10 Life Skills That Are Hard to Learn But Will Pay Off in the Long Run
These difficult yet powerful skills will make your life better
The best things in life are free. However, they take time to acquire.
Life is about learning. The act of learning can be as essential as what you learn. Believing that you can improve and develop new skills is exciting.
There are some essential life skills that are hard to learn. In the long term, these skills will pay off handsomely.
What are the most challenging and most valuable life skills to learn?
What skills are hard to learn in life?
What talents are worth the investment?
Here are life skills that are essential to living a successful life. Let’s dive in.
1. Getting Enough, High-Quality Sleep
Many people don’t realize they are not getting enough sleep every night. However, your body will tell you that it’s not getting the sleep it needs. Many people think sleep is overrated and that it’s easy to wake up early and go to bed late. Getting enough quality sleep is hard to learn. We are social creatures that like to overwork.
When we don’t get enough sleep, we slow our ability to process information and solve problems. Getting high-quality sleep consistently is a difficult skill to master in life. When you establish a nightly ritual for sleeping, you can fall asleep easier and wake up naturally without an alarm clock.
2. Positive Thinking and Self Talk
“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” — Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
You probably have heard that you must stay positive. It can be hard sometimes to stay positive during hard times. Our brains are trained for survival, not happiness. This survival trait has helped humankind live longer and has served us well when we were hunters and gathers.
In today’s modern world, positive thinking and self-talk can be challenging because we consume tons of information, and it can negatively wreak havoc on our minds. Our minds take the shape of what we think.
If you think positively, you’ll be a positive person and talk nicely to yourself and vice versa with negative thinking. It takes time to build your level of confidence and believe in yourself. When you do, it pays off because research says positive thinkers are more successful, less stressed, healthier, and tend to live longer.
This one should be easy because we have two ears and only one mouth. However, it’s not easy because you can think you are listening, but you are planning on what to say next.
Great listeners focus on what the other person is saying, understand their point of view, and suspend judgment. It takes hard work to master being a great listener.
When you master it, you’ll be more focused, develop more meaningful relationships, and process information better. Listening is a valuable life skill that helps you become a better communicator and grow relationships with your boss, colleagues, friends, and family.
4. Staying in the Moment
Life is a series of moments. Everything is temporary in life. You can be on top of the world one day, and the next day you feel terrible about life. We are not good at staying present in the moment.
Research has found we think about something other than what we are currently doing during 47% of our waking hours. This hurts our happiness. You are less happy when your mind wanders. Life can be amazing when you engage in the current moment and don’t think about the past or future.
It takes some time to learn how to be fixated on the present. Put away your technology devices, maintain good eye contact with people you are talking to, and listen to understand. You can become a good conversationalist when you are present. You can foster more profound and more meaningful connections with others.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is about understanding your emotions in yourself and others. It impacts how we manage behavior and make decisions. You can manage your behavior and relationships.
We are not born with emotional intelligence, so we must learn it. It takes a lot of practice to increase your emotional intelligence. People with high emotional intelligence are better leaders and know what to share and not share at work. Emotional intelligence is intangible, so it takes some work to learn how to navigate social complexities.
Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. Empathy is critical to your success because it helps you know how others are feeling so you can appropriately read the situation. People who are good at reading others can use their empathetic skills to their benefit.
Empathy helps you better communicate your ideas and understand others. It is the building block for excellent social interaction. Empathy helps you create deeper and more meaningful relationships and establish a solid social support network.
7. Time Management
Time management is a highly valued skill at work. It’s crucial to find a system that works for you, such as time blocking. Time blocking is the practice of planning out every minute of your day and blocking out times of your day for specific tasks.
One of the biggest things that hold us back from good time management is treating everything as urgent. When you take care of things that don’t really matter, you don’t get real work done. What are your top three priorities for the day? Focus on them. Learning to manage your time effectively helps you perform at a high level every day of your life.
8. Asking for Help
This is tricky for some people. When do you ask for help, and when do you work hard to figure it out yourself? People often don’t ask for help so they are not perceived as incompetent.
Research has found that asking for advice makes you look more competent, not less capable. If you are in over your head on something, admit it and ask for help. When you ask people for advice instead of feedback, you make them feel valuable, respected, and trusted. You are more likely to win them over.
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” — Dwayne Douglas Johnson, an American actor and former professional wrestler
Consistency is the key to success in anything you do. Some people stop working hard when they reach the top. To stay at the top of the mountain in your career or life, you need to be consistent in everything you do. If you are trying a new exercise routine or a new diet, consistency is critical to making it work.
10. Saying “No” without Burning Bridges
Saying “no” is not easy. However, it’s critical for your mental health. You can say “no” without burning bridges to set healthy boundaries and manage your workload. There is only so much you can do every day, and it’s okay to say “no” to something or someone.
You don’t want to reach a breaking point where you can’t manage everything in your professional and/or personal life. No is a powerful word that you should use. It will help honor existing commitments and free up your time and energy for the best parts of life. When you say “no,” you are less likely to burnout at work and better manage your stress.
Bringing It All Together
There are 10 life skills that can be hard to learn but will help you make your life better in the long term. Get enough, high-quality sleep every day, be positive with your thoughts and self-talk, listen, and stay in the moment. Have emotional intelligence, empathize, manage your time, ask for help, be consistent, and say “no” without burning bridges. Don’t stop learning in your life and master these life skills. You will be sure glad you did.
CONTRIBUTED BY Matthew Royse
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