Being good at math will probably only get you through school or work. You need more than that to get through life. That ‘more’ is what we call life skills. In essence, life skills help you get through the highs and lows of life. They help you manage stress, build better relationships, and improve the overall quality of life.
Life, by its very definition, has its shares of ups and downs. You can study the life of any person, and you will invariably find tough times in it. They are inevitable. However, the key to living a good life is learning how to manage tough times. They will come, definitely. However, how you react to them is entirely in your hands. That’s where life skills come in the picture.
Different people have different perspectives on essential life skills. However, here is a list of essential life skills that most people will agree upon.
The ability to learn
Most of us have an erroneous impression of learning as a tool to build a successful life. For that reason, most of us stop learning once we graduate from school or college. Be honest with yourself. If you are above 25, when was the last time you learned something new, apart from the training program your organization forced upon you?
Learning isn’t a tool for doing. In fact, your professional standing and your social standing are a by-product of life spent in learning. Keep learning and you will keep expanding your social and professional repertoire. Stop learning and you will start going through the motions, which is a dangerous pattern to fall into. While we humans are adaptable, we are also creatures of habit. Once we develop the habit of not assimilating new skills, it can be a habit that’s hard to get out of.
Keep an open mind, and let curiosity get the better of you, even as you age.
The ability to say no
As humans, we are conditioned to be agreeable to others. That’s why, most of us have a hard time saying no, even to relative strangers, if the request isn’t too bizarre. This inability to say no wrecks havoc in our lives. You can’t say no to your boss dumping more work on your table when you have already done your share. You can’t say no to your neighbor who wants to borrow your car for the umpteenth time.
You can’t even say no to your girlfriend who wants to see that crappy romcom with you. While there may not be any wriggling out of the last situation, a lot of stress in life can be avoided by saying no to things you don’t want to do.
Saying no is an art though. Here are a few pointers to help you out.
If you are already swamped with work and your boss asks you to take up another project, you could respond something along the lines of, “I am not sure I can handle it boss. I already have this urgent deadline to meet. If you could take me off this project, maybe I can handle it.”