Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

“75 Skills to Master”

Even though excerpts below are from an article, “The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master,” from Esquire Magazine, I believe everyone can learn from the six skills that I’ve picked out from the seventy-five.  Male or female, the advice given should be used as we go through our lives.  In my opinion, the last point, #53, is used figuratively, not literal.    (A. Pena)


“1)   Give advice that matters in one sentence.  I got run out of a job I liked once, and while it was happening, a guy stopped me in the hall.  Smart guy, but prone to saying too much.  I braced myself.  I didn’t want to hear it.  I needed a white knight, and I knew it wasn’t him.  He just sighed and said:  ‘When nobody has your back, you gotta move your back.’  Then he walked away.  Best advice I ever got.  One sentence.  Show respect without being a suck-up.  Respect the following, in this order:  age, experience, record, reputation.  Don’t mention any of it.

5)   Name a book that matters.  The Catcher in the Rye does not matter.  Not really.  You gotta read.

9)   Write a letter.  So easy.  So easily forgotten.  A five-paragraph structure works pretty well:  Tell why you’re writing. Offer details.  Ask questions.  Give news.  Add a specific memory or two.  If your handwriting is terrible, type.  Always close formally.

12)   Show respect without being a suck-up.  Respect the following, in this order:  age, experience, record, reputation. Don’t mention any of it.

52)   Step into a job no one wants to do.  When I was 13, my dad called me into his office at the large urban mall he ran.  He was on the phone.  What followed was a fairly banal 15-minute conversation, which involved the collection of rent from a store.  On and on, droning about store hours and lighting problems.  I kept raising my eyebrows, pretending to stand up, and my dad kept waving me down.  I could hear only his end, garrulous and unrelenting.  He rolled his eyes as the excuses kept coming.  His assertions were simple and to the point, like a drumbeat. He wanted the rent.  He wanted the store to stay open when the mall was open.  Then suddenly, having given the job the time it deserved, he put it to an end.  ‘So if I see your gate down next Sunday afternoon, I’m going to get a drill and stick a damn bolt in it and lock you down for the next week, right?’  When he hung up, rent collected, he took a deep breath. ‘I’ve been dreading that call,’ he said.  ‘Once a week you gotta try something you never would do if you had the choice. Otherwise, why are you here?’    So he gave me that.    And this…

53)   Sometimes, kick some ass.”       (Tom Chiarella, ‘The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master’ – Skills for Men, Things Men Should be Able to Do, Esquire Magazine, 5.5.08)


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