Get a Permanent Endowment! (A New Group Genie Add-on)

IMG_7500bWhen I was young my parents encouraged me and my twin brother to join Boy Scouts. I stayed in the program for about six years. I still tell people that it was the best education that I ever had. I value it above my CMU education and chemistry degree.

Besides the fun and games and the camping experience, Boy Scouts gave me these skills that I have used throughout my life:  first aid, personal management (mostly some basic money management), cooking, canoeing and water safely, identifying poison ivy and other poisonous plants, and emergency preparedness. I didn’t realize until later that I was getting a permanent endowment of skills until years later.

Other parts of my permanent endowment came from other places. In my twenties I taught myself yoga from a book and later took a class in it, and have used that all my life since then. In judo I learned some self defense skills, but more importantly how to take a fall without getting seriously hurt. In some graduate courses I learned conflict resolution and negotiation skills. I taught myself some basic communication skills and also a counseling model that I later adapted into the Many-One-New model. I have that nine-step model memorized and have used it to help myself and other individuals on numerous occasions. Speaking of memorization, I learned some memory and visual association skills that I have used and taught to others. I remember one law student couldn’t thank me enough for teaching her skills that helped her prepare for her major exam.

The Permanent Endowment add-on is simply this: Make a commitment to learn two skills or habits a year. Pick any two practical skills to learn. Imagine how much better your life would be if you learned (for example) the following twenty skills or habits in the next ten years:

Yoga (for flexibility), Basic plumbing, Guitar, gardening, conflict resolution, active listening, Spanish or another language, an aerobic exercise habit (three times a week), self-defense, first aid, Stress management, two more computer skills that you don’t have, assertiveness, budgeting, political process and activism (Proof Through the Night), basic car maintenance repair, optimal dental hygiene habits, anger management, Wise Giving of Time and Money to charities and socially responsible investing.

What would be the impact of learning two skills a year? It would probably boost your self-esteem and sense of control over your life to have all these skills. It would probably save you money and time. Certain skills might make the difference in getting a job. A few skills might save your life, or a key personal relationship. Besides that, people with many good skills and habits get respect from others. On average, I think a person with more skills is probably much happier.

You may think that you don’t have the willpower to learn these things, but people who use the CLEAR Superprogram develop some form of ongoing personal support and encouragement. Having a support Buddy makes learning easier. Also, when you feel stuck, using the Ingredients of Empowerment list can help you identify any missing ingredients of change.

So what skill or habit can you add to your Permanent Endowment in the next 4-6 months? Just imagine if you kept it up for five or ten years, how much better your life would be! Why not make the commitment? And if you have children, why not talk them into doing the same?

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