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Important Life Skills
and How to Develop Them Further
Life skills is an extremely broad category that includes any skill that can be considered as either essential or beneficial for a particular individual or group. Life skills may include social skills, interpersonal skills, soft skills, and hard skills, but the list will vary, depending on variables such as circumstances, personality, society, profession, preference, etc. Despite variability playing a crucial role, it has been found that the following life skills can be highly potent in improving our experiences across many different real-life scenarios.
Anger and Stress Management Skills
Infants, toddlers, and young children cry, shout, and throw temper tantrums frequently because they have no conception of anger and stress management. Most children begin to improve naturally as they slowly grow up, leading to reduced instances of such outbursts for the smallest of reasons. This happens because most children learn to manage their anger and stress a lot better than before, without even being aware of it. It’s an innate skill that develops with their brain naturally, although it may not always happen, unfortunately.
Professional help might be necessary if a child is not showing any signs of improved anger and stress management, as compared to their behavior as a toddler. When kept unchecked and untreated, their inability to cope with stressful situations will lead to a poor quality of life for them, and those around them. An inability to control anger, anxiety, stress and aggression are often interrelated in adults, which could be helped with professional anger management therapy.
Learning involves a broad range of skills that originate from our need and willingness to learn. Later, those preliminary skills reinforce our ability to learn further. For example, it is common to see MBA graduates in the corporate world because the course imparts several soft and hard business skills that are considered essential. Therefore, professionals pursue MBA degrees because they are willing to learn the skills they need to progress in their respective careers. However, we do not see as many corporate workers with a DBA degree.
This is largely because most are unwilling to learn business management skills beyond what they need immediately. This difference in attitude towards learning is often what separates leaders from followers. Aston University’s Executive Doctor of Business Administration online program is specifically designed for aspiring and existing business leaders. The DBA is an exclusive course for entrepreneurs, high-level executives and future leaders willing to maximise their learning skills, by completing their set of corporate skills.
Studying skills are a crucial, secondary part of learning skills. Most of these are not innate, but advanced, learned skills that help us improve our present knowledge base. A few crucial studying skills that students should possess are:
- Information management skills
- Organisation skills
- Time management skills
- Research skills
- Critical and creative thinking skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Cognitive adaptation skills
- Reflective analysis skills
Even after you are no longer a student, the same skills will prove to be invaluable in your professional life as well.
Hard or Acquired Professional Skills
Hard skills or acquired skills are complex abilities that we acquire and improve over time, by using some of our basic life skills such as:
From woodworking and pottery to coding and mechanical engineering, these are all professional hard skills that require several years of education, practice, and improvement to turn them into professional skills. Such professional skills are primary life skills as well because the respective professionals earn their livelihood by applying what they have learned in a commercial capacity.
Acquired Regular Life Skills
Unlike the hard skills mentioned above, these would be the acquired, regular life skills that we benefit from in day-to-day life. Some of them can be turned into professional hard skills as well, but that is not a requirement for learning any of these. Good examples of acquired regular life skills would be:
- Culinary skills
- DIY home and car repair skills
- Basic tech skills
- Standard communication skills
- Certified ability to drive and ride a motor-powered vehicle
- Map reading and navigation skills
- Preliminary first-aid skills
- Budgeting and prioritising
- Basic financial management and tax calculation skills
- Dressing skills and knowledge of the color wheel
- Active listening skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Disciplinary skills
- Ability to concentrate and shift focus when necessary
Do note that some of us may possess a few key life skills naturally, putting a lucky few at an advantage over others. Even then, those innate skills must be polished methodically, and used to acquire more advanced skills necessary to improve. A good example would be communication, which is an extremely important skill on a personal and professional level.
The ability to understand and then communicate information in an understandable manner to others is not easy to master though. If the individual does not work on their gift with methodic precision, they will find it gradually difficult to communicate knowledge to others, as the information begins to get increasingly complicated.
The same can be said about natural problem-solving skills possessed by those with rather high IQs. IQ test results are not reliant on advanced knowledge, but innate intelligence of the individual being tested. It has been found that there is often no direct correlation between high IQ scores and success in life. At the same time, it was also noted that children with high IQ scores enjoyed a much higher rate of success than the average population when guided by teachers and parents. By honing their innate problem-solving skills, and through proper guidance from their guardians, they found success rather easily.
Therefore, the final life skill we will mention here is a combination of tenacity and the willingness to constantly improve. All successful leaders across the world possess both. They continue to improve what they already have, while also acquiring more skills along the way.
It would be nearly impossible to list all life skills and not miss any of them because the definition itself is widely inclusive. Any ability, acquired or innate, can be counted as an important life skill, as long as that ability is helping the concerned individual or group in their daily, personal or professional life. Nonetheless, the ones mentioned here are widely agreed upon as important life skills for social, personal, and professional development today.
About the Author
Maggie Hammond is a proud mama to two little people, and has one too many furry friends. She is passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors and animal welfare.