By: Sterling Terrell
Joking around one evening many years ago, one of my best friends and I invented what we called a “Stupid Test.”
It came out of a discussion of how bad education has gotten.
(Not our education, of course.)
Basically it was just a few questions we thought everyone should be able to answer.
History question. Language question. Science question.
If I remember it correctly it was something like:
Who was the first President of the United States?
What two parts of speech make a sentence?
What are the three parts of an atom?
Looking back on it, maybe it wasn’t actually that easy. Maybe it was – and still is. I simply don’t know anymore.
I told you all of that to tell you this: There are certain things that people should just know, or in other cases, know how to do.
Here are 7 random things, I think, you should know how to do.
1. Build a Fire.
Don’t be that guy. That guy, or girl, I guess too, that is camping or whatever and can’t get a fire going. Maybe you are stuck at a friends house in a snowstorm. They head to the kitchen to make coffee, and casually ask you to get the fire started. And what do you do? You stand there scratching your head because you can’t make a fire.
2. Brew a Cup of Coffee.
Speaking of coffee, learn how to make it. Coffee is an American staple. Especially since we kicked out those British overlords. Coffee is American. Well, really Arabian, right? I guess that would be Asian then. It was supposedly discovered in Ethiopia though – so, African. Final Answer. Whatever the case, coffee is an act of a loving God. Don’t be the guy stuck in the snow storm that can’t brew the coffee either.
3. Change a Tire.
I am not asking you to learn how to change your own oil. Some people do change their own oil, to save a little money. Some do it because they enjoy working with their hands, and crawling around under cars. Others understand opportunity costs – and prefer to outsource some of those kinds of tasks. Knowing how to changing a tire, on the other hand, can be a lifeline. Plus, how are you going to stop and help a pretty girl with her flat tire – if you can’t even change one yourself.
4. Write an Email.
Everyone has a lot to do. Everyone has a lot that they are worried about. And that email you are about to send, will most likely not be a high priority for anybody receiving it. If you want someone to actually read your email, try this: Keep it 3 sentences or less. If your email is over 3 sentences, find a different way to say it. I heard someone once say the way to write an email was to write it, delete most of it, and then send it. That sounds about right.
5. Make a Great Grilled Cheese.
Everyone loves grilled cheese. It’s delicious, and a childhood staple for nearly everyone. Being able to make one proves you are at least somewhat competent in the kitchen. King’s Hawaiian bread, American cheese and ridiculous amounts of butter are the best ingredients I have found. You don’t have to be a chef or anything, but at least be able to throw together a favorite.
I can’t even do this. Well, I can. I always look at my hands when I type – which is not really typing. But when I force my self to look up at the screen, I can actually type fairly well. But I never do this. The point is that the written word is the primary form of communication these days. (If you don’t know, the business world is primary checking and responding to email.) In this day and age, don’t be the person who is playing hunt and peck with the keyboard while the world waits.
7. Know When To Stop Talking.
Please. Please, stop talking. The more you talk the more you reveal and the worse you probably look. That quiet guy in the corner, everyone thinks he is a genius. And you know why? Because he is keeping his mouth shut. That’s it. Most of what you say is nothing more than gossip, or comparing yourself to somebody anyway. We can all pass on both of those things.
8. Say No.
Saying yes is easy. Everyone wants to be agreeable. It takes someone different to be able to say no. It starts with taking control of your day, and ends with living purposefully. Know what you want out of life and be able to stick to it. In the end, people will respect you for it.