One of the best ways of truly living your dream and going after the kind of life you want, is to learn skills you need to take you there. Sounds cheesy but it’s just one of those really obvious things in life.

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Beyonce isn’t ‘Beyonce’ just because she was ‘naturally gifted at singing’, Beyonce is the superstar that she is because she invested time (and I imagine a fair bit of money) honing her skills to become the performer that she is today.

Same goes for Andy Murray with his multiple Wimbledon wins.

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Apple doesn’t create amazing products just out of nothing. They can and do so because someone (or some people) spent some time studying and up-skilling themselves to be able to create something that people aspire to own.

Talent is absolutely nothing without practise and improvement.

Having spent many-a-year studying, I totally appreciate the results that can be gotten from studying.

Take this website for example – I’m able to change how it looks within hours at almost no cost to us – simply simple because we spent many (MANY – and sometimes painful) hours learning how it all works and how to do so.

I am constantly reminded about how much we’ve learnt (and how much money we’ve saved – both of which can be so easily underestimated and forgotten on our part) when I read other blogs/websites and find out how long it’s taken them to update their look and how much it’s cost (which, to my surprise, runs into the thousands sometimes).

Essentially, if you want the upper hand in anything you do, learning a skill is a no-brainer!

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With that in mind, we’ve recently signed up for (and partnered with) Skillshare to give away two free months of online free training, classes and workshops to help you along your merry way to living your dream and gaining whatever skills you want! You can use this membership to learn anything and everything you want on Skillshare – it’s essentially open season on any skills you wanna pick up here. Brilliant, right?

Heads up though, we only have a limited amount of these so they’re first come, first serve (I have no idea of any better or fairer way to do this than that) so if you’re up for a chance to learn something new for free, grab it here!

Swiftly moving on to skills worth picking up, here are 7 really fantastic and absolutely fun life skills worth learning which are applicable, not just to ‘living your dream’ but in your everyday life!

7 Interesting And Important Life Skills Worth Learning This Year!

1.) Photography 

This is such an obvious one as it applies to everyone and pretty much every aspect of life. Birthdays, weddings, parties, general hobbies…whatever it is, there’s almost always a good enough reason to take your camera with you.

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Knowing how to use a camera properly in the moment is something which requires a lot more consideration than that a lot of us would realise. Being able to capture the perfect moment in a way that feels timeless (i.e. no HDR or random ‘effects’) is a skill that’s definitely worth learning and one that you’ll no doubt find many-a-reason to use all the time!

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Photography Classes I’d recommend:

a.) Fundamentals of DSLR Photography. Easy choice here – you need to know how to work your equipment to get the most out of it. Some things are constants regardless of what kind of camera you have – which is what this class is fantastic at teaching. Once you understand this part, I’d recommend moving onto the one below…

b.)  Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night. Once you understand how your camera works and all the techie parts to it, the next (logical) step is actually getting to practise using your camera.  

Even if you moved from a Canon 6D to a Canon 5D (which I just did today – so excited about this), both of which seem like fairly similar cameras (they even share the same lens), you’d still notice nice a huge difference in taking photos on both and so, the only way to get really comfortable with your camera is to get out there and take as many photos as possible.

This is where this class comes in really handy! It doesn’t even matter if you’re not into Outdoor Photography, the lessons learned here can be applied to food photography, portrait photography or any other kind of photography you might be into.

2.) Photo Editing

Half (or perhaps even just a third) of the work involved in photography happens when you take the photo – the rest, and arguably the most important, of the photography ‘heavy-lifting’ happens when you edit the photos.

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Thing with editing is that there are so many different ways to go when you edit a photo; from a simple black and white edit to playing with temperatures, tones, saturation and vibrancy (the list goes on and on), the way your photo ends up is, in a lot of ways, totally up to you!

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That’s the other thing with editing, depending on what camera (or indeed, phone) you own, the way you edit your photo can vary quite a fair bit so learning how to make the most of your photos (and indeed your camera) is so worth it!

Photo Editing Class I’d recommend:

Adobe Lightroom: Developing Your Editing Style. Lightroom is generally what I’ve tended to use to edit photos (…though there are a few other tools I rely on when it comes to making things faster).

Photoshop is a much more powerful tool but a bit too much to handle which makes it much slower for me to use so I tend to avoid it. If I find a way to make photoshop easier to edit with, I’d probably give it a while and who knows, I might find a class or two on here that might make me dip into photoshop more but I digress…

My long-winded point here is that when you’re looking to edit your photo, this Lightroom class above is pretty handy for helping your finish up that amazing image you’ve captured and totally worth it! (You’ll see why when you do). 

3.) Website Building and General Coding

Okay this one is more situation specific but you’d be surprised at how many opportunities there are to build a website – even if all it is for is to indulge in whatever your passions are.

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This is one of the things with blogging, you have to learn how to do every single thing yourself – some of which are a delight, some of which are more painful – however, after learning the hard way (and realising there’s no need to re-invent the wheel), I picked up a couple of courses on web development and now have very little worries when it comes to the idea of changing how the website looks.

That freedom, means so much more than just ‘an amazing feeling of achievement’, it actually saves you sooooo much money compared to a situation where you had to pay someone else to do it all for you.

