Getting a college degree is great and very important in achieving your dreams but a college education rarely teaches you life-building skills you need to survive adulthood. Here are five essential life skills you need to live the life of your dreams.
1. The Ability to fight fears and challenges
It doesn’t matter how many options you have to choose from. I’ve realized that there are only two things to choose between: the future and the past. If you choose the easier option that doesn’t imply risk, challenge or something unknown, you choose the past. Obviously, it’s safe and comfortable, but you will never achieve something bigger unless you challenge yourself. That’s why you should learn to choose the difficult path, the unbeaten path. Everything that scares you should be your target. The ability to overcome fears will open thousands of new opportunities for you and will make you a more confident person. Push forward when you want to give up, continue when others surrender and believe in yourself when nobody does. This is the first essential skill you should learn to improve your life.
2. Goal Setting Skills
I wish I had acquired this skill when I was a student. Every person should set at least one big goal in life. Whether you try to get a promotion at work or you want to lose a few pounds, the first thing you should do is to set a goal. Learn to break long-term goals down into intermediate and short-term goals; this will enable you to distribute your time and energy resources more efficiently.
They say that people who plan their life are usually more successful than those who don’t plan their future. I don’t mean that you should create a detailed life plan, but you should certainly draw an approximate blueprint for the next 5 years. When you see the direction and the ultimate goal, you will hardly veer off course or lose motivation. You must have heard the popular saying, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’, right? I became a more self-disciplined and cheerful person due to the ability of goal setting.
Those who cannot manage their money are less likely make a fortune. I’ve learned to manage my finance when I got my first job and started sharing a room with my dormmate. Sure, I squandered my first earnings and got into debt, but then I became more careful with my expenditures. My scholarship was always insufficient. When I got a job, my salary also turned out to be insufficient. I’ve realized that it doesn’t always matter how much you make, but it’s important to learn how to budget your money wisely. Money management skills enable me to enjoy a good life on a tight budget.
First of all, you should define the essential expenditure items like rent, bills and food. Then add minor categories like clothes, petty cash, and leisure. Remember that you can save a particular amount of money monthly, regardless of your earnings. Develop a habit of saving at least 20 percent of your income and you’ll soon have a pretty good savings.
3. Public Speaking Skills
This was one of the things I hated at school and college, but this was also one of the essential skills I needed to acquire to improve my life. The statistics show that the fear of speaking in front of a big audience is even stronger than the fear of death. Anyway, public speaking skills are critical if you want to achieve confidence and self-esteem and meet new professional and social contacts.
Any leader or successful manager will tell you that the power of words is immense. The initial function of public speaking is to share your ideas with others. However, the ability to deliver your thoughts in front of a big group of people will also help you to influence and control others, sell anything from a product to idea and get a professional advancement. I’ve realized that I can apply public speaking skills to almost every situation in day-to-day life, from discussions during family gatherings to delivering a speech in front of my colleagues.
4. The Art of Relaxation
It sounds weird since most people think they can relax and enjoy their spare time. However, many hard-working people and workaholics find it difficult to relax and stop thinking about their business. For a long time I couldn’t distract my mind from my work even at weekends, even when I was miles away from my office and my city. The abstention from checking my e-mail or reading my post didn’t prevent me from thinking about my job. No wonder it led to poor thinking, bad health and decision making.
I’ve understood that there is time to work and time to enjoy the results of my work. Working yourself to death isn’t actually a success, it’s just an obsession. I’ve started practicing yoga and various breathing techniques. They really help to gain clarity of thoughts, sense of purpose and balance. The ability to combat stress and keep calm helps me to face life troubles with confidence and zeal.
5. Constant Learning
Elbert Einstein once said, ‘Learning is not the product of schooling, but the lifelong attempt to acquire it’. A lot of people mistakenly believe that the process of learning ends the moment they get a diploma. But the truth is that the moment you stop learning you stop evolving and developing yourself. Life-long learning skills are beneficial to your personal and professional advancement.
Learning is hard and it took me an immense amount of time to cultivate the habit of learning something new daily. However, I’m sure that I achieved most of my goals thanks to self-education. Purposeful learning beyond the traditional schooling is often more effective and fruitful.