Do you have a well-stocked backpack?
Backpack
Someone drops you in the middle of a forest and says, “Build me a two-story Cape-Cod-style home with a gabled roof and five fireplaces. I’ll be back in a month.” You are naked, it’s winter, and you have no tools, ready-made materials, or assistance, let alone provisions for your own existence. Odds are, short of a miracle, not only are you not going to be able to get the job done, but your very survival will be in question.

Now take the same situation, but this time you are left with plenty of clothes, a stockpile of food, trailers to live in while you build, heaters and generators, a large, well-skilled team of construction workers and masons, bulldozers and backhoes, all the latest power tools, enough lumber, bricks, shingles and whatever else you may need to get the job done, plus a satellite phone for unanticipated supplies.

In the first scenario you can see how seriously overwhelmed and stressed the individual would be by even considering attempting such a ridiculously impossible task. Forget the house—finding food, clothing and shelter would be a gigantic achievement. 

In the second scenario the task is not only possible to achieve, but it might even be enjoyable. 

This doesn’t mean that the person in the second scenario won’t run into problems, but the task is a lot less monumental because he (or she) has tools. 

Life is much the same way. The more tools you have, the less stressful your life will be. 

Tools, or life skills, help take the scary out of living because they help you handle the inevitable challenges life presents you with.

Power gravitates to the man who knows how 
— ORISON SWETT MARDEN 

If the only tool you have is a hammer, 
it is tempting to treat everything 
as if it were a nail 
— ABRAHAM MASLOW 

You’ve got to discipline your life. You’ve got to be willing to cut out of your life those things that keep you from going to the top 
— BOB RICHARDS  

I’ve discovered that numerous peak performers use the skill of mental rehearsal or visualization. They mentally run through important events before they happen 
— CHARLES A. GARFIELD

When you write 
down your ideas 
you automatically focus your full attention 
on them. Few if any 
of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools 
— MICHAEL LEBOEUF

Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients 
and customers 
— LES BROWN

Communication is a skill that you can learn. 
It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part 
of your life 
— BRIAN TRACY

In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject that will serve you for the rest of your life. 
The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn 
— JOHN NAISBITT

All of the top achievers 
I know are life-long learners. Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they’re not learning, they’re not growing, not moving toward excellence 
— DENIS WAITLEY

The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn 
— ALVIN TOFFLER

For knowledge itself 
is power
 — FRANCIS BACON

Every addition to 
true knowledge is 
an addition to 
human power 
— HORACE MANN

There is no knowledge that is not power 
— RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Power is
the by-product of understanding 
— JACOB BRONOWSKI

A wise man has 
great power, and 
a man of knowledge 
increases strength. 
PROVERBS 24:5 — BIBLE

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