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Website Building and General Coding Class I’d recommend:

Build a Website with HTML, CSS and Javascript. With this one, don’t be terrified by how huge it all looks or how complicated it might sounds. It’s really not that hard and no one really expects you to have to build a website from scratch. You can if you want to of course but there are so many amazing templates out there that you don’t really need to re-invent the wheel with a lot of the website coding.

What you do need to be able to do, is have enough knowledge to be able to make changes to your website, personalise it, fix it if it breaks and totally boss owning your own website. When you buy themes or plugins for websites, you get access to the code, and being able to go in and change that code to make the website exactly how you want it is a truly invaluable skills.

With programming, it’s worth noting that a lot of how it all works is logic-based and so if you understand the logic of how, for example, Javascript programming works, this can apply to any other kind of programming tool your website could be built on. (Those logic skills also stretch far beyond just programming and can be applied in everyday real-life situations – you’ll see what I mean once you get started).

4.) Video Editing

I feel like this one is a bit like the website coding one in that it’s not a necessary skill for everyone to have, however, it’s also like the photography one in that if you are able to learn this, you can apply it to so many aspects of your everyday life!

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Again, think birthdays, weddings, parties, travel… the list goes on and on. Plus, if you wanted to do this professionally, well it’s pretty obvious what you have to do here – learn how to it! 🙂

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Personally, this is something I’d absolutely love to learn more and more so I’ve signed up for a few more to up-skill myself. I currently know how to use Final Cut Pro (a little bit anyway) but I’m intrigued by Adobe Premiere and would like to learn more about this one and see how it compares to Final Cut.

Video Editing Class I’d recommend:

Video Basics for All: Shoot with Your iPhone, Edit Like a Pro. Our phones are capable of so much these days and things like YouTube are proof that you don’t need a ridiculously expensive camera to be able to create videos – some of our phone cameras even shoot in 4K – something that my DSLR can’t even do!

With that in mind, the main question then is how to make the most of your iPhone for videos and the official team over at Vimeo have put together this course to help you do just that (for the uninitiated, Vimeo is where all the pros put up their videos – YouTube is more commercial but Vimeo is for ‘the artist’ so they know a thing or two about creating fantastic videos).

5.) Cooking

There are recipes for your favourite meals everywhere you look but it’s one thing to try to recreate something from a recipe you’re reading online and another thing entirely to be able to watch how it’s created on video from start to finish.

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Don’t get me wrong, some recipes are simple enough that you never really need too much detailed instructions to be able to recreate it however, if you’re looking for extra special recipes (or special culinary skills – like how those chefs chop up stuff so quickly on TV – I’m always in awe of this), then this is where you need to head!

Cooking Class I’d recommend: (*okay, fine, it isn’t cooking but it’s close enough… :-D):

Getting Started with Wine: Buy Smarter, Taste More. I love a glass, nay – a goblet, of wine with a delicious meal but if I’m honest knowing how to choose great wines when I’m home is a skill I’ve been working on a lot lately.

Travelling and getting to visit vineyards helps with appreciating wine, of course but it’s sooooo not the same thing when you’re standing in the wine aisle at Tesco (sans sunshine and birds singing like you’d have in a Spanish vineyard) and trying to decide what to buy. It’s not even like they even have tasters anyways… which is probably not a bad thing come to think of it, otherwise, we could be at the supermarket all day 🙂 but again, I digress…

Having courses like Getting Started with Wine is so handy for being able to pick the best wines when you’re out shopping and remember, price and quality are not always synonymous when it comes to choosing wine (i.e. the most expensive bottle is not always the best bottle – if only it were that easy, eh?)

6.) D.I.Y. Projects

General crafts, fixes for your new home, party favours for weddings and birthday (or other life events) – essentially anything you’d like to put a personal touch on (or perhaps even save some money on by creating yourself) falls into this remit.

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This is one of the most interesting parts I’ve found on Skillshare as there are so many fascinating things here including some you never knew you wanted but very quickly obsess about and can’t imagine not having right after! 😀 😀

D.I.Y. Class I’d recommend:

INKING CUTE ANIMALS: Explore the Ways of Traditional Illustration. I’m not really great at drawing or illustrating so a class like this is soooo right up my street. I don’t need to be a modern day Picasso but being able to create art for my own home would be one huge win for me! 🙂

7.) General Hobbyist

None of this would be great without you having any fun and there’s so much of this to be had on there.

My current favourite is the ‘Design Your Avatar’ one – you essentially get to create a cartoon version of yourself and it’s utterly useless to me but soooooo unbelievably fun!

Lloyd and Yaya in The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Then again, I could also introduce ‘Cartoon Yaya’ to Facebook and the blog… Hmmm… I’m gonna think about this one a bit more. 😉 Point is, if you’re ever looking for a way to just have fun and learn something new, you won’t struggle for options on here! 😀

Lloyd and Yaya at Jökulsárlón - The Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

General Hobbyist Class I’d recommend:

This is the one I was speaking about above – Digital Illustration: Design Your Avatar. 

There we go – so many ways to make living your dream and turning your hobby into your job that extra bit easier! If you fancy trying your hands at learning a new skill or indeed, improving on your talents – sign up now for the free 2 months trial of Skillshare here. 🙂 Have fun!


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