. You should know how to build a website.


Another issue of basic technological literacy. Everyone should have a
website- whether it’s personal or for a business. If you don’t know the
basics of building a website, you have to hire someone or buy a template.
You are going to benefit a great deal from learning. It’s also a great way
to earn side income.
9. You should know how to think critically and
question the status quo.
With all this information at our fingertips, now more than ever, we need
to be able to think for ourselves, question the current way of doing
things, and be critical of all forms of media, government and education.

10. You should know how to cook an egg


(correctly!)
Too many people are ruining breakfast by mucking this up. C’mon
people- it’s time to learn the right way of doing this. Runny or under
cooked eggs are not only bad for your taste buds, but it could also
increase your chances of getting salmonella.

11. You should know how to perform CPR.


Do you want to save a life? 70 percent of Americans feel helpless during a
cardiac emergency, and here’s another surprising statistic- the life you
save is most likely the life of someone you love, because 4 out of 5 cardiac
arrests occur at home.

12. You should know how to manage your time.


Time management is a precise art and science, and if you haven’t studied
it yet, you should. Applying these principles of time management to your
life can get you back precious hours you didn’t know you had, and
completely eliminate much of your productivity destroying behavior.
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13. You should know how to dress properly.


First impressions are important. Dressing to impress means being tidy,
up to date on fashion, looking as professional as you can, dressing for
your body, and if you’re advanced, bringing some personality into it.
14. You should know how to approach and meet
new people.
Even if you’re an introvert, it is important to have the ability to walk up
to a new person and hold a nice conversation. Meeting people is a great
way to learn new things, expand your network, and gain new
opportunities in life.

15. You should know how to lift your own weight.


If you can lift your own weight, it also means you can lift a lot of things
without having to rely on someone else. Having strength is always a
handy trait to have and, in case of an emergency involving hanging off a
ledge, you’ll be able to pull yourself out of trouble with ease.

16. You should know how to remember peoples’


names.
Most people are tired of that excuse that seems to glide off of so many
people’s lips “I’m not good at remembering names…” Let’s stop making
this excuse because a person’s name is the single most important thing
you can possibly remember when you meet someone new. A good way to
remember someone’s name is to say it at least twice during the
conversation.
17. You should know how to give a toast in front of
lots of people.
Public speaking is the number one fear in the world (ranking higher than
the fear of death.) It’s a fear, but if you practice, it’s not that scary.
Learning to say a few words in front of a large or small group is a huge
asset that can be used in so many instances, professional and personal.
For example, you may need to give a toast at a wedding some day. Don’t
you want to be prepared and make it awesome? Go to a local
Toastmasters Club meeting and try it out.
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18. You should know how to negotiate.


Good negotiation skills can save you a ton of money. These skills can also
get you that raise at your job you’ve been dreaming about. If you know
how to negotiate properly, it means you’re holding all the cards and
you’re prepared to battle it out.

19. You should know how to detect a lie.


Learning to detect when someone is lying to you seems like a sneaky
thing to do, but you’d be surprised how handy it could become, especially
if you’re raising children, or in charge of a huge team. It gives you the
chance to consider all possibilities in a relationship. Did you know 91
percent of humans lie on a regular basis at work and at home, and you’re
lied to about 2 or 3 times in a ten minute conversation? Yeah. Food for
thought.

20. You should know how to shut up and listen


genuinely.
If you learn to do this well, you will be loved and admired, and you will
understand people better. It can improve relationships drastically, and
ultimately make you a more compassionate person.

21. You should know how to tell a good story.


It sucks being the one person around the campfire who has nothing to
offer, doesn’t it? Learn how to tell a good story that will have people
using their imaginations again. When the power goes out or there’s no
cell phone service available, you’ll be a valuable source of entertainment
to everyone.
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22. You should know how to defend yourself against


single and multiple assailants.
Why? Learning self-defense makes you more aware of your
surroundings, first of all. You also stop taking physical confrontations for
granted. You’re more likely able to avoid a fight effectively if you’ve
learned the art of self defense in the first place.
23. You should know how to use a credit card
correctly.
It’s not cash…too many Americans use their credit cards irresponsibly,
and in doing so, spend much more money on items than they are actually
worth, pay tons of fees, and don’t have the ability to reap the many
benefits of the cards. Credit card balances are supposed to be paid in full
every month and they are not supposed to allow you to live beyond your
means.
24. You should know how to invest in the stock
market.
It’s not as difficult as you might think. Educate yourself! Money does
grow if you know how to invest it correctly. You really have no excuse to
not invest. There are a number of ways to invest by diversifying your
portfolio automatically and manually through index or life cycle funds.
Investing in the the stock market is not about picking stocks, as Ramit
Sethi loves to point out.

