Essential Life Skills For Success and Happiness
When people hear “life skills”, they think of things like learning how to operate the washer, change a lightbulb and clean a home.
These are good, useful skills for simple everyday living.
However, they’re not the life skills that will help you navigate the trenches of modern living without completely losing yourself.
Life skills are the bread and butter of our potential success. From the decisions we make, to what we eat and how we manage our money all depend on which life skills we’ve acquired.
There is an enormous amount of life skills we can learn. Each vary in usefulness and practicality depending on where we are and which challenges we need to overcome.
Luckily, we can improve our skills with practice, which will inturn help us lead healthier, happier lives.
Knowing this, we’ve created a list of the most essential life skills for success and happiness in the 21st Century.
1. Delayed Gratification and Self-Discipline
Delayed gratification is an act of self-discipline to experience life’s pleasures to a greater effect later.
It is a life skill which helps promote impulse control, anger management, healthy habits, strengthened will power and much more.
Research also shows that those who delay their gratification regularly are more likely to be happier and successful opposed to those who don’t.
So, how can delaying your gratification help you in a real life setting?
For starters, it can help you earn and save more money.
Here’s a simple example.
Bill has $300 in his checking account and wants to buy 5 brand-new PS4 games at $60 each.
He decides to wait 3 months for a price drop and buys 15 games at $20 each instead.
With the same amount of money he has tripled the effect (more games) he would’ve received if he jumped the gun and bought the games 3 months ago.
I like to think about delayed gratification as the idea of doing something you don’t want to do in order to get a better version of something you want.
It’s a vital life skill which can help you get ahead of your peers if mastered.
The biggest benefit of delayed gratification is that it can be applied to any task or reward you set.
Delayed gratification rewards you in compound interest. The longer you exercise self-discipline the bigger the reward.
2. Digital Literacy
Digital literacy is defined as having the knowledge and skills to use digital devices and technology to make your life easier to manage. Digital literacy is a life skill that transcends its need in a classroom or work environment.
It’s not just about learning how to turn on a computer, send an email or talk with your friends via Whatsapp. It’s about being able to utilize technology in a way that betters your life.
With over 3.2 billion people now using the internet (2015), it has become a hub where you can do or find just about anything you want.
In 2011, The U.N (United Nations) declared internet access a basic human right.
This shift means that our citizens must be educated on how to use the internet and digital devices to make everyday tasks easier.
Many businesses, schools and organisations have a prominent online presence which allow them to target their ideal customer no matter where they live.
The growth of the internet has also changed the way we apply for jobs.
With more than 25% of jobs posted exclusively online, and as the shift towards remote work increases, so does the need to be digitally literate.
Barclay’s are the new boys on the long list of organisations who’re dedicated to teaching the life skills young people need to create a better future.
To be truly digitally literate you need to be able to use digital technologies to:
- Send an email
- Troubleshoot your devices
- Raise awareness about an important cause
- Book a doctor’s appointment
- Find long-lost childhood friends and relatives
- Sign-up for services and products
- Apply for a job online/run a business
- Search for information using a wide variety of search operators
- Manage your privacy and stay safe online
- Much more…
3. Decision Making
From your morning routine and current bank balance, to the type of work who do and how many children you have.
Our decisions govern us, and determine exactly where we’ll be 1 hour, a day and a year from now.
They’re the difference between a student who consistently gets A’s, and a student who barely passes.
Multiple studies have concluded that adults make 35,000 conscious decisions a day, and children make around 3,000.
Since our decisions have such a massive impact on our lives, learning how to make good decisions is a life skill worth its weight in gold.
Here’s one of my favourite quotes on the impact our decisions have on our lives.
You are where you’re meant to be, based on the things you did or didn’t do.”
The things we’ve done in the past have gotten us where we are today. And the things we’re doing today will determine where we’ll end up tomorrow.
So how can we make good decisions to live a better life? What process can we follow to ensure that our decisions benefit us now, and in the future?
At Balanced Life Academy HQ, we use the same framework for making good decisions as we do for achieving any of our goals.
For example, when deciding whether to lay someone off based on performance reasons. We’ll ask ourselves the following questions.
- Do you have evidence of poor performance from this worker?
- Do you personally believe they’re a poor performer?
- Do you have a plan in place to resolve this problem?
If we answer yes to all three questions, then action will be taken either to lay them off, or to provide more training.
We believe the 3 life skills mentioned above to be the most essential life skills required to live a healthy, balanced life.
In the coming months and years, we’ll be creating online courses for each of these life skills including the following:
- Communication and Negotiating
- How To Cook and Create A Diet
- Time Management and Productivity
- Problem Solving
- Self-Promotion and Personal Branding
- Money Management
- Leadership and Team Management
- Creativity and Critical Thinking
- Self-Awareness and Empathy
Is there a particular life skill you’d like us to create a course for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.