Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. ~Roman Philosopher, Seneca
There’s nothing like being caught in a situation that calls for one of those life skills you wish you had learned before you needed it.
The key words here are “before you need it.” Because later is no good. Now is when you need the life skill to save your behind. Before now is when you should have learned it for it be of any use. Don’t be caught off-guard. Learn these 12 life skills that help you succeed on your journey, overcome awkward situations, and in some not-so-rare cases, save your life.
The list below is in no particular order. Every skill is as valuable as the other one, because you just never know which one will come calling in your life or when. Learn them. Master them even. Ask someone to help you with them. Read books or watch videos about them. Learn these skills to get ahead in your life.
12 Life Skills You Must Learn Today
1: Negotiate your real worth:
Your knowledge is worth money. Your life skills and ability can earn you a living. But if you do not know how to negotiate your worth, [insert a big sigh!]. Employers and business partners can easily overlook your true worth if you cannot speak to it, either on purpose – they take advantage of you – or simply do not know better. Negotiation is a key skill to learn in life. Three quick tips to bring you up to speed:
- Negotiation is not the same as confrontation. Do not approach it as such.
- Negotiate as though you are both on the same side of the table, looking at the problem, rather than facing each other as foes.
- Negotiation has a special language. Learn the key phrases from any negotiation expert or listen to this free lesson with Mike Brown.
2: Communicate your needs:
We all have needs, but your friends, family and employers cannot read your mind. They learn by you communicating your needs clearly, kindly, and even by repeating as necessary. So learn when and how to ask for help. “I’d love to speak to you about this in private.”, “Would you please drive me to the store when my car is in the shop?”, “Would you please call me daily as I get through this rough patch?” The more you exercise the language of communication, the more humanity you will see in all the world around you and the less bitterness you will carry in your heart because “nobody cares about my needs!” will never be a phrase you need to utter again. They do, they just need to learn what they are!
3: Learn how and when to say no:
No is not a bad word. No is not taboo and no does not necessarily break hearts or damage relationships. How you say no is a skill. You are actually born knowing it but here’s the difference: as a little kid, you use it without knowing what you want or what’s good for you. As an adult, you know what you want and more importantly, what you don’t want. It is okay to say no. Two quick tips on how:
- Say no with kindness and compassion but without apology. Use words like “I wish I could … ” or “I am not able to this time but perhaps next time?”
- Do it quickly. Don’t sit on it until last minute. Get it over with fast. The waiting makes it harder.
4: Get others to respect your boundaries:
Good parents teach their children the physical boundaries of someone touching them the wrong way or hurting them. If you did not learn this as a kid, learn it now. You have boundaries – emotional, physical, financial, and more. You must respect your own boundaries first before anyone else can respect them. You must take your own boundaries seriously to show others that they are important to you. To do that, first define your boundaries. Make sure they align to your values and ideals. Then stick to them and be firm with anyone who wishes to cross it.
5: Translate your body’s cues of pain, warning, and intuition:
Your body doesn’t lie. Your mind lies all the time, but your body tells the truth. It is a genius piece of machinery that you can learn from well into your golden age. Learn how to translate pain, how to heed warning signs when you are in danger, and how to listen to your intuition when it gives you a bad feeling about a situation. Learn to read and translate your body’s signals by slowing down, paying attention, and going with your gut – yes, your gut and no, not your head!
6: Walk away when the signs tell you it’s time:
Are you in a stale job and in dire need of moving on? Are you in relationship that is destroying your health and sanity? Are you seeing the signs on the wall – depression, anxiety, self-sabotaging behavior – and still ignoring them? Don’t. Listen carefully. Plan your exit. Knowing when to call it quits is a necessity o your happiness and even to saving your life. Ending a marriage or quitting a “successful” job does not – I repeat, it does NOT – make you a failure. Get that out of your head. It makes you smart. You make others secretly envious because it takes courage to walk away but by God, sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes you just take the wrong road. So what? Don’t waste your time in the mess. Walk away!
7: Handle just about any emergency:
Emergencies are inevitable so know the immediate steps you need to take in any emergency, be it a fire, an accident, a call that someone needs help, or any other where the normalcy falls by the wayside and you need to Act Fast! The mind goes blank and that’s why the training and the knowledge that has become second nature can take over. This is a hard one and yet one of top life skills. How do you prepare without going through lots of emergencies? Hopefully you never go through any. But prepare by discussing it with a partner or a friend through imaginary situations. Quiz each other and take precautions as necessary in your lifestyle.
8: Eat right:
Your health is your greatest asset. I am not a broken record. I repeat it because it’s that important and nutrition is the foundation upon which you build your health. But learning to eat right is an essential life skill. You hone it all the time. Listening to your body is important. Experimenting is key so you learn what works for you. Make eating right an absolute priority just like brushing your teeth and showering. Everything that goes into your body matters. Find the right balance now not later when it’s too late to turn things around.
9: Save for the future:
Whether you are barely making ends meet or you have tons of disposable income, saving for the future is crucial. Whatever your situation, you can save something. And the minute you start saving ‘something’, you can double it and triple it. The most financially secure people were not kids to multi-millionaires. The complete opposite. They start out with very little but they managed that very little brilliantly. It’s not how much you make. It’s how much you save or invest from what you make that tells the real story.
10: Perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation):
Just learn to do this. I took a course in CPR years ago. It was not fun, but necessary. I would want to live in a society that knows how to perform CPR on me when I need it and I’d want to be able to save a life knowing how if I am left without a choice instead of being helpless. You can learn CPR in your community and most likely, find a free class that teaches you how. Invest the time. Go with a family member or a friend. Learn it.
11: Control your breathing and stress levels:
Stressful situations throw your heart rate out of whack. Your breathing quickens and becomes shallow. You don’t get enough oxygen to your brain and you can’t think clearly. Learning how to tune in to your breath, and how to calm it down is a skill that you cultivate with the right meditation and breathing techniques. Invest time today to learn this. I love meditation and I’ve included videos showing you breathing techniques in my 10 Minute Invigorator Program.
12: Speak your mind without fear, embarrassment or anxiety:
This is one of the life skills nobody teaches you unless you had expectational parents and teachers. To be successful, be your own person but learn to do it without becoming an outcast or losing your friends. Speak your mind with compassion, not with fear. Speak your mind without fear of judgement. Be kind but be clear about what you believe and what is your truth. Learn to be confident – grab my confidence gift right here – and you’ll earn the respect of all who matter. You are brilliant. No need to fear what your mind has to say. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. And go forth with your true mind.
Before you go, grab your confidence course here:
Use Your Inner Powers
Bonus: 21-Step Confidence Building Series
Do you have any more to add to the life skills that serve us well in life? Share it in the comments.