25. You should know how to speak at least one or


two languages besides English.
Did you know that 75% of the world does not speak English? That’s a lot
of people you won’t be able to communicate with if you happen to be in
an area where English isn’t their first language. Expand your horizons
and make an effort to communicate with the rest of the world. Start
with Chinese!
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26. You should know how to make money (without


a job.)
Jobs and paychecks are not the only way to earn money. There are many
entrepreneurs out there who know this, but there are just as many people
who are wondering how it’s done while slaving away at jobs. There is
another way, and it’s not magic, or the lottery. It’s determination,
investing in your own education, and lots of sweat. And it’s definitely
possible. Instead of plopping down in front of the t.v. after work, set
some time aside to learns something and build up your educational and
entrepreneurial skills.

27. You should know how to manage your personal


finances.
This means knowing how to create a budget, knowing how to save
money, automating your income and learning to invest and pay yourself
first, before paying all your bills.

28. You should know how to draw.


In A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink talks about the importance of flexing
our “right brain” muscles, by learning creative skills such as drawing.
Learning to draw will actually improve leadership ability in a person, and
enhance and develop traits like empathy, inventiveness, and big-picture
thinking.

29. You should know how to be a respectful house


guest.
You never know when you might need to accept the hospitality of
another human being. Know the proper etiquette of being a house guest.
A great way to do this is by inviting guests into your own home. You’ll
quickly learn (the hard way) what behavior is highly questionable and
disrespectful if your guest is not practicing proper etiquette.
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30. You should know how to keep your computer


secure.
With all the information security threats and identity theft these days, we
all want to make sure our computer is secure, our personal data is
private (as much as possible), and our firewalls are up. Do you know how
to set yours up? This is basic computer literacy and probably one of the
more important things to be aware of.

31. You should know how to navigate with a map


and compass (without a GPS).
Not to mention- learn to find the north star, learn to get your east/west
bearings from the sun… what if you’re on a trip and your GPS system
fails you?

32. You should know how to sew.


Basic sewing skills- such as sewing a button back onto a coat the right
way, or fixing a loose shirt sleeve- will save you a few extra trips to the
shopping mall. Advanced sewing skills also improves self-confidence (the
knowledge you can mend everyday items), promotes focus (because it
requires physical and mental concentration), and teaches persistence
(most sewing projects take a considerable amount of time.)
33. You should know how to travel hack.
Once you learn this skill, you will never want to pay for a plane ticket
ever again. Just type “travel hacking” into your search engine and let the
fun begin.

34. You should know how to buy a car without


getting ripped off.
If you don’t know the proper method of buying a car (especially a used
car), you will get ripped off. Do you want to get ripped off? I thought so.
Now go learn.
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35. You should know how to be happy.


There is a method to this, it’s not an automatically occurring thing-
people who are genuinely happy are happy despite their circumstances,
not the other way around.

36. You should know how to fix a bike flat.


Most people like to ride bikes. Most people don’t know how to fix a bike
flat. If it happens to you that you get a bike flat, and you don’t know how
to fix it, you will be walking home- carrying a heavy bike. Ouch.
37. You should know how to have a conversation
with someone of any age.
It’s a sign of true maturity and humanity when a person can hold a
quality conversation with a 5 year old or a 92 year old person without
flinching. You will also learn so much about life if you do this regularly.

38. You should know how to drive a manual


transmission vehicle.
People who drive stick shift (manual transmission) cars understand their
car engines better than people who drive automatic transmission
vehicles. Manual transmission vehicles are more energy efficient than
automatic transmission vehicles. They are also more responsive to
braking and accelerating, and they are safer because of this higher level
of control from the driver. A more informed and advanced driver is also a
safer driver. Finally, many parts of the world drive manual transmission
cars more than automatic cars, and you may need to know how to drive
one at some point in your life!
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39. You should know how to back up your data.


