Mobile Skills Mindset

Society is changing and morphing and we are evolving in lots of ways that have, perhaps, nothing to do with Charles Darwin. It’s not a physical thing, but a mental thing, and does that mean that changes in the way we think aren’t somehow physical and impacting on our brain?

taking offThe more you think a certain way, the more you are inclined to think in that manner. This doesn’t mean a physical trait will be genetically handed down to the next generation. (Even assuming you are in the pro-creation phase.) What is means is that you get more comfortable in a way of doing things, or processing things.

An example, a poor example maybe, but I’ll proceed anyway, is learning a new language. At first it seems impossible. How in the world do “Man” and “Homme” mean the same thing? and how does “the man” move to “l’homme” when “the woman” translates to “la femme”?** But your mind wraps around the concepts and the words somehow are magically available when you need them.  (so this is where writing comes in. If you want to get to that bit skip down to the asterisk*) If you want to continue along this path, just for fun. Keep reading. If you need this in English, press one.

So we have a skill set that we’ve gradually honed, whether it’s spoken language, graphic design, sales, mechanics, writing or whatever, it’s problem solving on some level or another. “Problem” being used in a very generic sense here. A ‘problem’ could be something very physical,”the tire is flat, I need to change it.” “The surgical equipment is covered in blood and guts, it needs to be sterilized.” OR it could be mental. “These two people need a translator.” “This idea needs to be conveyed through some media (meaning written, audio, video, whatever)”

But these skills, this problem solving, is becoming more and more a mobile skill, than a stationary skill. You don’t have to be a cog in a wheel. You can be your own wheel. A free wheeler, if you like that analogy, free to take your skill set and apply it where you choose, rather than have a defined place in an organization. Rather than being a rat in a cage being offered cheese for pressing the right button.

It’s amazing what is possible in the world because of the internet, tele-commuting, and the like. You can use your skills, your developed skills, to stand on your own. We were taught, back in the day, a hundred years ago, fifty years ago, twenty years ago, to find a company and work for 30 or 40 years, and by doing that we had earned retirement. We could then ‘relax’ and enjoy our golden years. But the golden years were actually those 30 or 40 we spent in a trap. We had earned retirement, but we were too feeble or old to enjoy it. (of course there are exceptions, if you are/were genetically lucky enough to have healthy parents, and you didn’t abuse yourself, but the majority of people made it to retirement and then unluckily jumped into a walker or a wheelchair and a nursing home and silver-haired, wrinkled poverty. What a sad way to spend your life.

This isn’t about that path. This is about “the secret.” But not about the magical nonsense of the movie “The Secret” but about the reality of thoughts becoming things. All things start out as thoughts in people’s minds, and then, with effort those thoughts do become things. They don’t materialize out of thin air, but are created by those willing to put in effort.

The effort to learning a skill set that is transferable and mobile. Being born in the last fifty years is like winning the mobile skill set lottery. We can physically travel or virtually travel with relative ease. Companies and people need people with experience and skill. They might not need them for long. Consultant is a word that gets thrown around a lot, and I may or may not be talking about that. It really depends on your skill set.

In the medical software industry (and probably other IT-type industries) there is a need for a concentrated group of people working on implementation. The implementation, or ‘go-live’ offers an opportunity for those with that skill set to make a well above average income for a brief period of time. Then you move to the next implementation.

This may be the new model of life. Where are we going? What skills do you have? in the above example a core group of people make up the structured ‘stable’ organization, while another group, descends and flourishes and then rolls on to the next opportunity.

There are a lot of examples in different areas. A person in a traveler position, coming in to a workplace because local talent is unavailable for the job at a given period of time. This could be a nurse, an engineer, a software guru or many other things.

This diverged a bit from my original thought (does anyone have original thoughts?) but the point was that skills are what drives the economic engines. If you can develop skills (examples – writing, theater, software, brainstorming, etc) you can take the road once less traveled, but now slowly becoming a beaten path. But the path is your own. The general path may be beaten but the one you blaze is unique.

The world and paths our parents and grandparents took is gone. We can look back, but it’s never coming back. It is evolve or die. It is have or have-not. You have to develop skills or you will end up as a cog and unfortunately the cogs are the have-nots. It’s sad because many of them don’t even understand that they need to get education (not college necessarily) to move up the chain.

*(continued bit as related to writing) So this muscle you have which I am comparing to learning a new language; it needs to get a workout. Just like spoken language, if you don’t write, your strength will never be realized. Writing is a mobile skill. That’s part of the joy of it. you don’t have to be in any one place. You take those thoughts and turn them into things. Those things might be blog posts, or articles, or short stories or encyclopedic endeavors. The beauty is, it’s all up to you.

total side note:

I was talking to my wife the other day. (I talk to her everyday and often, actually.) I went to the library and saw a DVD on how to play the piano. This excited me. “I’ve always wanted to play the piano; here’s my opportunity.” Then I saw another DVD on how to play the guitar. This excited me. “I’ve always wanted to play the guitar.”

The thing is, I’m learning how to play the bass guitar. Picking up one of those DVDs would have been a distraction. Trust me, I don’t need more distractions. I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that the reason I haven’t seen great success is that I don’t have enough focus. My books have some degree of success. They are purchased, they are reviewed well. I get good feedback, but I don’t concentrate on marketing. I’ve always had the “field of dreams” marketing plan, which is generally not great. If you build it, it will be built, and perhaps someone will come, but mostly it will just be built. collecting dust.

Focus. Focus and skills. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

**When I was learning German I was always confused that some inanimate objects were spoken of in masculine terms while others were feminine. Der and Die.. Wait a napkin is feminine and an oven is masculine? What??(In hindsight, maybe this was a bad example.)

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