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I’m a very big proponent of activity, labor and discipline. In fact I devoted one of the five major pieces of the life puzzle to the subject of activity and labor. But now, let me add another key word to the labor equation—skillful. Yes, skillful labor.

Related: The Key to Getting All You Want? Discipline

We need the skills to help build our family’s dreams, the skills to stir up an enterprise and make it successful. We need skills to build equities for the future. We need skills of all kinds.

How about this: skillful language. If you just talk to your family, you can hold them all together, but if you skillfully talk to your children, you can help them build dreams for the future. You can’t be lazy in language—it costs too much. What if you meant to say, “What’s troubling you?” and instead you said, “What’s wrong with you?” That’s too big of a mistake. And sure, maybe you’ve made that mistake 10 years ago, but not now. You should always be improving in language and communication.

Skills multiply labors by two, five, 10, 50, 100 times. You can chop a tree down with a hammer, but it takes about 30 days. That’s called labor. But if you trade the hammer in for an ax, you can chop the tree down in about 30 minutes. What’s the difference in 30 days and 30 minutes? Skills—skills make the difference.

So do what you can—labor. But also do the best that you can do—improved skills. And you will find that the labor combined with skills will start producing miracles—miracles with your money, miracles with your family and miracles in every part of your life.

Related: 13 Ways to Improve Your Life

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