5 Intangibles That Empower You

5 Intangibles That Empower You

A young boy once set out on a journey across the country, seeking out the wise sage of his land. He was searching for wisdom on how to be successful.

The young boy had come from a poor family, yet they had worked hard to provide him with a better life. He didn’t want to waste this opportunity.

It took him weeks to cross the countryside, but finally he arrived at his doorstop, at a quaint little home in a village on the coast. He knocked on his door and the man appeared within moments.

“Oh wise one, I have come to seek your knowledge about the secrets of success!” said the boy.

“Have you now?” replied the sage.

“Yes, yes! You must share your wisdom so that I too can be knowledgeable and wise and successful as you! Shall I study blacksmithing? Or carpentry? Or philosophy? What path is best?” said the boy excitedly.

“Slow down my boy. You are missing many steps in between. The path is irrelevant, it is the foundation of your self that you must first master.”

“What ever do you mean? What does that have to do with my future? Shall I not focus my attention on a craft and that alone?” said the boy cautiously.

“Such a choice is worthy, but not wise. You must be of sound mind, to tackle every endeavor and challenge you may face. You must master the skills of life before you need worry about the skills of work.” the sage said, seeing that he was finally making progress.

The boy, looked down, embarrassed by his excitement, and quietly asked, “And of what skills do you speak.”

The sage placed his hand gently on the boys shoulder, lifted his face, and with a hint of a smile replied, “You must first master the skills you do not see. I will teach you.”



here are countless skills out there, each offering you something valuable, but they aren’t all the same. There are the hard skills that are obvious and apparent in day to day life: driving, writing, negotiating, problem solving, and so on.

But there is also another set of skills, soft skills or meta-skills, that empower you to do more than the obvious. They allow you to thrive and succeed in every situation. They are not bound to any single domain.

These are 5 such intangible skills that we all should master for a lifetime of success.

1. Curiosity

Interest can take you places, but it fades. Curiosity lasts forever. It keeps you engaged in anything and everything you do.

When you are driven from a place of curiosity, rather than say money, your entire perspective changes. The best part is that we all have curiosity, we just need to engage it.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.Walt Disney

Discover your curiosity, find domains you are truly fascinated by, and explore them.

2. Integrity

Integrity is essential for success. People may assume the best at the beginning, but you have to prove it over time.

Be aware of your actions and always ensure that the trust others put in you is paid back in full. If you wrong or deceive those you work with, word spreads fast.

It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one .Zig Ziglar

Integrity is the gateway to authenticity and connecting with other people.

3. Work Ethic

Hard work is the cornerstone of every success. Without it, there is no achievement. Having a strong work ethic and desire to achieve your goals is the only thing that can guide you towards your dreams.

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.Colin Powell

Learn to embrace the struggle, the failure, and the hard times, because they are the ingredients to progress.

4. Taste

Curiosity, integrity, and hard work are great, but you have to know what good work looks like to truly make it. You have to have good taste.

The legendary radio personality Ira Glass probably explains it best.

Your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.Ira Glass

Looking at the things you love and seeing the flaws and the strengths, means you have an eye for things that is irreplaceable. The next step is getting good at your craft, so you can use your taste.

5. Collaboration

Finally, no matter how much you prefer working alone, you need to understand that working with others unlocks so much more potential. There is great value in being able to collaborate.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.Henry Ford

As the African proverb goes: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Learn to work with others.


We are faced with all sorts of choices on what we want to learn and how we choose to spend our time.

Skills are endless, as is our access to knowledge, but what is more important is focusing on the skills that can cross all boundaries. If you spend time on these intangible skills, you become adaptable, future proof, and able to thrive in chaos.

Master these skills and you will be able to succeed in every situation.