During our research into what people throughout history have attributed to their success, happiness, and general fulfillment, we have found that these individuals have managed to internalize thirteen important skills that catapult them beyond what others had ever thought possible. Historical figures, religious teachings, and self-help authors all identified one or more of these skills that made an outsized impact, and crafted entire careers, organizations, and lives around them. Most self-help and personal development books are focused on explaining how to take advantage of one or more of these skills.

The key is that these incredible people found how to embody these skills in a way that made sense to them and maintained consistency with their values. These skills are fundamental capabilities that must be applied by each unique individual in each situation as they live their lives. The stronger one gets in one skill, they are bolstered in working on the others. They should all be practiced together.

Our goal is to provide an understanding of each of these thirteen skills and ultimately provide resources that help you apply them to your situation.

We are currently running the Choose Movement program for free through Please join the program and see what the thirteen skills can do for you!


To practice the skills, we recommend following Benjamin Franklin’s 13×4 character development method. Using this method, you will focus on one skill each week for thirteen weeks. After you have completed a week for each skill, you will start again from skill 1. However this time you will have experience with all 13 so you can apply the skills more effectively during your practice. By the time you have reached 4 rounds, you will have practiced each skill for a solid month. Each additional run through the program reinforces all the skills while maintaining variety in your training. The program we have laid out in is structured for 7 check-ins per skill, making it easy to apply the 13×4 method by checking in once a day.


Skill 1: Extra Mile

Learn how to push yourself, how to identify which tasks will make the most impact and worth pushing on, and focusing on exceptional quality of work in those tasks.

Skill 2: Dreams

Identify what you care about most and figure out how to go after it. You won’t know if your dreams are the rights ones for you until you chase them.

Skill 3: Team

Nobody is self-made. Everyone relies on the community around them and the work that others have done before. You probably don’t make your own electricity, and if you do you probably didn’t make the equipment that generates it. We are all on a team whether we realize it or not. Understand that team, appreciate it, find your best team members, and learn how to be an effective member of your team.

Skill 4: Choice

If someone put a gun to your head and gave you two choices, you can still think of a third. It is always your decision how to respond to the world around you, no matter how uncomfortable or insurmountable it may seem. Learn how to practice self-awareness, stop reacting to the world and make thoughtful choices on how to respond instead. This is one of the most important skills. It is foundational to obtaining mastery in the others.

Skill 5: Moderation

Everything in moderation, including moderation. Some call this skill Balance. Learn your limits, find when it’s appropriate to behave, and when to let loose. Create a springboard from which to jump into new endeavors and take risks.

Skill 6: Self

Learn who you are and how to be yourself. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Learn how to speak up for yourself, and how to say no. Learn how happiness comes from the way you live your life. It is not a destination.

Skill 7: Gratefulness

Learn to appreciate the complex world you live in and everything that is going right. Learn to observe circumstances and how to take advantage of them, even if they have negative components.

Skill 8: Solutions

Learn how to solve problems by addressing their source. Identify the key components to problems, including yourself. Break problems down into manageable pieces. Get started tackling problems even if you don’t have everything figured out.

Skill 9: Trust

Trust is critical to long term, positive inter-personal interactions. Learn how to gain trust, build trust, and safely give trust.

Skill 10: Understanding

The more input and diverse set of perspectives you have when tackling a problem, the more effective a solution you can achieve. Learn to appreciate differing points of view, and identify when to listen and when to speak.

Skill 11: Help

Helping others brings joy and satisfaction to those being helped, and those providing help. It is a core building block of happy communities and friendships. Learn how to help effectively and when it is appropriate not to help.

Skill 12: Values

Your values define how you act and the type of person you are. You will not feel fulfilled unless you feel like you are living according to your values. Define your values and learn to live by them.

Skill 13: Accountability

Learn how to stay accountable to yourself and others. Learn how to help others stay accountable to you. Consistently live according to your values. Use the input from others, but ultimately you decide who you are going to be and why.

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