The life-changing magic of skill stacking

Usefulness—the feeling of being useful, to ourselves, to our loved ones, to society—is a powerful contributor to overall happiness, and the concept of skill stacking can, I believe, be a great way of increasing our feelings of usefulness and contribution.

Irrespective of where you are in life, whether you’re a 16-year-old school student of a 76-year-old retiree, there are several things that you can be confident that you are good at.

These are your skills. Now, let it be known that for the concept of skill stacking, you don’t need to excel at your list of skills, or have reached a level of mastery that makes you the top 1% in that area. You just need to be good at them.

Skill stacking is the idea of layering a few individual skills one on top of the other, and when they’re stacked they can create an entirely and compound skill. A skill stack.

For example, you might have taken up running last year, and you’re now training for your first 10k. You might be really good at organising. And you might spend a lot of time on Instagram.

On the face of it, those three skills—running, organising and Instagram—have nothing to do with each other.

But what might happen if you stacked the three skills together?

What happens is that it can create ideas and opportunities.

You could organise a group of running enthusiasts on Instagram, who could support each other in their own individual journeys, or you could use your organisational skill to create a list of Instagram accounts that provide value to people just beginning their own running regime.

Any set of skills can be stacked to create something bigger and better.

With a little commitment and a little discipline (say, 20 minutes a day), you can create something that might be of interest to a niche audience, something that matters, something that adds to our feelings of usefulness, and ultimately, something that can increase our levels of fulfilment and overall happiness.

They say together is better. That doesn’t just go for people. It goes for the things people are good at too.


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