Man is a generalist. No harm in that: he/she is remarkably adept at adapting and to enhance this process has created a batch of tools which allows him/her to perform to the highest levels.
What are the essential Tools of Excellence?
9: The Swiss Army Knife
Of course it had to be on the list. Who hasn't been delighted at the versatility of the well made device and its ability to keep the party going (open cans and bottles), patch the tent leak (cut and sew), simply apportion the birthday cake or remove snakes from restaurants (private correspondence with blog reader).
So many of us used to carry one with us at all times. In the days after 9/11 there were greater and heavier concerns so it was the end of the accessible knife in your cabin bag; my original disappeared with so many others into crates of knives, fluids and miscellaneous otherwise handy items.
But you can still have one on your desk. Or your check-in bag.
The Excellence Kit-Bag so far:
Bonus: How To be Brilliant.