8 Skills You Won’t Learn from Reading Books

I am who I am today in large part due to all the books I've read. But here are 8 skills you won't learn from reading books, and how to get them.

If you went out there and read every single business book in the world including every biography about every billionaire, there would still be eight skills you wouldn’t know from reading all those books. So let’s get right into the eight skills that you won’t learn from reading books, and then what you can do to acquire those skills.


8 Skills You Won't Learn from Reading Books


#1: Heart

#2: Vision

#3: Reading people

#4: Handling pressure

#5: Judging people

#6: Intuition

#7: Instincts

#8: Common sense

How to Get the Skills You Won't Get From Reading Books


You can't learn these skills through books. You can only practice and catch them. I wrote the book, Drop Out and Get Schooled because a lot of people think that if they just go to school, they'll be successful. So why is it that so few college graduates make six figures? If our educational system works, why is it that happens? It's because there are eight things that you cannot teach! You can only catch them.

Here's how to catch them.

#1: Crisis


Let's start off with the first one, crisis. Crisis forces you and I to learn some of these skills. I didn't choose to be in a war and be bombed 167 times in a day by Iraq when I was living in Tehran, Iran. I didn't choose that life. That's crisis. There's a kid that I'm following that I want to adopt because she can't do anything about the fact that her family's in prison. That kid's in crisis mode. You see, she can't ever teach you what she's experiencing. You can only catch them by going through the crisis yourself.

#2: Death Ground


Next is the danger zone, death ground. Most people never experience death ground. What is death ground? Death ground happens when you go to war. In the most recent war movie, Hackshaw Ridge, this one guy said, "I'm not going to kill anybody." Instead of killing people, he focused on saving lives. He didn't kill anyone, but he was the bravest of all the guys. He gained everyone's respect.

Another war movie is Fury, with Brad Pitt. He told the kid to pull the trigger. The kid said he couldn't do it and started crying, peeing. That's death ground. That's crisis. It's pressure. It's in those times when you learn skills you won't learn from reading books.

#3: Life-Changing Events


Next is life-changing events. What are life-changing events? Here are some examples:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Bankruptcy
  • A challenging thing that happens in your family life, in your personal life
  • Health issues that cost you everything
  • A conference that completely changes your view about life
  • A conversation that completely shifts the way you look at life

All of these life-changing events result in skills you won't learn from reading books. They come from a major paradigm shift that comes through experience.

#4: Pressure


Look, unless you put yourself in positions where your back is against the wall, I have to tell you that not a lot will happen. Talk to any major poker player that's a champion now, and they'll tell you that at one point they faced somebody that crushed them. The same is true of athletes. Listen in here for how Michael Jordan experienced this.

If you have to close a sale or go out of business, if you go into that situation not knowing how to handle pressure and you panic because all you can think about are bills, you'll lose the sale because the client can see the fear in your eyes.

#5: You Have to Figure It Out


The last point I'm going to make is a very simple one. Listen closely. Seven billion people live in the world, and the one thing we can't measure in any of them is heart. We can't measure your judgment, or pressure.

There's one thing only you can answer. I guarantee that whether or not it's important to you, you'll figure it out. No one else, not even the greatest philosopher, can figure it out. If we put them all into a room and told them to move you, they couldn't do it. Why? Because we don't know what's inside your heart.

That's why I say, "prove it!" when I message people back. I say, "Prove it! Show the world what you're all about!" What are you all about? Yes, I'm talking to you! Learn these eight things by putting yourself in crisis situations, when your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to figure a way out. That's when you find out what you're all about. No one else is responsible. But I guarantee you, that if it's important to you, you'll figure it out.

So yes, in a way, these eight things can be taught. But these are skills you won't learn from a book. You only learn them when you have the desire to catch them.

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