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Essential Life Skills to Survive Modern Life

See also: Life Skills

As society around us develops, the skills we need to make it through the day also change. This happens to both practical life skills, such as the ability to start a fire – no longer needed – or the more emotional aspect of life skills like the ability to withstand criticism – with social media and new technologies, we are constantly being scrutinised not just by a close circle of family and friends but almost by the whole world.

In a recent online survey, VoucherBin asked people about the essential life skills they think we need in order to survive modern life.

The following skills are the most mentioned and mastering these skills could help you manage the hurdles life tries to throw in your way!


Knowing How to Stay Safe Online

While the ability to physically defend yourself has not disappeared, many participants in the VoucherBin survey felt that the real dangers lurk online these days. Knowing how to stay safe online is a crucial skill everyone, both young and old, should learn.

According to a recent study by Verizon, cybercrime is on the increase, with over 63,000 incidents investigated in the US alone in 2014. Yet, many people are still not fully equipped to protect themselves against online crime such as identity theft or a data breach.

As well as securing your home and your car against theft, you need to become more aware about threats online. Learning how to shop, do business and have fun online in a safe manner is a crucial skill to master.


Skipping the ‘First Judgement

We humans have had to make many quick judgements and we still need to be able to think fast when the situation arises. But with the rise of social media and better understanding of many mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, we should stop treating people based on our first impressions.

You are likely to meet a lot more new people in your life than you did a few decades ago. But instead of making a judgement on someone based on the first impression – the way their profile picture looks or the joke they made on Twitter – give people another chance.

Don’t rely on small snippets of information. The judgement you made might turn out to be a silly one in a few months time.


Getting to Grips with Social Media

The third life skill people mentioned in the survey was all about social media. Knowing how to write an e-mail or, heaven forbid, an old-fashioned letter might start to be outdated, while knowing how to behave on social media is the hot topic.

People aren’t still properly aware of how important their Facebook or LinkedIn profile is, for good and bad. Social media can be used for a lot good. It is a powerful tool for developing your business or career and it can be a fantastic place for broadening your horizon and meeting new people.

But plenty of bad things also happen in social media. Understanding the risks, as well as knowing how to deal with the negative emotions that social media might stir, is important.


Learning to Cook, if just one thing

The VoucherBin survey found many people were astonished by the lack of cooking skills among today’s young generation.

While this is the era of ready meals and fast food, you shouldn’t consider the ability to cook just as a survival skill.

You are more than able to survive without ever knowing how to cook mac & cheese, but the enjoyment of knowing how to cook it is priceless. You might be able to use the skill to cook one meal to impress a future spouse or to get your boss to give you a pay rise. Not to mention the additional benefits home cooked food has on your health and the health of your wallet.


Understanding how Recycling Works

The environment is not doing very well at the moment and it is about time we start paying more attention to it.

Many countries already promote recycling and provide extra incentives to get people to recycle and these schemes are more than likely to increase in the near future. Recycling might even become more tightly enforced in the coming years.

Recycling doesn’t take a lot of time and you are only going to benefit from it in the short- and long-term. You wouldn’t want to leave this world in a mess for future generations, as you have been able to enjoy much of its beauty intact.

There are countless good recycling guides out there. Check out, for example, the helpful list by Recycle Now – it shows what to do with tons of different household items. Challenge yourself and your loved ones to master this life skill.


Nurturing the Ability to Switch Off

Finally, many respondents in the survey believe the ability to switch off is increasingly important, yet in danger of disappearing from our life skill repertoire.

We are constantly being told how to connect, how to be more attentive and how to achieve more. But shouldn’t we also remember to sit still and savour the moment?

Modern life is very stressful and the stresses in our life are beginning to show in our bodies and our minds. We’ve almost forgot how to be happy and carefree. It is therefore important to continue nurturing the ability to momentarily switch off.

If you are feeling stressed or unhappy in your life, it is likely it isn’t because you are doing something wrong. It is more likely because you are constantly doing something.

Take some time in your schedule and don’t do anything. Forget the thoughts, don’t make your body move and exercise – just experience the moment. This is the basis of mindfulness.


The above life skills are fantastic starting points for anyone looking for personal and career development. If you want to feel happier and make your life a bit easier to manage, the above are going to help you direct your attention.

About the Author


The article was generously contributed by Swapnil K. from VoucherBin, who loves to spend most of his time in search of trending stuff around the Internet.

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