Use This Skill To Learn How To Do Anything

President of the United States Theodore Roosev...“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”― Theodore Roosevelt

That headline isn’t link bait. There are no secret gimmicks here or any sort of bait and switch going on. There is a skill that we can all use to learn how to do any job.


Yep, it is that simple. The ability to read can help you learn how to do almost anything.

Read those words again: The ability to read can help you learn how to do almost anything.

This hasn’t always been true in the way that it is today. That is because we have more resources and greater access to information than at any other time in history.

It sounds like hype but don’t let skepticism prevent you from giving this serious consideration. I am not selling anything but an idea. You can choose to agree or disagree and it won’t cost you a dime either way.

Today the question isn’t really one of access but of time and the willingness/ability to use it to learn.

Real World Examples

This is a self hosted blog using the Genesis Framework by Studiopress which incorporates the Prose Child theme. It doesn’t look like this when you take it out of the box.  While I cannot say that I did heavy coding to make it look like it does I can say I am responsible for quite a bit of what you see.

I chose which plugins to use and have made numerous changes to this joint. In the process I have encountered a number of different technical issues. Some of them have been significant enough to cause the entire site to go down.

And let me tell what a joyous feeling it is to click activate and watch the page melt and wonder what the hell just happened.

But I didn’t panic and it is not because I am a software engineer because I am not. I am a writer who has developed some rudimentary skills with HTML and CSS.

More importantly I have spent enough time working here to figure out what sorts of information I need so when there is a melt down I know what to search for.

It is also part of why I work on building a community because I know there are resources and people that I can reach out to and ask for help.

What About People Who Don’t Blog?

If you are not a blogger don’t worry because you are still covered. YouTube is one of my favorite resources for information and it is not because it is where I store my videos.

It is because it is a vast repository of “how to” videos on a million different topics. I have used it more than once to help with household repairs, homework and a whole bunch of other things.

It is a supplement to the information I read online. If I am having trouble visualizing what I am reading about I can go to YouTube and search for a video that covers the topic and vice versa.

Practical Knowledge Versus Theoretical

I won’t lie and say there is no reason to discuss practical knowledge versus theoretical. There is a huge difference in reading about brain surgery and wielding a scalpel. There is a difference between knowing how to fly a plane and actually flying it.

There are always going to be benefits derived from the practical application versus the theoretical.

But doesn’t mean there still isn’t significant value in reading or that you can’t use it to teach yourself how to do much more than you know how to do today.

I am not sure if I can think of a skill that I use more frequently or that has proven to be more valuable than reading.

What do you think?

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  5. Jayme Soulati September 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Uhmm, speaking of help…my today post is not showing up in the feed anywhere. Any thoughts for me, please? Thanks; direct me somewhere, anywhere, and I’ll muddle through. Appreciate your help.

  6. Jayme Soulati September 11, 2012 at 9:22 am

    My biggest fear is what you mention above. I don’t have the confidence to go in to a back end and mess with code. In fact, I used to do it just to see what happened, and then watch the entire site fizzle. After that the screams were loud enough to wake the dead.

    I need more time. #ThatIsAll

  7. Adrienne September 7, 2012 at 11:42 am

    The quote by Roosevelt is pure me Josh…

    I learn better by doing. I have to tell on me but when I was in the corporate world I started out as a secretary. A friend of mine got me a job interview for an executive assistant position which meant a lot more pay and working for the top executives.

    I didn’t know how to do 75% of what they wanted but she told me she would help me so tell them that I could. That interview lasted three hours, all three top executives spoke with me and I got the job. I trained one day with her and she fell ill. She was off work for the next two months so not only did I have to do my new job but hers as well and I had no clue what I was doing.

    I jumped in, taught myself everything and excelled. It was history in the making and my career soared from there. I went on to work for presidents and owners of companies where I remained until 2007.

    Sometimes I can’t even understand how to do something when I read it. The videos help a lot but for the most part, just doing the work is what gets me to that end result much faster.


    • Josh September 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Well it is pretty clear from your blog that you are not afraid to jump in and figure out how to make something work the way you want it to. The willingness to take a risk is a big plus in this kind of situation.

      Without that it just doesn’t matter whether you read or watch.

      And it makes for a great story, really one worth telling others about.

  8. Rebecca Einstein Schorr September 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    You are so right!! I was just telling this to my sister the other day. I too am now self-hosting my blog and have learned enough to do what I need…and have bookmarked some other sites to help me with the next few things that I hope to do with it.

    What a world. We can really learn so much just by reading.

    • Josh September 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

      YouTube is a wonderful resource for the blogging end as well as the other stuff. I mention it because I expect you’ll encounter some similar challenges with your blog as I have run into.

      Some of those videos walk you through the steps and show you exactly what you need to do to change/fix things.

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