The Importance of Life Skills

//The Importance of Life Skills

The Importance of Life Skills

By |2018-08-27T09:14:28+00:00August 29th, 2018|Work & Purpose|

Sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s appointment the other day, I gazed briefly at the magazines scattered across the top of the coffee table in front of me.

A cover story by Psychology Today immediately grasped my attention: 10 Life Skills – Lessons You Won’t Learn In School.

Having had some recent conversations about the difference between soft and hard skills, and the unique value of soft skills, I found this article title to be all too relevant.

After paging through the magazine to find the story, I skimmed the 10 skills they named and discussed. What an incredible article, I thought. Anyone and everyone can find something of value to them within this list.

What’s the Difference?

Life skills, or soft skills, are not something we’re innately born with. We learn them from others and from experience. They’re intangible ways of living that allow us to live our happiest and most successful lives. It’s strange to think that these skills often aren’t taught and given the attention they deserve. Good communication, positive attitude, open-mindedness – all are examples of life skills.

All too often, we focus on mastering hard skills – actions that are definable and measurable. While these skills have their merits, they can only be useful for so much. Typing, programming, speaking a different language – all of which are hard skills.

Which Type is Better?

Both types of skills are useful in different scenarios.

Let’s say you’re taking a standardized test. If your main goal is to ace the test, then hard skills will be your friend. These skills will help you systematically solve problems quickly and efficiently.

But, if you’re more focused on accepting your score, learning from it, and looking forward with optimism, you’ll need to master your life skills.

Hard skills are very singular. They are activities that you can tangibly accomplish on your own.

On the other hand, life skills often require other people, such as being able to effectively work as a team or talk about an issue. While you can only control how well you implement your life skills, you’re given the opportunity to be in contact with others’ life skills, making the experience more interactive and rewarding for everyone.

Which Life Skills Are Best?

The answer to this question will differ depending on the person. We all have different areas of improvement and personal priorities and values. However, as I said earlier about the Psychology Today article, I think most people can connect to at least one of the life skills cited and explained.

The skills that really spoke to me include: Staying true to your own values despite what others expect from you (6), Zoning in on your purpose in a zoned-out world (9), and Tolerating ambiguity (10).

Read the article, and talk to us! Which life skills do you feel you mastered, and which do you want to work on? Are there other ones you’d like to add to the list? Share Your Story!

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