Life Skills – The critical skills that help us to succeed and stay happy
Today, while sitting in class I was thinking about a topic for my next post- just a thought process as to what life skill could I talk about next when it dawned on me that in all of my 6 posts so far, I had given little, or maybe no importance at all to what life skills are, and what is their importance in life, if any.
And therefore, I decided to dedicate this post to an introduction to Life Skills.
Life Skills are skills that help us get through the different challenges and difficulties that life throws at us. They prepare us to deal with the expected as well as the unexpected.
Life skills are not just mere skills or lessons to learn. But, they are some habits that we need to develop.
Things ranging from patience to perseverance and attitude to zeal are all a part of this broad spectrum known as Life Skills.
Knowing how to respect other people is a life skill, how to be social is a life skill, being a responsible citizen is a life skill, coping with loss is a life skill, behaving well with your colleagues is a life skill and even petting your dog well is a life skill!
Some people might point out that life skills are in our nature, and are, therefore, intrinsic to us. However, some people say that these skills develop over time.
I don’t agree completely, or completely disagree with either of the view.
I believe, personally, that we’re born with some traits, and we learn some as we live along.
Intrinsic traits, or the traits we’re born with may include patience, or maybe a stronger resolve. Traits that we develop eventually include confidence, a sense of responsibility, a sense of gratitude and the like.
Acquiring these traits and using them in our daily life is not a task undertaken in just an hour or a day. It is a gradual process, a process some may refer to as Socialization, too.
This process unfolds at a lot of different levels, starting right from our childhood.
The first and foremost role in this is played by our parents and our immediate family, the only people we spend time with during our infancy. Then, as we move on to school, college, and then to the outer world, we learn more skills which we incorporate into our life.
Our peers, friends, classmates, colleagues and even random people who we have no direct relation with, play some role in developing these life skills. In fact, I really do think that even fiction and fictional characters act as some sort of an inspiration for us.
We get inspired by our favorite characters, and try to adopt the same traits as them.
For instance, seeing a friend act very patient with someone who is slow at understanding simple things can give us the incentive to be more patient, or working in the office with colleagues can teach us co-operation and team work.
But, despite all of this, the sad reality is that we live in a world based on a very hedonist model. People only think about their pleasure, and the different ways to attain this pleasure.
They rarely think about their over all development as an individual, or about their role in the society.
Why then, are these life skills so important?
All of us can study and get into a good college after school. But, is it simple to stay alone in college? A friend is not a want or a desire, but a need for every individual. And to maintain a friendship, one requires to possess certain level of understanding and selflessness- two basic life skills.
Who is to say that once we’re settled in life, we won’t face a grave loss? Who is to say that our business will always be upward sloping on the graph, or that our loved ones will stay with us forever? There are certain things in life that we can’t avoid, certain losses that we can’t stop, and we need a strong resolve to cope up with them. Coping up- again a basic life skill.
A good degree, a high paying job, a huge house and an equally business-like marriage- how does this sound? So many people, despite being very successful professionally, fail at maintaining a conjugal relationship, only because they don’t find it important enough to develop skills or traits such as understanding, compromise, gratitude, and the like.
On yet another level, life skills don’t only include skills related to the human emotions.
They also include basic skills like how to hold a proper conversation- this skill, particularly, is very important to secure for oneself a respectable place in society. Social etiquette define you in just under one minute.
Other life skills may include clear speech, determination, high confidence level (mind you, confidence, not overconfidence), an out of the box thinking, a considerate attitude and etc.
They are all important not to earn money, but to maintain relations which will help you to earn money, which, after all, is the ultimate goal of 95% of the world population these days (Yours too. Am I right, or am I right dear reader?)