Life is a tricky thing. Just when you thought you’ve got it all figured out, life comes up with yet another way to surprise you. There’s no single best way to live your life. Everyone’s journey is different, and we each have to go down our own paths. There are, however, certain skills that can make living a little easier.
Whether you’re focusing on your career, family life, friendships, or personal development, there will always be tried and tested life skills to which you can turn to. Check out the 13 crucial life skills we listed below, and see how they can change your life for the better.
True listening is essential to effective communication. Some people think merely hearing is listening, but that’s not it. Some people listen to react, but that’s not it either. Learn to listen to understand whomever it is you’re talking to – your family, friends, audience, coworkers, or even your own thoughts. Research shows that individuals tend to overestimate their ability to listen but are not aware they fall short on understanding. So the next time you talk to someone, really listen and observe. Pay attention to the person’s tone, choice of words, body language, and even what they don’t say.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence or EQ allows you to be aware of your and others’ emotions, and use that awareness to guide your behavior. You see, in life, it’s not just IQ that matters. Having high EQ can get you places, too. Research shows that people with high EQ excel at work because they are able to collaborate well with others, focus on their goals, and succeed with impressive results. Many workplace leaders and top performers possess high EQ, while it’s rarer to have successful leaders and top performers who measure low in EQ.
3. Time Management
Poor time management is the enemy of productivity. Aside from scheduling your tasks for the day, learn how to prioritize, too. Don’t spend too much time on little things, only to leave out much-needed time for major endeavors. When it’s time to work on that big project, don’t get distracted by emails that are not urgent anyway. If they can wait so you can remain focused, then let them wait.
4. Sleeping Well
Sleep is taken for granted by many. They think skipping sleep in order to do more work is key to success, but doing so can only bring negative effects. Lack of sleep can hinder your productivity, dampen your mood, impair your ability to focus, and lead to other health problems. High-quality, deep sleep allows the brain to flush toxic proteins, so learn to invest in good sleep. It will pay massive dividends in the future.
5. Learning to Say No
This is probably one of the most difficult life skills to master, but learning to straightforwardly say no can significantly reduce stress and burnout. When you get used to saying no in the right situations, you won’t be burdened with more work than you can handle. Saying no can also train you to be decisive and can show your coworkers and bosses that you are serious about managing your load in order not to sacrifice your quality of work.
6. Taking Initiative
Initiative separates the thinkers from the doers. It’s good to have ideas on what to do in certain situations, but it takes extra effort, dedication, and courage to actually take action. In the workplace, showing initiative will let you stand out. At home, it can create more harmonious relationships. Practice taking initiative, and you’re sure to reap its rewards.
People who show consistency in their thoughts and actions earn the respect of many. Whether you’re in a team or the one leading it, consistency in the results of your work will show that you are reliable and knowledgeable. How do you achieve consistency? By continuing to learn. Never get complacent, or else you’ll get left behind.
Having a more positive outlook will definitely attract success. It also helps to practice some positive self-talk every morning before you start your day. Many successful leaders are known to have morning rituals that boost their positivity. Recite a mantra every morning that will put you in a positive disposition. This simple act can make you a magnet for success.
9. Knowing When to Speak Up and When to Keep Quiet
It pays to keep your emotions in check. Never say anything when you’re going through extreme emotions because doing so might just result in conflict. Spare your personal and professional relationships from unnecessary drama by learning to pause and let your emotions pass. When your head is clear, you can handle situations better.
10. Asking for Help
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. If you’re really serious about wanting to do a good job whether at home, in school, or at work, then ask help from those who can give it to you. Doing so will show humility and willingness to learn. It will also encourage collaboration, which can then produce outstanding results.
Mindfulness or being present in the moment can help you achieve more happiness in life. And with more happiness, you can better forge your path to success. Being present in the moment can rid you of stress and anxiety about the future and can make you appreciate all that you have at the moment. Focus on what’s here right now, so you can avoid having regrets in the future.
12. Minding Your Own Business
There’s nothing wrong with sharing your opinion about someone else’s business, but if you do it too much to the point that you’re being inefficient, out of line, and toxic, then it’s time to rethink your disposition. Whenever you’re tempted to comment about a matter, think whether you’re in the position to do so. Are you directly involved in and affected by the situation? Are you an authority on the matter? If not, it’s perhaps best to just focus on your own life.
13. Avoiding Gossip
Gossip will get your nowhere. It will ruin relationships and earn you a bad reputation. Be known as someone who speaks the truth and shows professionalism and empathy. It might be tempting to listen to and talk about the latest, juicy office gossip, but think about the long-term benefits of staying away from rumormongers.
Which of these life skills do you think are most important? Let us know in the comments section!
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