We accumulate so much digital data these days! In addition to being able
to do some spring cleaning and organization of your data, you should
have a clear system in place for regularly backing up your data- whether
it’s to a cloud storage location or your own physical external hard drives.
Hardware can break (and of course so can software) and having an extra
copy of all your data is pretty essential these days.

40. You should know how to say “I’m sorry” and “I


was wrong.”
You know who you are! Being able to admit your faults once in a while
takes effort, practice, and a change of attitude. It can repair broken
relationships, heal scars, and bring the conversation back to the
important things in life.

41. You should know how to sing or play an


instrument.
Being able to read music, appreciate all forms of music genres and make
music yourself- develops your brain and enriches your life. For example,
learning how to play the guitar promotes well being.

42. You should know how to ask for help.


It takes guts to do this, and at some point in everyone’s life, they will
need some help from somebody.

43. You should know how the basics of how to


repair a car.
I am always amazed at how the guys from Top Gear (the original, British
version) can fix a broken down car in the middle of driving through some
crazy salt flats, or the desert. How useful would it be if we could all
understand the basic workings of a car, diagnose the problem, and fix
our own cars instead of spending hundreds (sometimes thousands) of
dollars at the car repair shop, trying to describe the weird sound the car
is making to the mechanics.
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44. You should know how to control your temper.


Holding onto anger, as well as letting anger control your actions usually
does more harm to you than good. Learn to let the anger dissipate before
reacting. Many angry emails were regrettably sent because of the
inability to control our tempers and let the passion die down a bit first.

45. You should know how to show gratitude, write a


thank you note.
If you haven’t written a thank you note yet, you need to start. For every
professional (and even personal) relationship where one or both of the
people have benefitted or learned something, a thank you note is in
order. The habit of sending out thank you notes to people is a great way
to gain respect, trust, and stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s for the
person who interviewed you for a new job, a trusted mentor, an old boss,
or even your own parents- a thank you note goes a very long way. It
allows you to practice gratitude in your own life, and it also makes the
day of another person, giving them (and you) a chance to reflect on your
relationship and think of the positive outcomes of knowing one another.

46. You should know how to parallel park.


Although the driving tests all seem to require this skill, many people with
driver’s licenses mysteriously don’t know how to do this. If you live in the
city, please learn how to do this correctly without nicking the bumpers of
the other cars!
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47. You should know how to write professionally.


There are many, many reasons why you should know how to write
professionally, from the basic cover letter to the customer service email.
Writing professionally will allow your message to be clear and your voice
to be respected, even when you’re not speaking face to face.

48. You should know how to perform basic first aid.


Someone you care about or even you could get hurt and when you need
to disinfect and dress a wound, you’re gonna need to know how to do it
right. Sometimes there’s no time to wait for the doctors.

49. You should know how to give a compliment.


Giving a compliment the right way means paying attention to the details,
focusing on the good in others and being very specific. A generalization
doesn’t go very far as a compliment. Learn to compliment others by
focusing on what makes the other person truly special.

50. You should know the correct way to respond to


criticism.
Learn this skill to avoid looking defensive, unprepared and immature.
Criticism is a good thing (most of the time), and it can help you improve
and develop yourself if you can learn how to take it objectively and reflect
on yourself and your work.

51. You should know how to put together a basic


emergency preparedness kit.
Better yet, don’t just know how to put one together, actually put one
together and have it ready. There’s no substitute for being well prepared.
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52. You should know how to prepare and roast a


turkey or chicken.
Or if you’re vegan- a tofurky. You’re probably going to be in charge of
this at some point in your life during the holidays.
53. You should know how to use google efficiently.
Stop wasting precious time by using google incorrectly. Learn to be
precise and use the built in tools that google already comes with. Find
exactly what you need using google more efficiently and more accurately.
You can learn this here.

54. You should know how to crowd-source opinions


from your facebook friends…
Where do you think I got most of the ideas for this article?