Specialized skills in life are useful.

For many of us—engineers, nurses, lawyers, designers—they are what form the basis of our work, and by extension, our identities.

These are skills acquired in pursuit of a specific goal, which grant us the right to put them to work.

They have professional accreditation, certificates, and licenses.

But some of the most valuable skills in life don’t have these certifications.

They are skills that apply throughout our lives, both personally and professionally.

They enhance our specialized skills, and make us more valuable.

These are meta-skills.

Meta-skills include things like:

  • Learning
  • Communication
  • Emotional control
  • The ability to see reality
  • Physical health
  • Mental health

These skills provide leverage. 

If you can learn faster, you will be able to learn a much higher number of things in your lifetime than if you learn slower.

Communicating well allows you to convince others to follow you, which allows you to scale yourself.

If you are in better physical shape, you will have more energy and stamina, and be able to accomplish more in a given day. You may even have more years in your life in which to do them.

Meta-skills are a source of leverage, and a key to living a better life.

Before we add to our specialized skillets, it is worth spending time upgrading these first.