To be a well-rounded guy, it’s important to have certain skills under your proverbial belt. In addition to the basics like knowing how to get and keep a job, pump gas and remembering to call your mom on Mother’s Day, the following seven skills — in no particular order — are things that every man wants to possess:
Set up a Ladder Safely
Anyone who has ever dangled precariously from the top rung of a ladder while his neighbor or roommate admonishes him to be careful knows how important this skill is. To stay as safe as possible while painting the house or doing other work that requires a ladder, do everyone a favor and learn how to use it properly.
Grill with charcoal
Nothing quite beats the taste of food cooked over an open flame. As Popular Mechanics notes, the coals should be clustered on one side of the grill as closely as possible. To grill foods like burgers and steaks directly, put the grate above the hot coals. For lower-temperature grilling of chicken and ribs, have the foods up higher and keep the lid shut.
Play an instrument
As Ask Men notes, knowing how to play a musical instrument is inherently cool. From the guy who can tickle the ivories to the dude who knows his way around a six-string, playing an instrument is just an impressive ability that is indicative of your character.
Fix a vehicle
Basic vehicle repair is an important skill for all guys to have. While you don’t have to learn how to fix the computerized car parts, it’s a good idea to have a handle on the basics like oil changes, air filter replacements and tire repairs. Learning to diagnose common problems is also a good idea, and it may save you some money if you bring your car to a dishonest mechanic.
It’s also a great skill to pass along to your kids. For example, if you enjoy going out together on your ATVs, you can show them how to diagnose problems and install new quad parts when it’s time to upgrade.
Calm a crying baby
If you’re a dad, this is a must-have skill. As Esquire reminds us, when learning to soothe a baby, stay calm, and empathize with whatever your tot is feeling. Babies have a way of picking up on your vibes and if you are feeling calm and confident, he or she will stop crying sooner.
Cook a meal
You don’t have to learn to prepare a seven-course meal made with zillions of ingredients — basic cooking know-how is all you need. In addition to saving your wallet and waistline from the perils of eating out too much, family and friends will love it when you know your way around the kitchen.
A sense of humor
Learning to laugh at yourself and the crazy stuff that life can send along is an invaluable skill, especially for dads who are juggling diapers and the occasional temper tantrums. Repeat “this too shall pass” when needed and find the humor in everyday things. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more fun life can be.