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How To Make Yourself More Interesting: Tip # 12

August 31, 2011

After taking the bus for over a year I resorted to my car once again, mainly because I had purchased vocabulary tapes and needed my car’s cassette player to listen to the tapes and learn new words. One thing about attending a high octane institution like the U.S. Military Academy, even for a short time, is that it leaves you unable to settle for mediocrity. At such institutions, excellence is pounded into your soul by a thousand mental mallets each and every minute. You are expected to perform at a high level of alertness and competence on short notice, rarely allowed to come up for air and, when you do, you seem to fall into a reflective stupor in which you immediately begin to anticipate the next shoe to fall.

You find yourself asking questions: “What will happen next that I need to prepare for?” You learn to exist in a high state of readiness, constantly anticipating, preparing for the unexpected. Because of this mindset instilled in me by my military experience, I have over the years sought to improve myself in myriad ways. I didn’t know at the time (still in my thirties) that I would develop a love for writing and that an expanded vocabulary would serve me well—even as I write this, those tapes continue to serve me. (12) To make yourself more interesting, enhance your life with new skills.

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